Was brilliant, directed and passionate. Accomplished. Kind and supportive.
At 21 years old, his dreams were stolen by mental illness. After years of severe depression, he took his own life. He fought his illness to achieve many successes, including near completion of his Mechanical Engineering degree with a high GPA, participation as Chief Engineer of the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle design group of the campus Northrup Grumman Collaborative Project (NGCP), and a summer position with Northrup Grumman. The NGCP is a technology demonstration team between Cal Poly campuses (San Luis Obispo and Pomona) solving real-life challenges – in this case, projects that integrate operation of autonomous air, ground and underwater vehicles. Andrew loved the excitement and purpose of this club. He inspired and challenged his fellow students, professors, colleagues, friends and family with a unique and informed perspective that was entirely his own.
The Andrew Cole Lawson Cal Poly Pomona Memorial Scholarship was established to provide hope, encouragement and creative design opportunities to students like Andrew. It will be awarded to engineering students of any discipline with a criteria to participate in the NGCP. The scholarship has been established as an endowment. As of January 2020, the total gifts to the scholarship reached $58k, exceeding the $50k minimum threshold to create an endowed fund. Endowing the funds make the annual scholarship self-sustaining and funded by the account's interest. In other words, Andrew's legacy scholarship is now a forever scholarship! Ongoing, future donations will allow increasing the amount of annual scholarship (currently $2k/year), and/or potentially supporting more than one annual scholarship.