Donald '63 and Joyce Lehman
Don Lehman came to Michigan Tech in 1959 to get an education and play football. He did both, earning MVP honors in 1962 and graduating in 1963 with a bachelor's in civil engineering.
He says football, for which he earned a scholarship, taught him dedication and leadership. As for civil engineering, he liked the fact that he could get his hands around it. "I couldn't see electricity," he says, "but I could see that steel and concrete."
After graduating, Don worked for thirty-two years at General Motors, retiring as assistant superintendent of maintenance and plant engineering at the Buick Motor Division in Flint.
He and his wife, Joyce, have established several charitable gift annuities, which provide retirement income and tax deductions for them and will later help Michigan Tech. They also plan to fund gift annuities with deferred payments for their two sons to supplement their income at retirement age.
While their annual giving largely supports Tech's football program, most of the couple's annuities will fund the Don and Joyce Lehman Endowed Scholarship for undergraduates who major in civil engineering and play football.
Lehman attributes their financial plan to Tech's Eric Halonen, who, he says, generated the idea, provided the research, and helped them work out a plan when they wanted to begin diversifying their appreciated assets. "He continues to keep me informed and gives me good ideas."
Tech provided an education that helped provide my family a good living. Without scholarships and financial help, I would never have made it. My support now is like repaying a debt."