Alumni couple invests in the next generation of electrical and computer engineers

Benzel family
Benzel Ramily (left to right): Randy, Susan, John Ludwig, Miranda, and Marcus.

Electrical engineering alumni Susan, ’88, and Randy Benzel, ’88, always knew they wanted to give back to Colorado State University. Their dream came true this year when the couple established the Susan and Randy Benzel Scholarship.

The Benzels – who first met as sophomores in electrical engineering – want to make higher education more accessible and affordable for electrical and computer engineering undergraduates of all backgrounds.

“I was a first-generation student raised by a single mother and Randy came from a large family. Without scholarship support, neither of us would have been able to go to college,” said Susan. “When we consider the opportunities made possible by our degrees, we hope our support will have the same impact on the next generation and inspire others to give back.”

A Ram family through and through

The Benzels’ undergraduate experience at CSU put them on a path to a life beyond their imagination. Susan recently retired from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where she helped guide the company’s artificial intelligence strategy and served as the program manager for The Machine, which is touted as one of the most revolutionary advances in modern-day computing. With more than 30 years of diverse supply chain experience, Randy currently serves as a senior manager at Hewlett-Packard, overseeing remote teams around the world.

Ram roots run deep in the Benzel family, as their two children, Miranda (B.S.B.A. ’13, M.A.C.C. Accountancy ’14) and Marcus (B.S.Cp.E. ’16, M.S.E.E. ’18), are both CSU alumni. Even their son-in-law, John Ludwig (B.S.E.S. Equine Science ’13), is a Ram. In their spare time, Susan and Randy enjoy road biking, hiking, and healthy cooking.

Inaugural Benzel Scholarship recipient: Gillian Fahey

Gillian Fahey, an electrical engineering junior from Riverton, Wyoming, is the inaugural recipient of the Benzel Scholarship. Embodying the spirit of the scholarship, Fahey is on a mission to bring solar power to rural areas, and she aspires to be a role model for women in engineering.

Benzels with Gillian Fahey
Susan and Randy Benzel with their inaugural scholarship recipient, Gillian Fahey.

“I grew up thinking that female engineers did not exist,” said Fahey. For Fahey, the Benzel Scholarship is much more than monetary support.

“Not only does this scholarship lessen the financial burden, I am moved by the personal support I have received from Susan and Randy,” said Fahey. “They are the nicest people. And Susan is over-the-top amazing.”