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History of the Presidency

Dr. Robert K. McMahan Jr.

Robert Kenneth McMahan

Term: 2011 - Present



Dr. Robert K. McMahan is the seventh President of Kettering University and a Professor of Physics. Read more. . .



Stanley R. Liberty

Stanley R. Liberty

Term: 2005-2011

When President Stan Liberty arrived on campus in 2005 as Kettering's sixth president, he said he was looking forward to "facilitating the development of strong collaborative partnerships between Kettering and both private and public sector entities in Flint and the surrounding region." Read more. . .

James E.A. John

James E.A. John
Term: 1991-2005

In 1991, Kettering was a different campus with a different name. Former Trustee Ed Harris likes to call it the years when GMI "was still a school run by a factory." Then began the 14-year tenure of President James E.A. John. Read more. . .

William B. CottinghamWilliam B. Cottingham
Term: 1976-1991

He came to General Motors Institute in 1975 as dean of academic affairs and became president of the school a year later. On July 1, 1982, the Institute gained its independence from General Motors and became GMI Engineering & Management Institute, with Dr. Cottingham as president. Read more. . .

Harold P. "Dusty" RodesHarold P. "Dusty" Rodes
Term: 1960-1976

Upon the retirement of Guy R. Cowing, the General Motors Institute Board of Regents decided to fill the GMI presidency through a nationwide search outside of the Institute and of equal importance, outside industry. The person they selected was Dr. Harold Potter Rodes. Dr. Rodes had considerable experience and a broad background in teaching and educational administration at other engineering colleges. Read more. . .

Guy R. Cowing

Guy R. Cowing
Term: 1950-1960

In 1949, the Founding President of GMI, Albert Sobey, became ill and Mr. Cowing took on increasing responsibility.  He became President of GMI in 1950.  From the very beginning of his presidency, he reaffirmed and invigorated programs and services to the divisions of General Motors Institute. Read more. . .

Albert J. Sobey

Albert J. Sobey
Term: 1919-1950

The founder of Kettering University in Flint, Mich., did not live to see his school named in honor of Dr. Charles F. Kettering.  But Major Albert Sobey, the man who launched the school in 1919, would no doubt have been pleased. Read more. . .