Former interim president establishes forensic science scholarship in honor of Dr. Terry Fenger

The Marshall University Foundation, Inc. has announced the establishment of the Terry W. and Sandra J. Fenger Forensic Science Scholarship in honor of the longtime Director of the Forensic Science Center and one of the founders of the Forensic Science program at Marshall University.

The scholarship was endowed by Michael J. and Tamela J. Farrell, attorneys at the Huntington, West Virginia, firm Farrell, White & Legg. Michael also served as interim president of Marshall University in 2005 following the resignation of Dan Angel. Highly respected members of the community, Michael and Tamela have a long history of giving back to Marshall.

“First and foremost, Terry and Sandy Fenger deserve the recognition for their service in founding and growing the Forensic Science Graduate Program into one of the top-rated programs in the United States,” Farrell said. “Second, the scholarship monies available to forensic science students are wholly inadequate. My wife, Tammy, established the only other forensic science scholarship fund in the name of her parents, Paul and Dixie Nicely. The time is now to dramatically enhance the scholarship opportunities for the student body of the Forensic Science Center.”

The scholarship recipient will be a full-time graduate student majoring in the Forensic Science Graduate Program in the College of Science. The award will be renewable for up to two years and will include one internship stipend if the recipient maintains good academic standing with the university. For the first five years the annual award will total $1,000 for two students of the program.

After five years the award will grow based on the endowment amount.

“Forensic science is an intensive and expensive pursuit. Many of the students in the program have insufficient financial resources for the academic programs or internship to fully participate,” Farrell said. “Tammy and I felt compelled to continue the legacy of establishing scholarship funding for forensic science students by inspiring alumni and friends of the program to add to this fund and grow it to $100,000 in honor of Dr. Fenger.

“Dr. Fenger has dedicated his professional life to Marshall University. I feel he received insufficient recognition during his tenure at the program for its success and contributions to the state and nation in providing highly educated forensic scientists. This funding is a small thank you for his exemplary service.”

Dr. Fenger began as the Director of the Forensic Science Center in 1994 and has been instrumental in guiding the program to national prominence, including this past year where students of the program achieved the highest collective scores in the nation on the Forensic Science Assessment Test.

Considered one of the top forensic science programs in the nation, Dr. Fenger has been at the epicenter of the program’s success, overseeing the nationally accredited Forensic Science Master of Science Degree Program, the DNA testing laboratory and the Digital Forensics section. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Fenger served as an instructor in various courses including DNA technologies, Digital Forensics, bioterrorism, crime scene investigation and laboratory management.

Fenger retired from the program in 2017.

“Sandy and I are extremely grateful to Michael J. and Tamela J. Farrell for establishing the Terry W. and Sandra J. Fenger Forensic Science Scholarship, which will have far reaching benefits for current and future generations of forensic science graduate students at Marshall University,” Fenger said. “Through their initiative qualified graduate students will be able to enter the program with their tuition and fees diminished via scholarship support. In addition, funds can be used to help support summer internships that often take students to laboratories in other states. The quality of the program hinges on the quality of the students and the alumni who attain careers that point to the excellence as former students and practitioners of forensic sciences and related professions.”

Farrell said future donations will continue to support the Marshall forensic science program and other aspects of Marshall University.

Further information on the Forensic Science Center is available at marshall.edu/forensics.

“Terry continues to be instrumental in the lives of the forensic science students,” said Dr. Catherine Rushton, Director of the Forensic Science Program. “His leadership propelled many forensic science alumni into their careers. This scholarship will continue to provide future students with support to do great things.

“Terry’s selfless efforts built the forensic science program from nothing into something amazing. This scholarship will allow us to continue building upon the foundation he provided.”

To learn more about establishing a scholarship or to make a gift by phone, please contact the Marshall University Foundation at 304-696-6264. To make a gift online, please visit give.marshall.edu.