From the President

Dr. Robert K. McMahanDear Alumni and Friends,

I hope this message finds you well and looking forward to an enjoyable holiday season. It is with my deepest gratitude to the Kettering community that I celebrate your steadfast support of the University following the successful completion last year of the Learning Commons and the Boldly Forward Capital Campaign. It is common to see giving drop off after reaching major milestones such as these, but in true Kettering fashion, you have used that momentum as a catalyst and demonstrated an understanding that these two achievements are not laurels on which to rest.

Before looking ahead, I want to provide some perspective on the impact the Learning Commons and the Boldly Forward Capital Campaign have already delivered.

  • The Learning Commons has become not only the symbol of today’s Kettering but also serves as the centerpiece of campus, where students, faculty, and staff gather, talk, share, teach, and learn in dynamic ways. It has become the hub for 24/7 learning we had envisioned, where the business of education extends beyond the somewhat rigid confines of the classroom and occurs organically in the friendlier and often more learning-conducive interactions inherent in informal communication and discussion.
  • The Boldly Forward Capital Campaign, of course, contributed to the Learning Commons, but it also supported great programs such as Academically Interested Minds (AIM) and Lives Improve Through Engineering and Science (LITES), which encourage and empower young STEM-minded prospective students. Additional spaces on campus, including the GM Mobility Research Center, the Robotics Community Center, and renovations at Atwood Stadium, have added value to our research footprint and enabled increased community connections.

Going forward, there is one overarching priority to which we must attend: extending the Kettering opportunity to the best and brightest students. That means we will still need to support facilities, programs, research, and our incredible faculty, and we must very aggressively build up our available scholarship funds to remain competitive and to attract and retain academically talented and workforce-ready students.  

Our students are the beneficiaries of every scholarship gift, and I would like to personalize your future contributions in this area by reiterating something Jennifer Patterson, our new Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations, said when she referred in our recent magazine to  “…the quality and enthusiasm of the students at Kettering. [They are] bright and hardworking … informed, engaged, and passionate.” 

I have been interacting with these same students year after year, and Jennifer is spot-on. Most of them certainly arrive with some measure of those innate talents and inclinations, but I would submit virtually all of them become more passionate, more hardworking, and more engaged as a result of their time here. Your very personal scholarship gifts open the door now for these students to take advantage of their potential and—in the long term—represent an investment in the bright tomorrow they will help create for all of us.

Again, thank you for everything you do for Kettering and for its faculty and students. I implore you to help us now maximize the opportunities we have created for more students than ever before.

With sincere thanks and appreciation, 

Dr. Robert K. McMahan

Dr. Robert K. McMahan

President and Professor of Physics