Southwest Towers (East Tower)

Ed and Fern Hamel Scholarship Fund

News | Published: July 16, 2019

Ed and Fern Hamel give ‘the gift that keeps on giving’

Ed and Fern Hamel Scholarship Fund established for Hamel Builders employees

ELKRIDGE, Md.—Ed and Fern Hamel build things. Ed helped build Columbia, managing the construction of housing in the 1960s and ’70s, and then started Hamel Builders in 1988. Now Ed and Fern Hamel want to help build young adults’ futures by establishing The Ed and Fern Hamel Scholarship Fund for the children of Hamel Builders employees.

“It’s really a way to give back to those who helped us become successful,” Fern said. Hamel Builders consists of 135 employees, some with children who will receive scholarships from the fund. This fall semester, 13 students will receive scholarships totaling nearly $72,000.

Mackenzi Rinehart is among the recipients. Stepdaughter of Rob Lesniewski, senior project manager for Hamel Builders, Mackenzi is studying psychology at Harford Community College and plans to become a pediatric psychiatrist. She said she needs the scholarship to continue her education and succeed in life.

“It took a huge weight off her shoulders knowing she has this opportunity,” her mom, Tina Rinehart, said. Mackenzi’s sister Madison will also receive the scholarship and plans to attend Towson University this year. “She stopped,” Rob said, “because she ran out of money, and it’s just reenergized her and focused her on her bachelor’s in graphic design.”

This fall’s scholarship recipients are pursuing careers in a wide range of fields including business, photography, law, engineering, music, computer science and dentistry. Ed and Fern Hamel want to help with all of them.

The Hamels supported their five children and eight grandchildren through school and see education as “the gift that keeps on giving,” Fern said. The scholarship fund, which provides students up to $7,500 per semester, supports education of all kinds, including community college and trade school.

“We still need those trades,” Ed said, “and that’s why we’re going to be guiding kids by saying, ‘Hey, this is not just for college. You want to be a truck driver? OK, you can’t beat that. That’s a pretty good living.’ There’s a need for everything: mechanics, truck drivers, carpenters, HAC. We know it well.”

The Ed and Fern Hamel Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for tuition to dependents of Hamel Builders employees of one year or more. Students must be 25 or younger, enrolled full time in accredited institutions and maintain GPAs of 2.0 or higher.

The Ed and Fern Hamel Scholarship Fund provides educational scholarships to children of Hamel Builders employees. Ed and Fern Hamel, who founded Hamel Builders, established the fund in 2019 to benefit Hamel Builders employees in perpetuity. Hamel Builders specializes in affordable multifamily housing, mixed-use and commercial construction in the Mid-Atlantic region. The scholarship fund is an independent company led by Executive Director Jan Hines.

Media contact:  Andrew Aldrich

410-654-0000, ext. 7

410-259-9695 (cell)

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