Rebecca McNally Gilden Memorial Scholarship

Rebecca McNally GildenRebecca McNally Gilden Memorial Scholarship


Rebecca was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. At Parkview High School, she was the drum major, played the clarinet, and earned the John Philip Sousa award.  She earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994, where, as a sophomore, she was the school’s youngest female drum major.  She earned a Dual MBA and Master of Engineering in Manufacturing from the Tauber Institute at the University of Michigan in 1999.


During her undergraduate studies, Rebecca worked at Motorola in Sunrise, FL where she earned US Patent 5442713 for cordless phone wind noise reduction.  She also worked at Texaco in Houston, TX in Central Offshore Engineering.  Upon graduation, Rebecca worked for 12.5 years at Ford Motor Company as a Product Engineer, Production line Supervisor, Global Supplier Strategy Manager, and Supply Base Launch Manager for the Expedition/Navigator.  She was in Ford’s Manufacturing Leadership Program Class of 2000 and earned US Patent 5752566 for high capacity condensers.  Rebecca then worked for almost 12 years at Apple, Inc. as Senior Manager for Enclosures Quality and next as Apple’s Color and Texture Subject Matter Expert.  In addition to building an Enclosures Quality organization, Rebecca launched countless products, including the original iPhone, MacBook Air, and the aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pro.  Through her career, Rebecca brought energy and passion to her work.  She was courageous in the face of challenges of a male-dominated work environment (for example, as a young female production supervisor in a plant manufacturing climate control systems). 


Rebecca was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2010, then again in 2013 and 2016.  During this time, Rebecca was a relentless advocate to friends and women everywhere for mammograms and preventive scans.  She accompanied women with newly diagnosed cancer to doctor appointments and helped arrange cancer resources for those in need.  She was featured in the 2017 annual report for Good Samaritan Hospital’s Cancer Program.  She was very public in sharing details of her cancer battle, helping women far beyond her circle of friends.


This scholarship was endowed to continue Rebecca’s desire to elevate women in engineering. Rebecca sought opportunities to connect with other engineering women to help their career and to navigate the constant struggle to find and accept work-life balance.

Number Available: 2
Class: Freshmen
Major: Any
Amount: $4500
Renewable: 4 years