Kettering University playing an active role in Flint's revitilization

Jul 11, 2014

“We are very committed as a member of the Flint community to playing an active role in helping drive revitalization."

Kettering University students have participated in many community cleanups, supporting the University's active role in revitalizing Flint.

Kettering University President Dr. Robert McMahan recently discussed Kettering’s role in the revitalization of Flint with Dr. Kirk Heinze, host of Greening the Great Lakes, a weekly show on WJR.

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In 2012, Kettering University highlighted ‘Community Vitality’ as one of its four key strategic pillars. The Community Vitality pillar represents the concept that, “The City of Flint and the surrounding area are important attributes of the Kettering experience. It is imperative that we actively engage in the economic renewal of our city and region by fueling innovation and entrepreneurship in our graduates and by collaborating with our partners in the region.”

In the interview, McMahan discussed how universities have a unique ability to drive positive change in their communities if they choose to become active participants.

“If a university really wants to help drive economic development, productivity and competitiveness, they have to operate differently than a typical university,” he said. “We are very committed as a member of the Flint community to playing an active role in helping drive revitalization. We can help directly by partnering with organizations. If the neighborhood is going to build and reinvent itself, we have to take a role in it. We will greenfield the sites and do it in a way that we will eliminate blight and create green spaces.”

McMahan also discussed Kettering taking ownership of Atwood Stadium, which was formerly designated as a city-owned park. Kettering’s willingness to take over operations of the stadium in 2013 ensured that it was not only able to stay open, but that needed improvements could be made to keep it viable for future generations to use.

“Atwood is a jewel of the community,” McMahan said. “Flint at one time was the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. People were flooding into Flint. Along with that, you saw the development of arts facilities, music facilities. Flint has phenomenal art and music institute. Another of these great common areas was Atwood Stadium -- a beautiful 11,000 seat stadium right in the middle of the neighborhoods. It has an amazing history. We didn’t want to just take it on and operate it, we want to work with the community to raise the funds to improve it and continue to make it a community asset.”

Listen to the full interview here.


Written By Patrick Hayes | Contact: Patrick Hayes - phayes@kettering.edu - (810) 762-9639