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GM Foundation Gives $120,000 For Kettering Specialty Programs

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The pits at a FIRST Robotics event at Kettering Univesity

The pits at a FIRST Robotics event at Kettering Univesity

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FLINT — The GM Foundation has presented $120,000 to Kettering University in support of specialty programs and scholarships at the Flint campus.

Gerald Johnson, manufacturing manager for the General Motors Corp. and Kettering University’s Key Executive with GM, delivered the $120,000 gift from the GM Foundation to support FIRST Robotics, SAE competition teams, women and minority scholarships, the AIM and LITE programs, the annual Ability Scholarship and scholarships for Hispanic students.

“Kettering is very grateful to the GM Foundation for their interest and investment in our students and our University,” said Kettering President Robert McMahan. “Kettering’s nationally recognized programs provide our students with experiential learning opportunities from which they develop globally competitive skills and knowledge — along with the ability to apply both to real-life situations.”

Johnson, Craig Marriott, from GM Advanced Powertrain, and Bob Dziurda, from GM’s Powertrain Global headquarters, met with President McMahan and a number of Kettering students and program representatives during the gift presentation in September. The donation will support multiple scholarships and specialty programs at the University.

Bob Nichols, Kettering’s Executive Director of External Affairs and coordinator of FIRST activities on campus, said the Foundation’s ongoing support has long-term benefits for students and the University.

“The Foundation’s support of Kettering’s pre-college programs is instrumental in introducing high school students to career paths in science, technology, engineering and math,” Nichols said. “GM’s investment has a powerful and long-term impact on our ability to offer exceptional experiences in a variety of important programs.”

The GM Foundation gift will support:

* FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a national effort to showcase science and engineering as fun, especially to elementary, middle school and high school students. FIRST Robotics is focused on high school students in grades 9-12. Kettering hosts three FIRST Robotics events each year, including a district competition that helps teams qualify for national competition. Kettering also sponsors a local team, Metal Muscle, made up of high school students from around Genesee County. Nichols said the long-term effect of FIRST Robotics is evident on Kettering’s campus. Around 19 percent of this year’s entering freshmen are alumni of FIRST Robotics, placing Kettering among the highest concentration of any college in the U.S.

* Kettering’s four SAE Collegiate Design Competition teams including: Formula, Mini Baja, Clean Snowmobile and Aero Design. SAE teams go beyond textbook theory to design, build and test the performance of a real vehicle and compete in regional, national and international competitions.

* Academically Interested Minds, a five-week residential summer program designed to help students of color make a successful transition from high school to college. Students from across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean attend freshman level courses the summer before their senior year in high school.

* Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE), a two-week residential program created by Kettering University to introduce 11th grade girls to what engineers do and how they significantly improve people’s lives by applying math, science and technology to human problems.

Additionally, the GM Foundation is committed to supporting Kettering’s Ability Scholarship and scholarships for Hispanic students each year.

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