John and Ruanne Opie donated $5 million for the new library facility.
John graduated from Michigan Tech in 1961 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Metallurgical Engineering.
He joined General Electric Company after graduation and quickly advanced in the company. He went on to become national sales manager; general manager for three business groups; vice president of three operations; president and chief executive officer of GE Lighting; and, in 1995, vice chairman of the board and executive officer of the parent company, serving until his retirement in 2000.
The Opies are long-standing supporters of Michigan Tech. John served as vice chair of the Century II Campaign in the mid-1980s; he also is a life trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund, having served for thirteen years on that board, including two
as president. He received the Board of Control Silver Medal in 1984; the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1992; and
The J.R. Van Pelt Library was built in 1966. The structure is named after Tech’s fifth president.
“It always feels good to