Knehans Family Scholarship Honoring Matthew Knehans ’96
Former DeSales professor Dr. Erich Knehans and his wife, Cheryl Nabholz, have set up an ongoing scholarship fund in honor of their son, Matthew Knehans, a 1996 DeSales graduate who passed away in 2015.
The couple, along with their friends and family, have donated $25,000 to the fund, and will continue to grow it in the coming years through annual giving.
“It’s a scholarship of perpetuity," Dr. Knehan says. "It’s designed to be for incoming students who are in need and who are academically qualified for scholarships.”
Matthew went on to have a successful career in the technology industry, working for IBM and Lucent Technologies.
Dr. Knehans says that while his son had a gift for working with computers, he was also a well-rounded man and was not one to stay indoors. He was an avid photographer, a member of the Sierra Club, a fisherman, and a supporter of the arts.
He also said Matthew was a very loving father of his twin daughters, who are now 10 years old and to whom he passed down his love for the outdoors and the arts.
“He was so good with his two daughters,” Dr. Knehans says. “They know the name of every butterfly there is and can bait their own fishing lines—he taught them well.”
Dr. Knehans recalls many fond memories of his time at DeSales, including supporting student fundraisers and taking students on trips to New York City to see the stock and commodities exchanges and then stopping at his home in New Jersey for barbecues on the way back to Center Valley. He says he and his wife still have a great affinity for DeSales and its students, and were eager to set up the scholarship for students who need it.
“We have a strong affiliation and a great pride in being part of the DeSales community. We feel that students are prepared to do well in life, both spiritually and with their careers."
Knehans continues, “We feel very strongly that we want to make a difference and enable students in need to get a quality education. DeSales provides so many opportunities in so many areas to help students be successful in life and achieve their ambitions. And this scholarship helps make money not be a problem.”
Dr. Knehans also says that his son was fond of his time at DeSales, and would be proud to know a scholarship in his name is helping students who go there.
Down the line, Dr. Knehans says he hopes the fund encourages other people with a relationship to the University to donate toward scholarships.