Young Alumnus Gives For Environmental Outreach

Three young girls look at a circuit board with a hand held microscope.
Three young girls look at a circuit board with a hand held microscope.
Thanks to a donation, more U.P. kids will learn STEM.

The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University received a $4K gift.

The Michigan Technological University Center for Science and Environmental Outreach received a $4,000 donation from the Bruce S. Shannon Family Foundation, a family foundation based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shannon created the foundation in 2005. After his death in 2007, the Foundation was passed on to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to identify deserving entities to receive donations each year.

The funds were donated by C. Hunter King ‘17, great grandson of Shannon. King received his master’s in forest ecology and management, focusing on water, ecology and forest hydrology. King explains his advisor, Casey Huckins, professor of biological sciences, suggested the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach as a deserving recipient of his donation.

"I went with the education option because I knew my great grandpa would be down and it just made sense to give others, maybe underprivileged or less represented people … just some sort of spark to maybe get them involved with water or ecology or just somehow being a beneficial entity to this planet."C. Hunter King

Science education was very important to King’s great grandfather Bruce Shannon, who received two master's degrees from the University of Michigan and worked in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. King recalled the influence Shannon had on his life and his interest in science.

C. Hunter King smiles into the camera.
 C. Hunter King '17 

“He was always gifting me telescopes, microscopes and pushing me. He taught astronomy into his nineties. He was just an all-around researcher and super cool old guy. I figure why not go full circle and bring [the money] back into education outreach because I know he would love for that to happen,” says King. 

The funds will be used to support science and environmental education/outreach programs that engage K-12 students in STEM and environmental education. “Via outdoor science investigation field trips, family science and engineering nights, teacher workshops, after school classes and summer camps, curriculum development, and more, these programs enrich classroom learning, stimulate curiosity and allow students to participate in real-world scientific explorations to increase their interest and appreciation for nature, stewardship and STEM career pathways,” explains Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

King expressed his gratitude to Chadde for keeping him informed of the allocation of funds: “I feel like I know where my money is actually going … the specific project being funded and the actual benefit of the dollars on education."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.