In January 2001, at a meeting of the International Union for Radio Science (URSI) in Boulder, Colorado, Professor K. C. Yeh, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, asked me about the possibility of establishing an award to honor Professor Oswald G. ("Mike") Villard, Jr., who had supervised Prof. Yeh's research when he had been a graduate student in the Radioscience Laboratory at Stanford and who had served as the Radioscience Laboratory's Director for many years. The Laboratory has always been part of the EE Department, but in the 1980's it was renamed the Space, Telecommunications and Radioscience Laboratory, or STAR Laboratory, to better indicate the range of its research activities.
Following this start, an Oswald Garrison Villard, Jr., EE Graduate Student Fellowship fund was established at Stanford and Prof. Yeh became its first donor. Prof. Villard was enthusiatic when he heard about the establishment of the fund and he also became a donor. Further substantial donations were made by Robert and Richard Fenwick, Joseph and HonMai Goodman, Taylor Howard, and David and Barbara Leeson, which enabled the fellowship to be endowed by April 2003.
There is specific wording associated with the Villard Fellowship:
"It is understood that, to recognize Professor Villard's significant contributions to radioscience, preference will be given in the granting of this award to support a student interested in radioscience, broadly defined, whenever such a student meets the fellowship criteria determined by the school of engineering and the electrical engineering department."
In other words, the Fellowship has two purposes: (1) to honor Prof. Villard, and (2) to support a graduate student with an interest in radioscience, broadly defined.