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Generations of Discovery
Goal Exceeded

Michigan Tech raised $215,366,353 during the Generations of Discovery capital campaign, exceeding the goal of $200 million. “This campaign has been like a hand across generation, from alumni to current students,” said President Glenn Mroz. “We are grateful to everyone who gave to make Michigan Tech the amazing place it is and will become.”.

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Donor Stories

Rudolph and Judy Shunta

Rudolph and Judy Shunta

Muskegon, Michigan

Gift Designation

Type of Gift

Supporting Mechanical Engineering Students

"Normally, Judy and I prefer to keep our charitable activities, if not anonymous, certainly low key," says Rudy Shunta. "We like to help out where we can, but the magnitude of our donations certainly doesn't put us at the philanthropist level." Nevertheless, the Shuntas agreed to "go public" to encourage others. "We wanted to . . .

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Donor Stories

David House

David House

Saratoga, California

Gift Designation

Type of Gift

Leading Tech's Strategic Initiatives

David House made a $10-million pledge to Michigan Tech's national campaign. With most of the contribution to come during his lifetime, including two endowed professorships established recently, it is the largest outright gift ever received by Michigan Tech.

David is the volunteer chair of the University's national fundraising campaign. His giving will support Michigan Tech's strategic objective of becoming a world-class public . . . 

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Donor Stories

John and Cathi Drake

John and Cathi Drake

Warren, Ohio
Hancock, Michigan

Type of Gift

Attracting Top Scholars and Researchers

John and Cathi Drake have endowed a professorship in their name within the Department of Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics. They provide for a $1 million endowment through their will; in the meantime, they support the position with annual gifts to fund research by the Drake Professor.

John earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1964 and a master’s in business administration in 1969. “Nobody . . .

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Donor Stories

Waino Wahtera

Waino Wahtera

Marquette, Michigan

Gift Designation

Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Type of Gift

Will Bequest

Promoting Student Success with a Bequest

A generous bequest of approximately $875,000 from the estate of Waino Wahtera is funding the new Wahtera Center for Student Success at Michigan Tech.

Waino earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Michigan Tech in 1942. His degree contributed to a successful career at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, from which he retired in 1977 as senior air pollution control engineer. Waino passed away in June 2012 at the age of 93.

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Donor Stories

Richard and Bonnie Robbins

Richard and Bonnie Robbins

Seattle, Washington

Type of Gift

Advancing Sustainability through Endowed Chairs

Richard and Bonnie Robbins created the Robbins Chairs of Sustainability, which include a Chair in Sustainable Manufacturing and Design, a Chair in Sustainable Use of Materials, and a Chair in Sustainable Management of the Environment.

A total of $6 million has been committed through their charitable remainder trust that will ultimately come to Michigan Tech to fund the primary endowment for the chairs. In the interim . . . 

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Donor Stories

Robert and Ruth Nara

Robert and Ruth Nara

Bootjack, Michigan

Gift Designation

Types of Gift

Practicing Catalyst Philanthropy

Robert and Ruth Nara donated $50,000 for expansion of the Michigan Tech Trails. The University purchased land adjoining the Nara Nature Park in 2006, with a long-range plan for a connected network of ski and bike trails. That's when the Naras, local philanthropists and longtime friends of Michigan Tech, stepped in and provided the funds to connect Tech's trails to the City of Houghton's Nara Nature Park trails.

The Naras practice what they call "catalyst philanthropy." Mr. Nara . . . 

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Donor Stories

John and Ruanne Opie

John and Ruanne Opie

Weston, Connecticut

Gift Designation

  • Student Ice Arena

Type of Gift

Updating Tech's Athletic Facilities

John and Ruanne Opie donated $1 million for the construction of 10 new suites in Michigan Tech's John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The new suites, all on the west end of the rink, can accommodate eight to 14 people each and three skyboxes for larger groups. Tech hockey coach Jamie Russell is grateful for Ruanne and John Opie's great generosity, which he said will help his team with recruiting.

Mr. Opie graduated from Tech . . . 

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Donor Stories

William Jackson

William Jackson

Paradise Valley, Arizona
Eagle Harbor, Michigan

Type of Gift

Transforming the Student Learning Experience

The generosity of William G. Jackson has made it possible for Michigan Tech to transform the learning experience for students across campus. His recent outright gift of $1 million will fund the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning. The center will bring together a full suite of technological tools to upgrade teaching, learning, learning assessment, and student assessment of teaching.

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Donor Stories

Richard and Elizabeth Henes

Richard and Elizabeth Henes

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Gift Designation

Type of Gift

Attract and Retain the Best Faculty

Richard and Elizabeth Henes donated $1 million to endow the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professorship in Mathematical Sciences at Michigan Tech. The couple had previously endowed a chair in mechanical engineering.

Mr. Henes earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tech in 1948. After moving to Arizona, he founded Henes Manufacturing Company, Henes Products, and Henes Stamping . . . 

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