Commencement is close!

Jun 16, 2003

Saturday, June 21, is Kettering's biggest day of the year -- spring commencement!

Saturday, June 21, is Kettering's biggest day of the year -- spring commencement! Kettering will host Commencement ceremoniesfor 423 graduates at 2 p.m. in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center, where colorful flowers and banners will greet graduates,their families and the University community. There are 272 undergraduates, 151 graduate students. Here's an overview:

** Saturday, June 21, 2 p.m. (EDT)
** Connie and Jim John Recreation Center at Kettering University
** Allow about two hours for the ceremony
** No tickets required to attend
** Presiding: Kettering University President James E.A. John
** Student speakers: Graduate Student Kristy Dawn Brinker, of Fenton, and Undergraduate Katherine Kummer, of Stratford, Ontario, Canada
** Free parking available in all Kettering lots, including large lots behind the Academic Building and combined lot behind Thompson Hall and the Recreation Center
** Graduates: 272 undergraduates, 151 graduate degrees
** Expected number of guests: 2,000
** All degree departments (including the Graduate Studies Office) will host open houses and the Humanities Art Center will also have an open house.

Leading the charge

Two women graduates will deliver Commencement addresses representing students. The first-ever graduate speaker is Kristy Dawn Brinker, of Fenton, who will receive a master's of science in Engineering. She is a research assistant pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanics. She currently works in the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory at Michigan State University, with Dr. Roger C. Haut, Ph.D.

Brinker said a Kettering education gives graduates an advantage over students from other universities. "The difference between them is the Kettering student walks in with four years of work experience, networking connections and an ability to communicate efficiently with other working professionals. Obviously, the work experience is the predominant benefit," said Brinker.

While at Kettering, Brinker served as president of the GDI Women, and was a Discover Kettering tour guide and presenter, High School Recruitment facilitator, member of the Society of Women Engineers and member of the Order of the Engineer. She also volunteered for the Children's Miracle Network, March Of Dimes, Flushing Community Candle Walk, Sigma Chi Haunted House for charity and Sigma Chi-sponsored university events and awards banquets.

Representing the undergraduates is Katherine Kummer, of Stratford, Ontario, Canada, who will receive a bachelor of science in Management. She is the first Kettering University Student Leaders Fellowship recipient to graduate. Her current work assignment is with Cooper Standard Automotive in Stratford, Ontario, working as an industrial engineer.

While at Kettering Kummer was a member of the Robots Honor Society, Rho Lambda National Panhellenic Honor Society, Alpha Phi Fraternity, Student Government Finance Council, Clara Elizabeth Davidson Women's Resource Center, Sigma Phi Iota Leadership Honor Society and was nominated for Kettering University Woman of the Year. In addition, she volunteered for the Crim Festival of Races, tutored Flint area school children, and raised funds for St. Jude Children's Hospital, Whaley Children's Center and various cardiac foundations.

One honorary degree: Honorary Doctor of Management
Robert A. Lutz
Chairman, General Motors North America
Vice Chairman of Product Development, General Motors Corp.
Detroit, Mich.

Robert A. Lutz has had a colorful and successful corporate career, and is considered by many to be "Detroit's ultimate car guy." He was born Feb. 12, 1932, in Zurich, Switzerland, and came to the United States in 1939. Before attending college, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, an experience that fostered both a sense of discipline and love of flight that he continues to enjoy today.

Mr. Lutz earned a bachelor's of science degree in Production Management in 1961 and a master's degree in Business Administration in 1962 at the University of California, Berkeley. His studies also included a six-week training session at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in the 1960s.

In 1963, Mr. Lutz joined General Motors Corp. in Europe, where he held various senior executive positions in sales and marketing until 1971. From 1971-74, he worked for BMW as executive vice president of sales at BMW in Munich, Germany, and also served on the BMW Board of Directors.

He served Ford Motor Company from 1974-86, where he held several executive posts, including executive vice president of Truck Operations, chairman of Ford Europe, and executive vice president of Ford's International Operations. Mr. Lutz also served on the Ford Board of Directors from 1982-86.

From 1986-98, he worked for the Chrysler Corp., starting as an executive vice president. For 12 years, he worked to reinvigorate Chrysler's product line and helped steer the company away from bankruptcy in the early 1990s. He ran all automotive activities including sales, marketing, product development, manufacturing and procurement and supply. He also served on the Chrysler Board of Directors from 1986-98, retiring from Chrysler in 1998.

After retiring from the automotive industry, he was recruited in 1998 by battery maker Exide Technologies Inc. to serve as its chairman and CEO until General Motors once again tapped his administrative skills. He continues to serve as chairman of the Exide Board of Directors.

Mr. Lutz rejoined GM in 2001 and serves in the dual role as chairman of General Motors North America and vice chairman of Product Development. He is also a member of the Automotive Strategy Board and the North American Strategy Board.

Mr. Lutz is an avid pilot, who enjoys fixed-wing flying and helicopters. He credits his service as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot from 1954-1965 for providing him his avocation. He flies a Czech-made L-39C jet fighter and also enjoys golf, snow skiing, motorcycling, bicycling and vintage cars. Mr. Lutz is the author of the popular book "Guts: The Seven Laws of Business That Made Chrysler the World's Hottest Car Company," published in 1998. His civic and public affiliations are numerous, including service to the Michigan Cancer Foundation, United Way Community Services of Southeastern Michigan and the U.S. Marine Corps University Foundation.

A popular lecturer, he spoke to standing-room only crowds at Kettering University in November 2002 and February 2003.

Summa Cum Laude (97.0-100): 3
Magna Cum Laude (94.5-96.9): 14
Cum Laude (92-94.4): 15

Bryan Bailey, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Daniel Jimenez, Sudan, Texas
Michael Kasperek, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
Benjamin Swisher, Muskegon, Mich.
Seth Woodward, Maceo, Ky.

Katherine Kummer, Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Bachelor's Degrees = 272
Applied Math, 1 1
Applied Physics, 1
Computer Engineering, 24
Computer Science, 12
Electrical Engineering, 55
Environmental Chemistry, 1
Industrial Engineering, 9
Management, 12
Manufacturing Engineering, 1
Manufacturing Systems Engineering, 7
Mechanical Engineering, 149

Master's Degrees = 151
Engineering, 35
Engineering Management, 1
Manufacturing Management, 38
Manufacturing Operations, 39
Operations Management, 38

Total Graduates in June 2003 = 423
Total Graduates in June 2002 = 333

** Graduation Questions - Registrar's Office, Academic Building: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
** Open Houses, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
** Commencement doors open at 12:30 p.m. at the Recreation Center; processional begins at 1:50 p.m. and graduation ceremonies at 2 p.m.; a buffet reception starts about 3:30 p.m. on the campus lawns next to the Recreation Center

HOTELS/RESTAURANTS: Contact the Flint Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1-800-24-FLINT or (810) 232-2211 or web site:

CAN WE HELP? 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585, or 810-762-9585

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533