About Russell J. Ebeid
Russell J. Ebeid, Kettering University class of 1962 alum, is driven by two passions; a desire to make a difference in educational opportunities for underserved youth, mostly from immigrant families, and to stay close to his Lebanese heritage. These passions guide his philanthropy, including his decision to establish a scholarship for students of Arab-American descent attending Kettering in Flint, MI.
"The Russell J. Ebeid ’62 ACCESS Scholarship for Arab American Students" encourages young U.S. citizens of Arab-American heritage to attend Kettering University. Criteria considerations include U.S. citizenship, community service and academic achievement. ACCESS, an active partner in the development and dissemination of the scholarships, is the acronym for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and is one of the nation’s premier Arab American organizations. ACCESS offers economic, social and medical services to a diverse community, and is the primary force behind the development of the Arab American National Museum. Mr. Ebeid serves on the museum’s national advisory board.
Kettering University appreciates Mr. Ebeid offering today’s youth the same opportunities given to him through his education and co-op experience at Kettering/GMI. Mr. Ebeid is a firm believer in cooperative education, and Guardian Industries Corp. is a Kettering co-op partner. He believes in rolling up your sleeves and gaining the opportunity to grow through education and work.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, Russell Ebeid grew up with a strong work ethic. Although neither of his parents finished high school, they instilled in him the value of hard work and strength of character. With their support, Ebeid rose from his working-class roots to become one of four directors of Guardian Industries and the president of the Guardian Glass Group – world leaders in glass, automotive and building products sciences.
"My dad was a knapsack immigrant," he said. "He came here not knowing what he was looking for necessarily, but he knew what he was leaving behind. It’s hard to fathom the risks he must have taken in a new land, without money, language, or contacts," Ebeid said, adding "I can’t even with certainty tell myself that I would have had the courage to make the journey." He has made a different journey; from the son of immigrants to the highest echelons of international business – the classic path to the American Dream. Along the way Mr. Ebeid has had many adventures and success stories, one of which includes securing a contract for the high-tech glass that will be installed in the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Now he is helping to secure the American Dream for generations to come.
Mr. Ebeid received ACCESS' very first "Making an Impact" award, established to recognize individuals who have made a positive impact by raising awareness of issues affecting their community. He was honored for his philanthropic contributions that serve as an example and role model for Arab Americans everywhere. "I feel good about what I am doing. It takes work to be successful in your giving, but you feel better about giving back. I hope that my experience will inspire other Arab Americans to stand up, be proud of their identity and give generously where they can," he said.
It is anticipated that the Russell J. Ebeid '62 ACCESS Scholarship program will provide scholarships through 2032 to Arab-American students attending Kettering University. The scholarships are anticipated to be $5,000 per year and are renewable for students meeting the University's satisfactory academic progress standards for scholarships. Mr. Ebeid’s intent is to support Arab-American students who are interested in scholarship, cooperative education and an opportunity to become successful in their collegiate careers. The scholarship, combined with co-op wages and other financial support, will allow its recipients to gain from the same kind of experiences Mr. Ebeid had as a student at Kettering University.