Kettering Keepers Know Every Gift Counts
Making a gift to Kettering University was a no-brainer for Jorge Horcasitas (’13, CE).
As part of the Kettering Keepers program, Horcasitas began giving $5 a month to the Kettering LEADERS Fellowship Fund in 2014. He just recently increased his gift to $10 a month.
“I think the biggest thing is it doesn’t matter how much you donate,” he said.
Kettering Keepers is a program for alumni who wish to make a gift of at least $5 a month to the University. The program’s goal is to make philanthropy more accessible for all, especially young people.
“What makes it unique is donors have a choice regarding what to support and how much to give,” said Anna Dietrich, Assistant Director of Annual Giving. “Every dollar counts, and with Kettering Keepers, participants know their support matters.”
Horcasitas supports the LEADERS fund because the program significantly impacted him during his time as an undergraduate. The program offered retreats, discussion forums, networking and leadership development. He said he likes to give to something that improves the Kettering student experience.
“It’s not tuition; it’s not co-op; it’s an extra thing, so that was important to me to make sure it’s funded to provide better experiences to students,” he said. “It helps coordinate trips to the LeaderShape Institute, which was a really good opportunity to participate in. LEADERS provides various opportunities throughout the year to network across A- and B-Section while fostering an excellent environment to talk about different visions Kettering students have to improve the communities they live in. How do we better ourselves, our community, our careers and the folks around us? To me, it was a no-brainer to give to this initiative.”
For Ashley Weber (’19, Business), participating in Kettering Keepers is her way of staying connected to the University after graduation.
“I think it’s easy to fall off and lose that connection to campus if you don’t do activities like that,” she said.
Her gift goes to the Women Helping Women scholarship fund.
“We do know women in STEM are still a skewed percentage of people in programs and the workforce,” Weber said.
She said the relationships she built with other women on campus were like a sisterhood. There’s a special connection when she meets other alumnae in the workforce who went through similar experiences.
“I also want to inspire the next generation,” Weber said. “I think women have a special place in STEM and manufacturing.”
Like Horcasitas, she encourages graduates to think about what they got from their experiences and how they can pay it forward.
“There’s a lot that went into your programs and your education,” Weber said. “I think if you benefited from something, it is good to pay it back for future students.”
Also recognizing that others’ generosity helped him attend Kettering, Horcasitas wanted to do the same for others.
“Think about what you got out of the University, especially the things that are extracurricular and not part of the typical co-op or school experience, and think about how much better it could have been if it was better-funded,” Horcasitas said. “Someone who donates doesn’t have to give thousands of dollars; it could be a couple of hundred a year or $5 or $10 a month.”
He understands school was expensive for some, but he said graduates should consider what they’ve accomplished with their education and give back.
Without the LEADERS program, Horcasitas said he may not have gotten his first job. He was able to make connections that led to a letter of recommendation that helped him land his first full-time role after graduation.
“Being around other like-minded individuals who are interested in leadership development, doing that on your own is very different from being around others,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t be as successful as I am now without a program like LEADERS.”
Horcasitas, a program manager at Google, plans to increase his gift in the future and look into the company’s employee match program. Eventually, he said he’d like to set up a fund or scholarship.
Weber, a program manager at tooling and industrial materials supplier Kennametal, also plans to increase her gift as she progresses in her career.
“Kettering keeps growing, and we want to make sure the students after us have an even better experience than we had there,” she said. “I think it’s important to stay involved and Kettering’s legacy continues to grow.”
To learn more about the Kettering Keepers program, click here.
President McMahan thanks our alumni and donors for helping us close the largest capital campaign and begin a new era.
The goal of the Kettering University Philanthropy Report and Donor Honor Roll is to recognize your thoughtful and generous support over the past year.
When you choose to support Kettering with a gift, you bolster the very foundation of the University.