Michigan Technological University gave Richard Henes an education that enabled him to found and run several successful companies. Richard and Elizabeth's longstanding support of the University has earned them membership in the Hotchkiss and Hubbell Societies for lifetime giving and the McNair Society for their estate gift commitments. To name a few of their many contributions, they endowed a chair in mechanical engineering in 2002, held by John W. Sutherland, professor of mechanical engineering and director of Michigan Tech’s Sustainable Futures Institute, donated $2 million to establish the Elizabeth and Richard Henes Center for Quantum Phenomena, $1 million to endow the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professorship in Mathematical Sciences, and $2 million to mechanical engineering.
The couple was committed to helping the University prepare the next generation to compete in a demanding technological world.
"I believe that advances in physics and math will provide the basic information to support technical advances in all areas at Michigan Tech. I would really like to see this happen. Liz and I have decided to invest our resources in what will help the world, and Michigan Tech is our choice. What we are doing through this gift is small, compared to what Michigan Tech can do for the world."
A native of Menominee, Mich., Henes earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech in 1948, followed by a law degree from the University of Michigan. After moving to Arizona, he founded Henes Manufacturing Company, Henes Products and Henes Stamping. He also became a successful real estate investor in Phoenix.
Henes credited Michigan Tech with stimulating his interest in physics and his determination to excel at whatever he did. For many years, Henes had an active interest in mathematics, mechanical engineering, and physics and he regarded it as the essential building block of all scientific and technological disciplines. He and his wife were committed to helping the University hire and keep top-notch faculty and prepare the next generation to compete in a demanding technological world.
"We are deeply grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Henes for providing state-of-the-art research facilities where our faculty and student can pursue 21st century physics, involving quantum mechanics. Their gift creates an unprecedented opportunity to advance quantum physics research at Michigan Tech."
On January 30, 2017, Richard Henes passed away surrounded by his family. He was 89 years old. Read more about his wonderful legacy and impact on students, staff, faculty and Michigan Tech in Inventor, Investor, Donor, Legacy Creator.