A tribute to quality

May 9, 2008

Kettering University's Department of Business handed out its top awards at a reception that honored Bruce Coventry '75 for Alumni Achievement and Service and its Business Employer of the Year - the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Provost Michael Harris had pleasant duties Saturday, May 3, as he hosted the Kettering University Department of Business’ elegant awards ceremony.  The stylish event was in Detroit’s world-class Max M. Fisher Music Center, which opened in 2003 and sits next to the glorious 1919 architecture and perfect acoustics of Orchestra Hall.

About 100 guests gathered for hors d’oeuvres, desserts and the presentation of several major awards from the Division of Academic Affairs and Department of Business.  Faculty members from the Department of Business were among the special guests.

The star of the evening’s celebration was Bruce Coventry ’75, who is chair of Kettering’s Board of Trustees and received the 2008 Kettering University Business Alumni Achievement and Service Award.  Kettering President Stan Liberty presented the highest honor to Coventry, who is president of the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) and vice president of Chrysler. 

President Liberty called Coventry“a great friend of the University” and credited his leadership for Kettering’s recent transition from a narrowly-focused automotive engineering school to a broader-based technical and business university that has launched a new technical MBA degree, a new international bachelor of Business Administration degree, an Engineering Physics degree, a Biochemistry degree and a Premedical course of study. 

“It is most appropriate to honor Bruce Coventry and his dedicated service to Kettering University,” President Liberty said.  “Bruce embodies the Kettering University mission to prepare leaders for global business.  It has been a personal pleasure to work with him.”  President Liberty said Kettering is able to expand its horizons because of Coventry’s support.  “We are all incredibly proud of your accomplishments,” he continued, “and we are proud to claim you as an important alumnus of our institution.”

Coventrysaid he was grateful for the award and the education that prepared him well for international business.  “It is difficult to adequately explain the impact of this academic program,” he said.  “I thank you for the guidance and encouragement.  The co-op program really does set this education apart.  A rhythm exists – you must be flexible and you must adapt.  I was privileged to have Neil McCarthy for a professor.  Neil, we got it, thanks to you.  I’m not sure our teachers ever know how well they prepared us. A Kettering graduate is just so much more and better prepared,” Coventry added.  “We can develop one of the best business school programs in the country, and I know we can count on the Kettering family,” he concluded.

Dr. David Strubler, interim head of Kettering’s Department of Business, assisted Provost Harris by presenting the awards to two students.

The first given was the 2008 Business Student of the Year, awarded to Kristin Winter, a senior from Alpena, Mich., whose awards include Kettering University Woman of the Year, a first place DEX winner, an active member of the Kettering Entrepreneur Society,  and co-owner of www.Ratemystudentrental.com

Chris Quinn was recognized next with the 2008 Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award. Quinn, a senior from Gastonia, N.C., whose leadership as the first co-op student at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, was characterized “as a gift for the DSO,” by DSO President Anne Parsons.

·         In addition, Strubler recognized the 2008 Business Employer of the Year, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  The award was presented to Anne Parsons, DSO president and executive director.

Provost Harris then presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for 188 consecutive terms of inspired teaching in support of Kettering’s Business students to Chemistry Professor Reg Bell.  Provost Harris said “I am seriously privileged and honored to do this.  Professor Bell is a legend – there is only one Reggie.  We honor you for the chemistry you enjoy with your students and the inspiration and service you give to our University.”

An Appreciation Award for 35 years of outstanding teaching and dedication to the study abroad program was also given to Business Professor Neil McCarthy.  “Neil McCarthy is one of Kettering’s long-standing and favorite professors in Business.  He recently received the special recognition of being one of only a few faculty members who have been inducted as an Honorary Robot in Kettering’s prestigious Robot Society.  It was Neil who started and has sustained one of the University’s strongest international programs in Germany.”

Tony Hain was given an Appreciation Award for significant contributions to Kettering University and the Department of Graduate Studies and Business.  “Tony Hain is one of the few people who hold the distinction of having two Kettering careers and as an executive at General Motors.  Eight years ago, Tony returned to lead Graduate Studies and Corporate Connections, where his innovative programs have brought millions of dollars and also international distinctions to the University.” 

Following the ceremony, guests attended a “Tribute to Benny Goodman” concert, featuring Dave Bennett and his sextet, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, in Orchestra Hall.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
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