From the President

A New Era

Dear Friends and Alumni,Dr. Robert McMahan

Welcome to a new era for the Kettering University community. In just the past few months, together we’ve experienced what feels like the beginning of a transformative time for our students, our campus, our faculty, our staff, our friends, and our alumni. 

The signs of our progress are everywhere, but nowhere are they more obvious than in the heart of our campus with the just-opened Learning Commons. Although it seems as if we’ve talked about the groundbreaking facility for years, we just celebrated its grand opening in September. It’s already living up to its promise as a lively collaborative space for academic and social exploration. 

The Learning Commons represents the culmination of our historic Boldly Forward Capital Campaign. As we did during the challenging days of the pandemic, the Kettering community came together, raising a transformational $155 million for capital improvements, for faculty and program support, for scholarships, and for unrestricted gifts. It’s our largest campaign ever and one that will positively impact our campus for decades to come.

In another important step for Kettering, I’m excited to introduce you to Jennifer Patterson, our new Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations. Jennifer has vast and varied experience in advancement with proven results throughout her career. She has led teams at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio; University of Rochester in New York; the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C.; and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Our future is bright with Jennifer leading our fundraising and advancement efforts.

Throughout this Philanthropy Report, you’ll read even more about the strides we’re making as a university. We’ll take you inside the Learning Commons with a look at how students, staff, and faculty members are putting your gifts into action. You will explore through photos the pioneering design of the facility, see its many unique features, and discover how our community is using its spaces for educational and social benefit. 

In the pages to come, you will meet the Kettering Keepers—a new program that encourages our youngest alumni to give for future generations of Bulldogs. We also look at our successful FIRST and VEX Robotics programs, both of which are thriving thanks to the support of our benefactors. Through many other stories, you will learn how students in financial need realize their dreams of attending Kettering with the support of our alumni, corporate partners, and other donors. 

Kettering is on the move. Your support ensures that we continue to lead and innovate for the benefit of the entire Kettering community—past, present, and future. We have made great progress in transforming our campus and educating the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. With your ongoing support, we will march boldly forward into a promising future. Thank you for your generosity and for joining our important mission. 

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Robert McMahan




Dr. Robert K. McMahan

President and Professor of Physics


Welcome, Jennifer Patterson

What a time to join the team! 

Jennifer PattersonThe grand opening of the Learning Commons, the Boldly Forward Capital Campaign celebration, and An Evening of Distinction & Determination are just a few of the events I experienced before my tenure as Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations at Kettering University even began on Oct. 27, 2022. I am astounded by the spirit of generosity, cooperation, and commitment I observed among the countless donors, community members, volunteers, students, faculty, and staff with whom I had the privilege to interact. The sense of pride and accomplishment was palpable and well-deserved. Thank you for the warm welcome and congratulations on your achievements.  

The opportunity to build on the strategic vision and success of what President McMahan, his cabinet, the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, volunteers, donors, the Advancement team, and the entire Kettering family created through the Boldly Forward campaign is exciting and profound. The campaign’s centerpiece project, the Learning Commons, is extraordinary, and daily we experience the energy and innovation the building has ignited. The Kettering campus and student experience have been reimagined and enhanced. This success was achieved in large part through the financial support of Kettering alumni, donors, and friends, and we are grateful for your generous investment in our bright future.  

I came to Kettering from Columbus, Ohio, where I was Vice President of Advancement and Marketing at Capital University. Before that, I led advancement efforts for Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester in New York. I also spearheaded the fundraising efforts at the Simon School of Business there. Additionally, I served as Chief Advancement Officer at the National Academy of Engineering in Washington, D.C., and in various advancement positions at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina. I began my fundraising career 25 years ago at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. Working in fundraising and alumni engagement provides the opportunity to build bridges between the University and supporters who care deeply about the success of students and faculty. What could be better?

My husband and I have loved Michigan for decades. We have traveled extensively in the state and regularly vacationed in northern Michigan. While visiting Kettering, I enjoyed a feeling of warmth and collegiality among all I met but also quickly appreciated what I call “sharp-elbow determination” that comes from smart, dedicated, and trusting people working toward a common goal. Early in my interview process, I was convinced Kettering was the place for me. 

The impact of donor support at the University is prominent and celebrated throughout the community. Imagine what our campus would look like without the financial contributions from generous friends and supporters like you. It’s almost impossible to visualize. That wonderful sense of belonging created by the beneficence of donors is a vote of confidence in our students, faculty, and administration–and we thank you wholeheartedly.  

I would like to thank Sue Davies, recently retired Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations, for her tireless work over the last decade. Her mark on Kettering is indelible, and I am honored to build on her impressive legacy. 

I am excited to lead and be part of the team that determines the Kettering Built future–and rest assured, we will GO BIG. I look forward to working with all of you. Thank you for all you do to demonstrate your Bulldog Pride.

With Appreciation,

Jennifer Patterson

Jennifer Patterson
Vice President of University Advancement and External Relations



President's Letter

President McMahan thanks our alumni and donors for helping us close the largest capital campaign and begin a new era. 

Donors List

The goal of the Kettering University Philanthropy Report and Donor Honor Roll is to recognize your thoughtful and generous support over the past year.

News Briefs

Read the latest news about our students, faculty, staff and alumni.


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