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Gregg and Diana Lowe of Austin, Texas Present $1.6M Gift to Establish Breakthrough Scholarships for Rose-Hulman Programs

November 7, 2014

Gregg Lowe Students

Strong STEM Supporter: Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Freescale Semiconductor, has actively supported educational endeavors that encourage K-12 students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math studies and earn degrees in STEM-related fields. (Photo by Justin Wallace)

Gregg and Diana Lowe of Austin, Texas have provided a $1.6 million gift to establish a scholarship fund through Rose-Hulman to encourage high school students from the Breakthrough college preparatory program toward science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career fields.

Gregg Lowe is president and chief executive officer of Freescale Semiconductor, a 1984 Rose-Hulman graduate, and a trustee of the Terre Haute, Indiana college—ranked the nation’s best undergraduate engineering college for 16 consecutive years, by U.S. News & World Report’s College Guide. He received an honorary degree at the institute’s 2014 commencement.

Gregg Lowe and Freescale actively support educational endeavors that encourage K-12 students to pursue STEM studies and earn degrees in STEM-related fields. Program goals are to inspire more of our best and brightest students, especially women and those from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, to pursue STEM studies; influence the development of the technical workforce of the future; and strengthen Freescale's commitment to corporate citizenship.

Diana Lowe is a member of Breakthrough Austin’s board of directors and supports many community and educational initiatives.

The couple’s generous financial gift will allow two Breakthrough students to participate in Rose-Hulman’s two-week STEM exploratory program, Operation Catapult, during the summer before entering their senior year.

Also, one Breakthrough program graduate that gains Rose-Hulman admission will be provided a four-year scholarship covering tuition and on-campus residence expenses.

In addition to the scholarship, the student could have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship at Freescale after completing their sophomore year at Rose-Hulman.

Priority will be given to students participating in Breakthrough programs in Austin and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Gregg Lowe Freescale

Gregg Lowe

“Diana and I are excited to partner with Rose-Hulman, Breakthrough Austin, and Freescale by offering this program to students with a passion for STEM,” says Gregg Lowe. “We are investing in our future innovators and couldn’t be more eager to witness these kids enter academia, intern at Freescale, and graduate with a degree that someday makes a big impact in our world.”

Breakthrough provides a path to and through college, starting in middle school, for low-income students who will be first-generation college graduates. Breakthrough’s program combines individualized case management with extended learning time over twelve years of direct service. According to the Brookings Center on Children and Families, low-income students are seven times less likely to attend college than more affluent peers, regardless of their ability. Breakthrough Austin students are 3.5 more times more likely to graduate from high school and twice as likely to enroll in college compared with other low-income students in Central Texas.

“As a first-generation college graduate, I struggled financially to complete school and earn my degree. I know firsthand just how real that burden can be,” states Diana Lowe. “Luckily, an incredible mentor – my high school English teacher, Joy Smith – guided me on my journey and helped me overcome those hurdles. Gregg and I are honored to partner with Breakthrough Austin and Rose-Hulman to bring this opportunity to some very deserving students.”

Rose-Hulman’s Operation Catapult program allows talented high school students the opportunity to explore their interests in STEM-related fields, while working with other students and a faculty mentor, to complete a hands-on project. The students also get an early dose of college life.

As an institution, Rose-Hulman is dedicated to preparing its students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics education in an environment infused with innovation, intellectual rigor, and individualized attention.

Gregg Lowe turned down an opportunity to attend Harvard University to attend Rose-Hulman. This became a monumental career and personal choice. He met Diana while a student at Rose-Hulman.

“Attending Rose-Hulman was the right choice because it gave me a strong set of principles: being well-educated and trained in engineering fundamentals; being a practical problem-solver; knowing how to work hard; and the belief that I could achieve the impossible,” says Gregg Lowe.

After graduating from Rose-Hulman, Gregg Lowe worked at Texas Instruments from 1984 to 2012. He joined Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor in June of 2012, and has helped reshape the company to identify opportunities for accelerating revenue growth and improving profitability.