Environmental Scholarship Renamed to Honor Tara Welch Gallagher

Tara Welch Gallagher

The environmental scholarship that helped Tara Welch Gallagher attend graduate school has been renamed in memory of this engineer who lost her life in a workplace shooting on May 31, 2019.

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has renamed an environmental scholarship it administers in tribute to Tara Welch Gallagher, a City of Virginia Beach engineer in the Public Works Department who lost her life in the tragic shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on May 31, 2019. Gallagher received the scholarship in 2002-03 while earning her master’s degree in environmental engineering from Old Dominion University.

Previously called the Hampton Roads Sanitation District Environmental Scholarship, the scholarship is now the Tara Welch Gallagher Environmental Scholarship. The request to rename the scholarship came from HRSD, which also donated additional money so the scholarship can support more students.

HRSD, which protects public health and Hampton Roads waters through effective wastewater treatment, established the endowed scholarship fund at the community foundation in 1999. The scholarship supports students from the HRSD service region who are pursuing graduate degrees in environmental fields. It is among more than 90 scholarship funds administered by the community foundation.

“One of HRSD’s strategic focus areas is inspiring people to pursue environmental careers,” said Ted Henifin, HRSD general manager. “The environmental scholarship is an important part of that strategy. Tara Welch Gallagher, a past recipient, was the perfect example of how that strategy was envisioned to benefit HRSD, the Hampton Roads region and the environment. Tara applied her knowledge, talent and passion to improving local water quality – exactly what HRSD was created to do. As Tara embodied our strategy so well, renaming the scholarship – connecting our strategy to her wonderful example – seems so fitting.”

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