Commencement is June 10

May 12, 2006

Chet Huber '77, president of OnStar Corporation, will offer the commencement address when 300 students graduate June 10 in the Recreation Center.

Flowers will decorate the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center when Kettering University hosts Commencement Services at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 10, 2006.

More than 315 candidates (200 undergraduates and 116 master's) will graduate, with about 150 undergraduate and 57 graduate students planning to march at graduation services. In all, about 2000 participants and guests are expected to attend.

Here's an overview for June 2006:


  • Saturday, June 10, 2006, 1 p.m. (EDT)
  • Connie and Jim John Recreation Center at Kettering University
  • Allow about one and one-half hours for the ceremony (doors open at 11 a.m.)
  • No tickets needed to attend the ceremony
  • Presiding: Kettering University President Stan Liberty
  • Information center is open in the Registrar's Office, 3rd Floor of the Academic Building, 10 a.m. to noon.
  • Free parking available in all Kettering lots, including large lots behind the Academic Building and combined lot behind Thompson Hall and the Recreation Center
  • Expected number of guests: 2,000
  • Faculty-hosted reception (prior to the ceremony) with light hors d'oeuvres & refreshments in the International Room, Fifth Floor of the Campus Center, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Recreation Center opens at 11 a.m. for visitors to arrive and be seated. Ushers will be available to assist.
  • Processional begins at 1 p.m.

Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree to: Chet Huber

Chet Huber, president of the OnStar Corporation, is a 1977 graduate of Kettering/GMI. Originally from Hammond, Ind., he started his co-op career with GM's Electro-Motive Division as a student in 1972 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He was later selected as a GM Fellow and attended Harvard University, where he was awarded a master's degree in Business Administration. Through the years, he has held a variety of engineering, operations and marketing roles for General Motors.
He was named president of OnStar, which is owned by General Motors, in June 1995.

Huber is a former faculty member of Benedictine University's MBA Program and is currently a member of the board of directors for XM Satellite Radio Inc. In 2005, he was appointed by the Bush Administration to serve on a Federal Advisory Committee for the Center for Disease Control's Injury Prevention and Control.


A senior from Cedarburg, Wis., Matt Hilgendorf will offer the keynote address representing undergraduate students. He is graduating Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering. His co-op was with the Kohler Co. Engine Division in Kohler, Wis.

Hilgendorf has accepted a position as a senior associate engineer in Manufacturing Research and Development, Advanced Production Technology for Caterpillar, Inc., in Illinois.

"More than anything, Kettering taught me who I am," he said. "Kettering helped me develop a sense of confidence and understanding. The education I received at both work and school helped me earn a full-time position with one of the most respected companies in the world in a very progressive area that is responsible for major technological developments."

Hilgendorf said that some of the faculty members he worked with at Kettering are "the best teachers and role models I have ever met. The small class sizes and overwhelming support of staff and advisers really mademe feel like I could excel and succeed. Overall, I really learned more about myself as a person, as an engineer, and as a leader."

Hilgendorf said being selected as a member of the prestigious Robot Society at Kettering during his junior year is one of his favorite college memories. "I was not only thrilled to be selected to receive this prestigious honor, I was thrilled to be selected along with two of my fraternity brothers. We made up more than 30 percent of the new members in 2003. That told me so much about my choice of friends and organizations. Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity is an organization full of great men, many of whom are leaders on campus and that night really proved to me how much we are respected by others on campus. It also confirmed to me that the Greek system at Kettering University plays a major role in the student life portion of the university," he said.

"Although I never expected to work in research and development -- that is where I am now. I am already exploring master's degrees in several fields. I hope to be a Manufacturing Engineering manager and someday a vice president of operations for a manufacturing company. Eventually I am sure I will be a business owner and probably not engineering-related."

Hilgendorf concluded that there are a couple things he is especially proud of: "first, my thesis, which received a grade of pass with distinction, plus I completed nearly 50 classes at Kettering and never missed a single class period."


David Gutknecht of Wauwatosa, Wis., and Laura Kmetz of St. Clair Shores, who are engaged. Gutknecht will graduate with an Electrical Engineering degree, with a math minor. Kmetz will graduate with a degree in Industrial Engineering.

He is already working for Lear Corp., his former co-op. Gutknecht is a resident engineer for all electronic components Lear supplies in the new BMW X5, which launches in October. He will be in Spartanburg, S.C., for the next year to support the launch. She is working for General Motors, her co-op employer, at Service Parts Organization in Pontiac, Mich. Kmetz is starting as a supervisor in training and will begin her master's degree studies at Kettering in the distance learning program.

Both have enjoyed their travels during their college years. The couple's trips have included Germany, Spain, and even the Toronto Zoo!

Both plan to be part of the Commencement processional march on June 10.

Question on Commencement? 1-800-955-4464, ext. 9585, or 810-762-9585, or visit our Registrar's webpage for a detailed schedule of events, directions and parking, accomodations and more.

Written by Pat Mroczek
(810) 762-9533