James '67 and Dolores Trethewey
Jim Trethewey's business degree launched a forty-year career in the mining industry, first with Copper Range at White Pine and then thirty-five years at Cleveland-Cliffs, now Cliffs Natural Resources. He rose to serve as senior vice president–business development, retiring in 2007.
For over ten years, he and his wife, Dee, have given back to Tech by supporting annual scholarships as well as building two endowed funds, which will eventually fund the scholarships. Now, in addition to scholarship support, they recently established an endowed professorship in Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics with a $1.16 million gift commitment to fund the James and Dolores Trethewey APMP Professorship. Associate Professor Dean Johnson, founding director of the Applied Portfolio Management Program, is the first recipient.
Jim and Dee have supported the APMP Program since its beginning in 1998 and have entrusted the APMP students with managing their scholarship funds for years, giving hands-on investment experience to business students. Professor Johnson is thrilled that the Tretheweys have chosen to support APMP. "It gives us a permanent source of funding,” he said. “To have Dee and Jim recognize the need and meet it is just amazing.”
For the Tretheweys, educating students is what their gifts are all about. “When you pass through the halls of Michigan Tech, you come out with a first-class ticket to anywhere you want to go,” Trethewey said. “The route and the destination are up to the individual. And special programs like the APMP are examples of the tremendous role universities play in our society. We all have an obligation to help them.”
Jim and Dee hear from the student recipients every year. "It's nice to know our scholarships are appreciated," Jim says. “We don't attach any grade criteria to the scholarships," he adds. "And they are not necessarily need-based, but we do target both high school and junior college students from Gogebic County, since the area is somewhat depressed."
Trethewey had initially focused on technical courses at Tech and took accounting as an elective. After he earned an A, Professor Sam Tidwell convinced him to pursue accounting professionally. Jim credits both his technical and business courses with providing a foundation for his success. "When you have the opportunity to attend a great school, the benefits stay with you forever," he says. "Dee and I believe in giving back, and soon after I was inducted into the first class of the Academy of Business, we decided to help Tech students receive an education."
Jim also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council for the School of Business and Economics and on the Michigan Tech Fund Board of Trustees. His gifts of both time and funding are well placed, he says. "We feel the University is focused on improving education, and it has never faltered."