The King is coming!

Sep 19, 2008

His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, will be the guest of honor at a special ceremony at Kettering University on Friday, Sept. 26, that includes Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to celebrate an international opportunity using biogas technology.

The royal monarch, who is known for his interest in science and technology and whose duties include presenting Nobel Prizes, will be at Kettering University on Friday, Sept. 26, for a special ceremony.  Trumpets will herald the arrival of His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and many Michigan and U.S. officials for the 3:30 p.m. event in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.  Security will be on high alert, since this is a Secret Service event. 

Tickets are free, but you must have a ticket to attend.

Here is the schedule for the day:

Friday, Sept. 26

Connie and Jim John Recreation Center

1 p.m.: Doors open; Secret Service screening

3 p.m.: Ticket holders are asked to be in their seats by 3 p.m.

3:30 – 4 p.m.: Formal Ceremony is emceed by Provost Michael Harris


Kettering President Stan Liberty

Flint Mayor Don Williamson

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow

U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Michael Wood

Sweden’s Ambassador to the U.S. Jonas Hafstrom

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm

Groundbreaking ceremony featuring the King of Sweden, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and platform officials (the King will not speak)

The King is coming to Kettering to celebrate the completion of a successful feasibility study on a proposed project with Swedish Biogas International. Swedish Biogas, the City of Flint, Sweden’s Linkoping University and Kettering University are currently in conversation about building a facility in Flint that would digest waste water and produce biogas. Such a project and partnership will lead to the creation of Flint Center Energy Excellence. This project is in the final phase of securing funding from several sources. A biogas plant in Flint could be modeled after the successful facility in Linkoping, Sweden, that is efficiently converting biomethane into electricity for the city and fuel for city buses.

For a video overview of the King’s visit, see a story on the TV 12 website at: ABC12 will head to Sweden to learn about biogas

Planning for the event at Kettering has had the excitement of a small United Nations negotiation that incorporates the interests and needs of His Majesty the King, the Swedish Government, Swedish Biogas International, the Swedish Embassies in the U.S. and Michigan; the U.S. Secret Service, the State of Michigan (Gov. Granholm’s office, Michigan State Police, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.), the City of Flint (Mayor’s Office, City Director of Development and Flint Police Department), the regional Chamber of Commerce, UpTown Development Corp., Kettering University and others.

To help prepare for the King’s visit, the Kettering committee includes: Caron Wilson (Provost Office) and Pat Mroczek (PR & Communications) as co-chairs and team members Jim Benford (Safety) ,Nathalie Dronchat (Special Events), Pat Engle (Physical Facilities), Luchen Li (International Office), Shari Luck (Enrollment Services) and Sheila Rupp (Commencement/Registrar).

Protocol notes: Volunteers will be available in the Rec Center to assist with any protocol questions related to the King’s visit.  Briefly, you do bow slightly when the King enters the room.  You never extend your hand to the King.  He will extend his hand to you if he chooses to shake your hand.  Your best manners are appreciated.

Here is a brief Q & A on this special event at Kettering:

Where can I get a ticket?

Kettering students should contact Megan Rodriguez, Student Affairs, at

Other ticket questions can be directed to the PR & Communications office at

What can I bring to the event?  Yes: cameras and video cameras.  No: signs, bags (book bags, tote bags, etc.) and umbrellas. 

What do I wear?  Business dress, please.

What door do I go in?

Ticket holders enter the Rec Center by the second floor door (the door by the Rec Center information desk).

Media and the disabled will enter on the first floor (southeast door).  Remember – no signs, bags or umbrellas, please.  Yes: cameras and video cameras.

Can I take a picture of the King?  Yes.  Will he be posing for photo opportunities with the public?  No, we do not anticipate any photo opportunities during the King’s visit to campus. 

Is the Queen of Sweden coming, too?  No. She won’t be traveling with the King this trip.

The King’s itinerary: His Majesty the King will be inMichiganfor two days, Friday, Sept. 26- Saturday, Sept. 27, as a guest of Gov. Granholm.  He will attend an alternative energy seminar Friday before coming to Kettering. 

To read more on the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., visit:

To read more on the King of Sweden, visit:

Written byPatricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533