Kennesaw State Scholarship Endowment to Benefit Students Facing Homelessness, Food Insecurity

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 5, 2021

Ellen and Shep Long
Ellen and Shep Long

In life, Ellen Long constantly supported others, whether it was by introducing more women to the field of engineering, providing much-needed support to students experiencing homelessness or mentoring women early in their careers.

Today, her legacy continues through the Ellen Long Honors CARE Engineering Scholarship Endowment, established by Shepherd “Shep” Long to honor his late wife. The scholarship benefits students in Kennesaw State University’s Keeping Sights Upward (KSU) Journey Honors College who demonstrate acute financial need. The gift, bolstered by an ongoing 150 percent endowment matching program established last year by Rosemary and John Brown and the KSU Foundation, brings the Longs’ total giving to more than $200,000 since 2016.

“It’s hard enough if you aren’t able to secure stable housing and a warm meal every day, so I can’t imagine the challenge of also trying to earn your college degree with the odds stacked against you,” said Shep, principal of Atlanta-based Long Engineering. “It was important to Ellen and me that we help out in whatever way we can.”

Ellen made her mark on Georgia’s engineering industry as the founder, owner and president of Long Engineering. As a woman in a male-dominated field, she fiercely advocated for other women in the engineering industry and fought to close the gender gap. Prior to their most recent gift, the Longs established scholarships supporting women studying in KSU’s Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

“As a woman in engineering, Ellen knew firsthand how difficult it can be to break into the field,” Shep said. “Through the scholarship, we aimed to give a woman, particularly minority women, a boost on their way to a degree and career.”

Shep, who serves as a member of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees, said his wife was also passionate about helping students who faced other insecurities. The Longs leapt at the opportunity to invest in the growth of KSU’s Campus Awareness, Resource and Empowerment (CARE) Services program after meeting with Marcy Stidum, the program director. CARE Services provides access to food, temporary housing, and other supportive services to students in need. Ellen was a member of CARE Services’ Advisory Board. Today, Shep carries on Ellen’s legacy by serving in the same role.

In addition to the endowed scholarships for Honors and engineering students, the Longs launched a scholarship benefiting CARE Services students in particular.

“We just want to be a small part of a much larger effort to help students continue their progress toward a degree,” he said. “By helping reduce the financial burden, I hope the students can focus on their next steps toward a fruitful career.”

– Travis Highfield

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit