Andrew Vaughan died 23 years ago, but his legacy still has a powerful affect on Paul Smith’s College students today.
Vaughan ’90, who was just 29 years old, was involved in a logging accident in 1993. His family and friends established the Andrew E. Vaughan Memorial Scholarship Award soon after to honor his memory and help current students who are following in his footsteps.
“Andy seemed to thrive at Paul Smith’s College,” says his mother, Carol Vaughan. “It instilled in him a love of conservation and the outdoors, and he was very successful there. We decided to start the scholarship not only as a living memorial to him but also to give back to the college for the education and input he received there. He learned the organizational skills, patience and concentration he needed to achieve his goals, and we would love to help others do the same if at all possible.”
The scholarship provides $1,000 each year to a nontraditional forestry major in at least his or her second year who demonstrates a high level of financial need. The student must also be interested in the outdoors, particularly fishing.
Vaughan served in the Navy after high school and came to Paul Smith’s as a nontraditional student in his mid 20s. He graduated with a degree in Forest Recreation and started his own business two years later in Snohomish, Wash., near Seattle. “He named the business Abies Tree Care (after a type of white fir) because he wanted to be first in the phone book,” Carol Vaughan says with a laugh.
His sister, Jennifer Vaughan, was 32 when he died.
“It had a huge impact on me,” she says now. “It made me realize that life is short and that you need to do the things in life that you love. Andy really benefited from the hands-on learning at Paul Smith’s, and we continue to give because of how important it was to him. Knowing that we could do that for other people makes it worth while.”