Troy University alumnus Brett Orrell and his family-owned company, Polysurveying, have created an endowned scholarship for future geomatics students who choose to further their education at TROY.
The scholarship was created in honor of Orrell’s grandparents, Sidney and Theresa Orrell, who founded the company in 1971.
“My grandparents’ sacrifice in time committed to making the new venture a success, while forging forward through many lean years financially due to the risk they chose to take on by betting on their family’s future. With the investment, they set up our family for generational success,” he said.
Two of the couple’s sons, Matt and Darren, both went on to become licensed surveyors and led the company for more than 20 years. Orrell, the current president, found his way to the family business through TROY and by learning under both of his grandparents.
“I have been extremely fortunate to train under not only my grandfather from the surveying side, but also my grandmother from the day-to-day operational side of things to become a more well-rounded individual and professional,” he said.
Orrell graduated with a degree in geomatics/land surveying and development in 2006 and became a professional in 2011. He said the geomatics program at TROY laid out a clear career path, even over 15 years ago.
“Troy University was a perfect fit for me in terms of size and location and was overall a great experience. I met so many individuals throughout my time there that became both professional colleagues and quality friendships that will last a lifetime,” he said. “The program has strong footing, and the path to a career is laid out right in front of anyone joining. Many of my former classmates have gone on to become licensed and are now leaders of the industry in a variety of areas. It is just up the student to persevere, see it through and come out the other side ready to make a future for themselves in this industry.”
Orrell said creating the scholarship not only honors his grandparents, but it gives back to the University that allowed him to advance personally while also helping to grow his industry.
“It may be a small investment in the future of surveying, but for me it is a small token of giving back to the University and profession that has provided a platform that has allowed my personal strengths to be utilized to the best of my ability. We are excited to provide a level of support to both the University and other future leaders of our profession,” he said. “We see all of our team as family, and our hope is to provide them with a path to success that allows them to provide growth, stability, longevity and pride in providing for their own families in the way that our family has provided for future generations.
“We honor both Sidney and Theresa Orrell on behalf of Polysurveying as they have instilled the work ethic, character and integrity that has allowed this company to grow while maintaining the key values that have made us who and what we are today.”
The Polysurveying Endowment in Honor of Sidney and Theresa Orrell is open to geomatics students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average and who meet a needs-based requirement as referenced by a copy of their FAFSA application. A 200-word statement on future plans in the surveying and geomatics field will also be required with the application.
“We know that higher education is an individual investment in our personal future,” Orrell said. “If we can help assist someone who is willing to put in the work to exceed in their degree of study, we would like to extend a helping hand so they can further themselves while reducing the financial burden.”
Scholarships will be awarded each academic year beginning in the fall and will be for one year only, though recipients may reapply the following year. The number and amount of scholarships to be awarded will be determined by the amount available in the fund and the Troy University Scholarship Committee, who also selects the recipient(s).
Headquartered in Mobile, Ala., Polysurveying has expanded their services along the Gulf Coast to Florida and Mississippi. In addition to land surveying, the company also offers aerial drone surveying and ALTA surveys.
To apply for the Polysurveying Endowment in Honor of Sidney and Theresa Orrell and to see what other scholarships TROY offers, click here.