Besal Fund Celebrates 40-Year Anniversary

March 1, 2023 Rachael J Richards

Lighting education trust has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to hundreds of qualified student candidates pursing degrees in lighting sciences and related technologies.

Over the past 40 years, the Robert J. Besal Memorial Education fund (Besal Fund) has awarded more than one million dollars in scholarships to students in illuminating engineering disciplines across the United States.

Established in 1983, the Besal Fund awarded its first scholarships to students from the University of Kansas the following academic year as part of its charter to encourage talented and committed students to excel at studies which will lead them to a career in the lighting industry. The Fund has expanded since to include multiple universities that have lighting science courses and majors as part of their curriculum.

The Besal Fund is a trust that operates as a separate not-for-profit enterprise made possible by contributions from Acuity Brands, its sales representatives, and employees. It was created to memorialize the leadership of the late Robert J. Besal, whose career spanned 30 years in the lighting industry, and served as Vice President for Lithonia Lighting (now a part of Acuity Brands).

“Over the past 40 years, the Besal Fund has provided scholarships to hundreds of qualified undergraduate and graduate students pursing degrees related to our industry,” said Cheryl English, Chair of the Besal Fund Board of Directors, and VP, Public Policy (retired), Acuity Brands.

“It’s been the Fund’s vision from the start to support the advancement of students studying lighting sciences and related technologies, and to sustain the lighting industry with a strong pipeline of future lighting professionals. We cannot thank enough those individuals who have contributed their time and resources over the years to the Besal Fund’s mission. In turn, it has been highly rewarding to support students pursuing careers in lighting and related areas.”

To learn more about the Besal Fund, visit Or, join the community of Besal Scholars on LinkedIn. Scholarship applications for the 2023-2024 academic year can be made through the Besal Fund Liaison at participating schools. Please visit the website for a list of participating universities and contacts.

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