Small but powerful

Apr 28, 2006

Recent contributions help support Kettering programs and provide scholarships to students.

Kettering University recently received three small but important contributions for programs and student support.

Peggy Simpson, associate vice president of Corporate and Foundation Gifts for the University Advancement Dept., said that the University received a check of $2,500 for the Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) program from the Automotive Women's Alliance (AWA) of Troy, Mich. LITE is a two-week residential pre-college program for young women that focuses on engineering and science while showing high school students the excitement associated with the study of engineering and science at the college level. This program utilizes the skills, talents and time of Kettering faculty, and showcases women and men who are juggling family and engineering careers.

The AWA currently has a scholarship program for women studying subjects related to the automotive field at the college level. Kettering advertises this program through the University's Financial Aid Office.

"Because the AWA recognizes the importance of pre-college programs in raising the awareness of young women about automotive careers, they provided Kettering this important support," Simpson said.

Betsy Homsher, associate dean of Students and director of Women Student Affairs, said that Kettering "encourages young women to pursue their interests in science, math, engineering and technology, regardless of their ability to pay for summer programs and other enrichment activities. That's why gifts like that from the AWA are so important. Their generosity makes it possible for us to offer five LITE scholarships to girls who wouldn't otherwise be able to participate."

Neil De Koker '67, president of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, and Kathleen Ligocki, president and CEO of Tower Automotive, currently serve as board of trustee members for Kettering University and as members of the AWA leadership team.

In related news, Amber Paxton, director of Corporate and Foundation Gifts, reported that Mahar Tool of Saginaw, Mich., recently donated several items to the Mechanical Engineering Dept. worth several thousand dollars. These items include seven-inch grit discs, an Iscar tool holder, and a Hookit micro-finishing film, among other items.

Paxton said that Kettering and Mahar Tool connected because Mike VanSlyke '70, associate vice president of Alumni Affairs, is a good friend of Mike Kane, who is a retired officer and now a consultant for the company. "Mike VanSlyke has helped Kettering students obtain co-op positions at Mahar in recent years," she said, adding that the company "hopes to provide additional contributions to Kettering in the near future. This is turning into a very profitable relationship for both organizations."

In addition, Jack Stock, director of Major Gifts, recently worked with alum Charlie Baker '82, group vice president of Engineering at Johnson Controls in Plymouth, Mich., to endow a scholarship in the name of Johnson Controls. Baker will leverage his donation and challenge his colleagues at his company to match his contribution. He will provide a match to the contributions made by colleagues and since Johnson Controls is a matching gift company, the total contribution from Baker and his associates is quadrupled for greater impact and support of students during their college careers. This is the type of assistance that puts a Kettering education within reach of those students who believed that such an education was difficult to afford.

To learn more about how you can contribute to Kettering and positively impact current students and programs, visit our website or contact Jack Stock or Peggy Simpson.

Written by Gary J. Erwin
(810) 762-9538