The family of a University of Mississippi chemical engineering alumnus is helping future students attend his alma mater through a generous development gift.
The Lorna and Phillip J. Wong Chemical Engineering Scholarship Endowment was established with the couple’s $6,500 gift, which is to be matched 3:1 by ExxonMobil for a total of $26,000. Students applying for the annual award must be enrolled full-time, majoring in chemical engineering and have a 3.0 or higher grade-point average.
“The graduates of chemical engineering reflect highly on the department, our educational mission and all those who make it work,” said Clint Williford, chair and professor of chemical engineering. “Jack did so through his professional and personal life. And now that generosity of spirit will continue to uplift many young people into the future.”
Unprecedented growth in enrollment and quality of students challenged the department to offer the same personal, quality experience that benefited Wong.
“This generous gift will directly ease the financial burden of a good student, lessening hard choices among work, grades and student loans,” Willford said. “Speaking for the faculty, past and present, we all appreciate the good refection of a life well-lived that still continues to pass it on.”
Phillip Jack “PJ” Wong, 57, of Waller, Texas (formerly of Nederland, Texas), died June 22. A native of Cleveland, Mississippi, he graduated salutatorian from Cleveland High School and attended Ole Miss, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.
Wong accepted a job with Mobil Oil Co. and moved to Beaumont, Texas, in 1979. He gave his commitment to the company and traveled through several stations, including Saudi Arabia and France in fulfillment of his duties as an engineer. He retired from ExxonMobil in 2014, after 35 years of service.
The Wongs built their dream retirement home in Magnolia, Texas, where they enjoyed the peace and quiet of a country setting in the last few weeks of his earthly life. They took several vacations, including trips to Boston, Maine, Vermont and other places in the United States, as well as abroad in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and many other countries.
Besides his wife, Wong is survived by two brothers, Richard Jack Wong and his wife, Shirley, of Dallas and Jack Hing Wong Jr. and his wife, Lenee, of Beaumont; a sister, Patricia Jack Wong Wolf and her husband, Otto, of Cleveland, Mississippi; nephews, Trey Wong and his wife, Hillary; Trevor Wong; Trent Wong; and Troy Wong, all of Beaumont; and Matthew Wong of Dallas; and many lifelong friends.