Kettering University: The Future of Education Built a Century Ago


Our History

Kettering University/GMI throughout the years.

A group of visionaries from Flint founded Kettering University in 1919 as The School of Automobile Trades. It opened under the direction of Major Albert Sobey with the goal of training technical and management talent for the rapidly growing automobile industry. By 1923 the school had grown to offer a full four-year cooperative education program enrolling more than 600 full-time students, and in recognition of this growth Major Sobey rechristened it the Flint Institute of Technology. Three years later and appreciating the importance of cooperative education, the General Motors Corporation acquired the school, renaming it the General Motors Institute (GMI).

For the next 56 years, GM operated the school as GMI, and it became for the company one of its best sources of creative and successful engineering and managerial talent. By 1945 the Institute had added a fifth-year thesis requirement and had evolved into a full degree-granting university with a unique educational model built upon an ongoing and strong commitment to cooperative education.

In 1982, GM divested itself of ownership of the school, and it became the private, non-profit University it is today, however first under the name GMI Engineering & Management Institute (GMI-EMI). Shortly thereafter the institution began offering Master’s-level graduate programs to both on and off campus students.

On January 1, 1998, GMI-EMI changed its name a final time to honor a founder of the institution, Charles Kettering (1876-1958), an inventor, an industrialist, and an early and strong proponent of professional cooperative education. Today as Kettering University, the school continues this historic tradition, and in 2019 will mark its centennial year. Over that proud 100-year history, Kettering University has become one of the country’s premier STEM institutions and is known around the world for educating great and successful leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, scientists, and business people.



KETTERING STUDENTS, ALUMNI SHARE LOVE OF GMI WITH RETRO GEAR

Current students at Kettering University wear GMI retro sweatshirts
Kettering University alumni, students, faculty, and staff are celebrating the University’s history with new apparel.

A line of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and coffee mugs, available at Kettering’s C-Store and online, show the General Motors Institute crest and Bulldog. On the back, the gear says Kettering University and “Honoring our past and creating our future.” Newly-released sweatshirts show the GMI Engineering and Management Institute crest and Bulldog. | READ STORY >


EVENTS

FOUNDER’S DAY CELEBRATION

October 19, 2018
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI

ALUMNI AWARDS CEREMONY

October 25, 2018
Townsend Hotel, Birmingham, MI

PRESIDENT’S CENTENNIAL LECTURE SERIES

November 7, 2018 - Exceptional Leadership and Service: A Panel Discussion
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI
Panelists: Liz Murphy '87, Professor Ken Williams, Harschal Patel '19, and Professor Laura Sullivan

February 19, 2019
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI
Speaker, Marie Johnson ‘90, PhD

September 12, 2019
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI
Speaker, Sean McBurney ‘03

SOCIETY OF WOMEN ENGINEERS CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

March 8, 2019
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI

SAE AT THE DAC

April 9, 2019
Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, MI

MAJOR SOBEY GOLF OUTING

June 8, 2019
Coyote Preserve Golf Club, Fenton, MI

COMMENCEMENT

June 15, 2019
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI

ATWOOD STADIUM RACE AND COMMUNITY CELEBRATION

July 20, 2019
Flint, MI

FOUNDER’S WEEK CELEBRATION

October 14 – 18, 2019
Kettering University campus, Flint, MI
A week of special celebrations including Homecoming and culminating in a huge 100th Anniversary celebration!


General Determination, the bulldog, holds a cake.