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University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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Cullen College Alumnus Honors Wife with Endowment

By: 

Laurie Fickman
Bertha “Bo” Lohec, a friend to engineering
Bertha “Bo” Lohec, a friend to engineering

When Bertha “Bo” Lohec passed away on Nov. 1, her husband, UH mechanical engineering alumnus Ron Lohec, knew the perfect tribute – an endowment to the UH Cullen College to help students achieve their dreams of becoming engineers. 

“Ron is one of our all-time great alumni and Bo was a staple at his side at every UH engineering event,” said Russell Dunlavy, chief advancement officer at the Cullen College of Engineering. “She meant so much to Ron and to all of us. It’s a wonderful way to honor her.”

The Bertha “Bo” Johnston Lohec Engineering Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to engineering majors who exhibit leadership qualities and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

About the namesake

Engineering flowed alongside Bo’s life from a young age. When she married Ronald in 1953 at the age of 20, she got to work immediately, supporting him while he pursued his engineering degree from UH. Two years later, degree in hand, Ron went to work and Bo stayed home as their first of three children was born. Motherhood and grandmotherhood was her favorite occupation, say family members.

Still, she maintained an adventurous spirit, even finding a way to meet the Queen Mother while living in London. Throughout her life she valued engineering, joining her husband in his unwavering support of the Cullen College and constantly encouraging young people, especially young girls, to find a sense of purpose in that field of study.

Ronald serves on the Engineering Leadership Board at the Cullen College, providing respected counsel to the school in establishing priorities and objectives. In 2006, the couple was inducted into the Bridgebuilder Society, the highest honor bestowed on donors to the Cullen College. They were also early investors in the Multidisciplinary Research and Engineering Building (MREB), which will be open early in 2017.

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