Hugh & Virginia Capron Scholarship

The Hugh and Virginia Capron Scholarship is created to encourage and support students who are preparing for an engineering degree while attending WSU. Students must be full-time freshmen students. Students must demonstrate intent to study Pre-Engineering or Composites Engineering at Winona State University. Preference will be given to a student who demonstrates financial need through Winona State University’s Financial Aid Office.


Each recipient must be classified as a freshman enrolled full-time at Winona State University.
Each recipient must demonstrate intent to study pre-engineering or composites engineering at WSU.
Preference should be given to a student who demonstrates financial need through WSU’s Financial Aid Office.


The J. Hugh and Virginia Capron Scholarship was established at Winona State University by the Caprons in 2004. Hugh was born June 9, 1917 in Lanesboro, Minnesota where he graduated in 1940 from high school. He went on to Winona State Teachers College where he graduate in 1940 with a degree in Industrial Arts. He later earned his Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and his Doctorate of Education at the University of Florida.

Hugh joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 where, after receiving training at Notre Dame, Harvard and MIT, he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. After active duty during WWII, he joined the Naval Reserves where he served as a Lt. Commander until he retired in 1977.

After active duty in the U.S. Navy, Hugh married Virginia Dawley in 1947 at Norfolk, Virginia. They made their home in Winona, Minnesota.

Virginia was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1919 and grew up in Norfolk where her father worked as a naval architect/engineer. She graduated from Farmville State Teachers College (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia in 1942. Prior to her marriage, she taught for three years in Norfolk County, Virginia.

Hugh trained teachers in Industrial Arts Education and Driver Education at Winona State for 39 years, retiring in 1979. He wrote reference book, Wood Laminating, and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an education fraternity. He also had an extensive personal wood and metal working shop where he spent most of his leisure hours.

Hugh and Virginia were active in many organizations in the Winona area. Hugh was a member of the American Legion, the Winona County Historical Society, where he served as President from 1981 to 1983, and the Masonic Lodge and Shrine. He also served on the City of Winona Planning Commission for a number of years, including two years as Chairman.

They were both active in First Congregational Church in Winona. Hugh served as Sunday School Superintendent and Moderator of the church. Both Hugh and Virginia served on numerous boards and committees within the church including the Deaconate and Board of Trustees. Hugh also helped form the Church Archival Committee which he chaired for a number of years.

Hugh passed away April 18, 2004 in Winona, Minnesota.

Virginia is currently a member of PEO, Shrine Auxiliary and the Winona Hospital Auxiliary. She was also a member of the WSU Faculty Wives from the time it was initiated in 1948 until it disbanded in the late 1960’s. She enjoys needlework, researching genealogy, and bridge. She and Hugh have traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada.

They have one son, John, who attended WSU before transferring to the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. John went on to earn his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. While working in the automotive industry in Detroit, he met his wife, Diana, also a Mechanical Engineer. They moved to Lanesboro in 1983 to run the hardware store that had been in the family since 1919. The hardware store closed in 2003. John and Diana now own a manufacturing company and a computer software business.

Hugh and Virginia also have two grandsons, William, and Charles.

College of Science & Engineering, Engineering Department, Incoming Freshman Scholarships