Bulldog Days combine golf and reminiscing

By Website Administrator | May 2, 2003

Old friends, classic cars and 18 holes of golf -- what more could a Kettering/GMI alum ask for?

Old friends, classic cars and 18 holes of golf -- what more could a Kettering/GMI alum ask for? How about celebrations of both the Buick and Harley Davidson anniversaries, a sneak peek at the new Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering building and a chance to fete your pals at a recognition dinner?

Kettering/GMI alumni can do it all May 30 through June 1 during Bulldog Days.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, May 30, with the Major Sobey Memorial Golf Outing at Twin Lakes Golf and Swim Club and Blackheath Golf Club in Rochester Hills. Named for Major Albert Sobey, the first president of Kettering/GMI, the golf outing provides more than $40,000 in scholarships for Kettering students. (For more information on the Major Sobey Memorial Golf Outing, contact Rhonda Sullivan at rsulliva@kettering.edu)

Events on Saturday, May 31, move back to campus with the Firebirds Classic Car Show and the 2nd Annual Kettering University Corvette Car Show. In addition to the classics on "The Beach," special models of Buicks and Harley Davidson motorcycles will be on display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of both. (For more information on these car shows,contact Debbie Schnettler at dschnett@kettering.edu)

In a sneak peek at the future of Kettering, tours of the new Chemistry and Mechnical Engineering building will be available tovisiting alumni. Slated for unveiling in June 2003, the sneak peek will give alumni a first look at the almost finished building.

Looking back, Scharchburg Archives will feature "John Dolza: Engineer and Inventor" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The exhibit focuses on the accomplishments of fuel injection engineer John Dolza, who began his American career as a draftsman at the Buick Motor Company in 1927. Scharchburg Archives can found be on the second floor of the Campus Center.

The Reunion Dinner and Alumni Association Awards at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc will specially honor the Kettering/GMI classes of 1943, 1953, 1958, 1968, 1973, 1978, and 1983, and recipients of the 2003 Alumni Association awards.

The Alumni Association will recognize nine alumni and one faculty member for professional achievement, service and human relations. The award recipients are:

Distinguished Alumnus
Karl J. Krapek '72, of Avon, Conn., the retired president and chief operating officer of United Technologies. Krapek is being recognized for specific, exceptional career achievements. In addition to his years at United Technologies Corporation, he served as president and CEO of Pratt & Whitney in 1992, and was the chairman, president and CEO of Carrier Corporation in 1990. In 2002 he became a co-founder of The Keystone Companies. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from GMI Alumni Association in 1992, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University in 1990, and was a Krannert Scholar at Purdue.

Management Achievement
Harold B. Wells '53, of Whiteville, N.C., the retired president of Wells Chrysler Dodge Jeep, is being recognized for specific contributions with a positive and lasting effect in the field of management. Wells has been a new car dealer in the Whiteville, N.C., area since 1956. He owned and operated two large dealerships there until 2001. He sold one of his dealerships to NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, and changed the remaining dealership company name to Wells Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

Civic Achievement
David H. Boerger '72, of Orchard Lake, Mich., the retired director of AVT Quality, Core Quality and Quality Centers for the Ford Motor Company, is being recognized for significant and unselfish contributions of time and effort that benefit the community. Boerger joined Ford Motor Company in 1973 as a Chassis Engineer, and worked through the ranks to become Director of Worldwide Compact Utility programs in 1994. In addition to outstanding service to Kettering/GMI, his involvement in the civic and public arena includes the board of the Plymouth, Mich., Chamber of Commerce and former Chairman of the Stanford University Industry Advisory Council, the Finance Committee for the Food Bank of Oakland County, the Tri-City Fire Department Board, and the Orchard Lake Planning Commission. Boerger has also been elected for a three-year term on the Orchard Lake Village (Michigan) City Council.

Outstanding Achievement
Nelson R. Sharp '66, of Henderson, Nev., retired president and CEO of National Technology Transfer, is being recognized for specific and exceptional career achievement. Sharp owned and operated National Technology Transfer from 1983 until his retirement in 1998. Sharp supports Kettering through the University's Charitable Remainder Trust, allowing him to make a direct impact on the school as one of the beneficiaries of his estate. He has been a member of the President's Council since1990 and has served on the GMI/Kettering Alumni Board. He is a past winner of the Bulldog Award ('96) and was class chairman of his 30th reunion.

Entrepreneurial Achievement
Warner G. "Buck" Martin '55, of Long Boat Key, Fla., is chairman of the Board for Nitram Energy, Inc. He is being recognized for specific contributions in organizing, managing and assuming the risk of a business or enterprise. In 1978 he founded Nitram Energy, Inc., manufacturers of shell tubing and heat exchange units. Nitram now owns several other firms, including Burgess Manning, Alco Products, Boss Hatten, Inc. and Flow Sage, Inc.

Engineering Achievement
Rodney O'Neal '76, of Troy, Mich., is Executive Vice President of Delphi Automotive Systems. He is being recognized for specific contributions with a positive and lasting effect in the field of engineering. In 1998 he became Vice President of Delphi Automotive Systems and President of Delphi Safety, Thermal and Architecture sector. He is one of Delphi's top leaders and a member of the Delphi Strategy Board. He also serves as the executive champion of the Delphi Ford customer team.

Alumni Service
Armen Oumedian '49, of Grand Rapids, Mich., retired from General Motors, Rapistan, Pinnacle Automation, is being recognized for outstanding volunteer service to Kettering University. He masterminded an enormously successful student recruitment event on Michigan's west -side. As in his business career, 11 years with General Motors, 32 with Rapistan (now Siemens) and finally in a highly successful venture at Pinnacle Automation (known today as Alvey, Inc.), Oumedian is a person whose energy and inquisitiveness pay big dividends. He and his wife Patricia started a Donor Advised Fund in order to establish scholarships for students from Kent and Ottawa counties to attend Kettering University. He enjoys connecting personally with the students he sponsors, taking time to guide and mentor the Kettering undergraduates in job search and academics.

Human Relations
Richard B. Light '57, of Lake Orion, Mich., president of EAS Inc., is being recognized as a graduate who has rendered significant contributions inspiring unity at Kettering University, in the workplace or in the community. Light worked for 35 years at GM, where his final assignment was as director of Human Resources. He retired from GM in 1988. Light accepted a position as executive vice president of Vincam Human Resources, and became the CEO of one of the largest professional employer organizations in the industry. Light built Vincam into more than 3,000 employees serving 100 corporate clients. Since 1998 he has served as president of EAS Inc., a human resources consulting firm to other companies.

Young Alumni Award
Ann Marie Weitzel '99, of Fremont, Calif., is a material analyst for Sun Microsystems, Inc. She is being recognized for professional accomplishment and contributions to Kettering University. Weitzel has recently been promoted to Commodity Management and is actively involved in the promotion of the new Kettering LEADERS Endowment for the development of campus leaders.

Special Award
Duane McKeachie, of Flint, Mich., professor of Mathematics at Kettering University, is being recognized for outstanding volunteer service to Kettering University. He has taught at Kettering for more than 50 years and has received the Outstanding teaching award twice, in 1968 and again in 1994. He has also served the university as adviser to Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, as a member of the President's Medal Committee and as chair of the honorary degree committee.

Bulldog Days wraps with a Sunday, April 1, brunch reception at the home of Kettering President Dr. James E.A. John for alumni from the classes of 1953 and before.

For more on Bulldog Days, visit: http://www.kettering.edu/alumni/alumniReunion.asp

Written by Dawn Hibbard
810-762-9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu