Kettering recognizes six for their support

Sep 18, 2007

Kettering President Stan Liberty and his wife, Angie, inaugurated the President's Appreciation Award given by Kettering University at a gala Sept. 13.

Kettering University President Stan Liberty and his wife, Angie, hosted their first Kettering University President's Appreciation Dinner Sept. 13 with ceremonies at the Flint Institute of Art in Flint's Cultural Center. About 150 supporters of the institution attended the gala celebration.

"Because of the people in this room tonight -- and others who are here in spirit -- we form a group of alumni, friends, corporate partners, community leaders, faculty and staff members, all of whom are fully invested in the future of Kettering University," President Liberty said. "We are here to recognize the past support and the current engagement of our friends and loyal supporters."

Receiving special recognitions were:
Rod Gillum, vice president for corporate responsibility and diversity at General Motors Corporation, and chairman of General Motors Foundation, accepted an Appreciation Award for the General Motors Corporation. President Liberty said the University's "very existence is due to decades of investment from this corporation's visionaries." General Motors is Kettering's #1 employer of co-op students and a significant partner in graduate education. "We are proud of the many alumni who have occupied GM's executive offices through the years and we are grateful to the alumni who are there today. Our capacity to serve is significantly strengthened by our key corporate relationship with General Motors," he added.

Rod Gillum also accepted the Appreciation Award for the General Motors Foundation, which has provided program support, scholarships, equipment donations, and matching gift support and been a dedicated source for specialty programming for cultural and diversity opportunities. "Rod, on an evening when we have so many to thank, we most assuredly have to praise General Motors Foundation for its confidence in our mission to train tomorrow's leaders," President Liberty said.


Neal Hegarty, program officer for the C.S. Mott Foundation in Flint, accepted an Appreciation Award on behalf of the C.S. Mott Foundation. President Liberty said, "we feel extremely fortunate to have two Mott Foundation endowments that enable the University to support programs for minority students and outreach activities in Flint. Just as significant," he added, "a generous gift from the Mott Foundation helped us build and open the C.S. Mott Engineering and Science Building, an outstanding academic building focused on unique hands-on experiences for undergraduates. Kettering's ability to serve this region in multiple ways is greatly enhanced by support from the Mott Foundation."


Charles Kettering III, a trustee at Kettering University and the great grandson of the University's namesake (inventor Charles "Boss Kett" Kettering), accepted the Appreciation Award for the Kettering Fund. President Liberty said the University is "very fortunate to have excellent and ongoing support from the Kettering Fund. The Kettering Fund provides endowed scholarship support for students from Ohio who attend the University," he continued. "This support helps diversify our geographic base. It provides a unique educational opportunity to Ohio resident students, and it benefits Ohio."


Edward and Jeanie Harris of South Haven, Mich., were presented an Appreciation Award for being long-time supporters of the campus. President Liberty said that in August of 2002, Kettering dedicated Harris Fields - a most significant enhancement to student life. "It is a rare evening that teams of students are not competing, exercising or relaxing on the nicely groomed fields that exist today because of the generosity of the Harrises."


The last honorees were Dr. Dane Miller, a 1969 graduate and co-founder of Biomet, Inc., and his wife, Mary Louise Miller of Warsaw, Ind. President Liberty said that earlier that day, the Millers had participated in the dedication of Kettering's new life sciences and bio-engineering laboratories named in their honor. "Their generous gifts have created a world-class opportunity enabling students to merge the best of Engineering and Medicine. These beautiful new facilities will help prepare students for medical school, jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and give students a head start on research careers in the bio-sciences. It also opens the door wider for Kettering to increase its bio-engineering and life sciences options," he added.

President Liberty said the Appreciation Dinner will become an annual event.

Founded in 1919, Kettering University is the home of the country's most modern co-op education program. It is highly ranked in publications including "America's Best Colleges" and "Best Midwestern Colleges." For more on Kettering University, visit

Written by Patricia Mroczek