Donor Story

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

UNM Alumnus’ Endowment to Fund Scholarships for School of Engineering Students

By Kim Delker

Posted June 15, 2017

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the UNM School of Engineering’s fall 2016 magazine, UNM Engineering.

Students in The University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering will benefit for decades to come, thanks to the generosity of one of its alumni, Dana C. Wood, who fought a long battle with cancer, succumbing to the disease in 2013.

Wood’s estate has provided a significant endowed gift that will fund student scholarships in perpetuity at UNM’s School of Engineering.

Engineer, entrepreneur and UNM School of Engineering double alumnus Dana C. Wood enjoyed piloting aircraft—and was a loyal Lobo fan as well. Photo: Courtesy UNM School of Engineering

A native of Gallup, N.M., Wood received his bachelor’s degree in 1977 and his master’s in 1990, both in civil engineering from UNM.

The Dana C. Wood Endowment for Engineering Awards will be given to the three senior engineering students with the first, second, and third highest GPAs for that year, with one-half, one-third, and one-sixth of the total annual amount available going to each, respectively.

Wood is described by his family as having had a passion for The UNM School of Engineering and students’ access to engineering education.

“Dana was a Lobo fan, so he wanted to support UNM and felt strongly about giving deserving students who might not ordinarily get that chance an opportunity to pursue engineering,” said Doug Wood, Dana’s brother and a 1977 UNM civil engineering alumnus. “This scholarship is the perfect opportunity for Dana to leave a lasting legacy that demonstrates his passion for the School of Engineering and all that it provided him.”

Dana’s sister, Charlene (Dolly) Delaunay, remembers an intelligent, talented engineer, but also a person who made others feel good about themselves and who exemplified a positive spirit and determination.

“Whenever Dana was in a room, you could be sure there would be laughter. It wasn’t that he brought attention to himself. In fact, he was a master at engaging others,” Delaunay said. “So many successful people let their lives get out of balance with work taking up the lion’s share of time. Not Dana. He truly understood that life was meant to be enjoyed and shared with others.”

After graduating from UNM, Wood worked for Bohannan Huston Inc., but his fascination with computers came to the forefront when Bohannan Huston created a spinoff company, Diginetics. He eventually led Diginetics and, after leaving that position, he started Leadertech, a software firm in Albuquerque and Los Angeles.

“Dana Wood was a creative, passionate engineer and entrepreneur, and we are honored that this gift will benefit the School of Engineering,” said Joseph L. Cecchi, dean of the School of Engineering. “Dana’s enthusiasm for engineering, education, and the School will live on through this scholarship, which will help undergraduate engineering students achieve their dreams for years to come.”

Dana Wood is survived by his three siblings, Doug Wood of Albuquerque; Charlene (Dolly) Delaunay, a retired teacher living in Wyoming; and John Wood, a professor in the UNM Department of Mechanical Engineering. “It’s the path I wanted to take, but not the path I ended up taking,” said Izzi. “Nurses who want to get more education shouldn’t feel like they need to do it within a certain time frame for it to be meaningful. They have options, and they’ll be better for it, no matter how much time it takes.”

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