“THE INFLUENCE OF THE UNIVERSITY IN MY PERSONAL LIFE
CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED.”

For more than a century, UNG has been a part of the Roberts family legacy. That influence inspired John W.M. Roberts to endow the William P. Roberts Presidential Scholarship in memory of his father, William P. Roberts.

John W. M. Roberts

Thanks to his generosity and matching funds from the ExxonMobil Educational Foundation, an incoming freshman cadet majoring in history or chemistry will receive this scholarship. This competitive award is given to the most academically qualified incoming freshman, renewable for up to four years.

John began college at UNG in 1975 as a chemistry major, then transferred to the Georgia  Institute of Technology for a chemical engineering degree. Upon graduation, John took a position as a chemical engineer at ExxonMobil Chemical Company where he has worked for 40 years. John is the Strategic Marketing Executive for Polypropylene, Vistamaxx TM and Adhesions Global Business Unit at ExxonMobil’s Houston campus. His professional interests include technology, people development, and engineering, including repurposing plastic recyclables.

John W. M. Roberts grew up on “Faculty Hill” on the North Georgia campus where his father William P. Roberts taught history for 40 years, from 1949-1989. UNG alumni may remember taking one of W. P Roberts’ history or social science courses. During his tenure, he wrote Georgia’s Best Kept Secret – A History of North Georgia College. John’s grandfather, William Albert Roberts, attended North Georgia Agricultural College before being called to military service in the First Infantry Division in Europe during World War I.

He didn’t know it then, but the influence of the university on John Roberts began before he was born.With his father and grandfather passionate about UNG, young John Roberts and his friends benefited from exposure to the academic environment at the college. “Even as a student at Dahlonega Elementary, I remember seeing the rings of Saturn and the Orion Nebula though the telescopes at the Friday evening astronomy sessions,” Roberts said. “That was pretty impressive for a nine-year-old kid from Dahlonega!”

The William P. Roberts Presidential Scholarship currently funds two cadet scholarships and will add a third cadet recipient in fall 2020. Both students are very grateful and proud to receive this scholarship. Said one of the recipients, “While the year was challenging, I never had a concern about the possibility of not being able to pay for college thanks to the scholarships awarded to me by generous benefactors, for which I am eternally grateful.” With a major in international relations, this ambitious cadet plans to commission into the U.S. Army after graduation in 2022.