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Wagner Schwing Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Engineering

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Gerhard Wagner New York City circa 1960.
Gerhard Wagner New York City circa 1960.

The Wagner Schwing Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Engineering was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on December 16, 1996, for the benefit of the Cockrell School of Engineering. Gift funds were provided by Mrs. Christa S. Broderick of Austin, Texas. The endowment honors Mrs. Grete Wagner Schwing of Summit, N.J. and Houston, Texas and Gerhard Wagner, PhD of New York, N.Y., Morristown, N.J. and Palm Beach, Fla.

Christa Schwing Broderick established the Wagner Schwing Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Engineering in 1996 to honor her mother, Grete Wagner Schwing, and her uncle, Gerhard Wagner, who was an engineer and an American business leader. The scholarship supports a junior or senior student studying architectural, civil, or mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. 

Christa’s uncle, Dr. Gerhard Wagner was fortunate to have loving parents but they were of modest means. Armed with only a university degree in engineering from the Technische Hochschule in Hannover, he left Germany in 1930, setting up his own engineering business in New York City. 

Grete and Kurt Schwing in November 4, 1974, Hotel Bonadventure, Montreal.
Grete and Kurt Schwing in November 4, 1974, Hotel Bonadventure, Montreal.

In 1936, after having successfully completed his dissertation for his PhD in mechanical engineering from the Technische Hochschule Fridericiana in Karlsruhe, he asked his sister, Grete Wagner, to join him in the United States and work as his secretary. 

Grete graduated from a business college, spoke German, French, and English and she could take dictation in all three languages. Shortly after Grete started working in New York City, she met another young German who had just arrived. This young German, Kurt Schwing, became her husband and the couple had a daughter, Christa Schwing Broderick. 

Throughout her life Christa’s uncle championed education and was instrumental in sending her to good schools and to college. Gerd was very proud to be a doctor of engineering and used his knowledge of engineering throughout his life.

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