Zeta Beta Tau Foundation

Virginia Tech undergraduate receives largest scholarship in 2021

By Lesley Miller —

Since 1952, the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation has awarded academic scholarships to deserving undergraduate brothers. This year, 58 undergraduate brothers received academic scholarships totaling more than $146,000.

Karim W. Said, Delta Xi (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University) 2023, received $10,000, the largest scholarship awarded to one individual. We sat down with Brother Said to hear how this scholarship impacts his education.


What led you to Virginia Tech?

My family moved to northern Virginia from Egypt when I was in the 8th grade. When I started looking into college, I knew I would need to go to an in-state school because of tuition costs, and I really liked the engineering school at Virginia Tech. I’m currently specializing in computer engineering, which has been my plan since I was in sixth grade.

What drew you to Zeta Beta Tau? 

My close friend’s dad was a founding father of the Delta Xi Chapter. We went to Tech together and became even closer freshman year, so I went with him to get to know the brothers in the Chapter. I really liked the vibe, the people, and the opportunity to grow something from scratch, so I decided to join.

It became a personal mission to help grow ZBT at Virginia Tech, which we’re doing pretty well at right now.

You applied to the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation’s scholarship program and received the largest individual scholarship this year. What does that mean to you?

Well, I applied for the scholarship because I was already in a good amount of debt from freshman year. My family has struggled a lot due to layoffs from the pandemic. When I received the call letting me know I received $10,000, it took me a minute to process it. I am very honored. I have never seen a scholarship for that large of an amount offered.

How has the scholarship impacted you?

It has made a huge impact on me because I would have to work 40 hours a week to make ends meet, but I am now able to work 15 – 20 hours a week. Plus, I can now spend more time with my ZBT brothers and at Chapter events, which I would have missed because of work.

I also want to thank the donors who make the scholarships possible. My college experience would be completely different without the scholarship I received.

If you’re interested in making a gift to support the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation’s scholarship program, please visit ZBTFoundation.org.