Alumni Melany Arjona and Vicente Reynal, who established a Tech Promise Scholarship and a Dean’s Scholarship in the College of Engineering.

Melany Arjona, M.S. ECE 2000, and her husband, Vicente Reynal, ME 1995, consider giving back to the community an essential part of their family life. They model this value for their three young daughters by regularly volunteering as a family and by supporting causes that will have a positive effect on the world around them. This desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others has inspired the couple to establish a Tech Promise Scholarship and a Dean’s Scholarship in the College of Engineering. They hope that these undergraduate scholarships will not only benefit the students who receive them, but also will inspire their children as they grow older to see the importance of giving back and helping others.

Reynal and Arjona met at Georgia Tech, though they started at the Institute at different points in their educational paths — Reynal as an undergraduate and Arjona as a graduate student. Reynal’s brother, Alejandro, ME 1994, M.S. ME 1996, came to Georgia Tech a year before Vicente. Both brothers left their home in Puerto Rico for Atlanta at young ages — Vicente when he was only 16 years old. While he was at Tech, he worked three jobs to cover his tuition and living expenses. He hopes that supporting scholarships will alleviate financial stressors like these for students so they are able to put all of their focus on their education and career development. 

Arjona came to the United States from Panama for her undergraduate degree. She, like Reynal, worked to pay for her school through her undergraduate and graduate studies, and emphasizes how scholarships can be especially meaningful to students from other countries. “I was an international student, so I didn’t have as many opportunities for scholarship support and financial aid,” she said. “Each semester I had to find new sources of help, while keeping a job.” She hopes that their scholarships will help students feel secure, and that students’ appreciation for this security will lead them to pay it forward later on.

The couple also is excited by the opportunity to mentor their scholarship recipients. In Reynal’s current role as chairman and CEO at Ingersoll Rand, he spends a lot of time coaching and mentoring within the company. He looks forward to offering this expertise to Georgia Tech students. “Hopefully we can generate value for them by answering questions and guiding them based on what we have seen in the real world,” Reynal said. “We want to build relationships where we can be helpful, not just from the monetary perspective, but also on the professional and personal development sides as well.”

Arjona shares Reynal’s passion for guiding and developing next-generation leaders, and sees Georgia Tech as a key part of students’ future successes. “Education changed both of our lives, and Tech opened so many doors for us,” she said. “We see the value of education for everyone.” By supporting undergraduate student scholarships, Arjona and Reynal are making it possible for more young people to receive the world-class education that they believe will change students’ lives like it changed their own.

Make an Impact

You can make an impact in the lives of Georgia Tech students by creating an endowed scholarship fund at $100,000 or more. It takes an endowment of $100,000 to generate an annual income of $4,000, which can provide essential support to fill the gaps remaining between scholarship support and other financial aid options that students might face.