Sustainability has become a key value and paradigm for industry in recent years. Sustainability embraces the concept of managing business, social, and environmental issues that insure the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. Michigan Technological University and General Motors have expanded this concept to include the sustainability of a key relationship.
Michigan Tech and General Motors (GM) have had a long-standing partnership dating back to at least 1940. Since that time, General Motors and the GM Foundation have provided more than $12.1 million to support a wide range of activities across campus including scholarships, capital projects, Senior Design and Enterprise programs, student organizations, sponsored research, recruiting support, youth programs, diversity initiatives, and more.
During the decades of this relationship, our nation has experienced world wars, economic prosperity and recession, spaceflight, terrorism, a technology revolution, and many social and cultural changes. Yet the relationship between Michigan Tech and GM has been sustained and strengthened.
Recently, Steve Tomaszewski, Michigan Tech alum and GM’s global facilities director of operations North America, presented a grant from the GM Foundation to Michigan Tech. His remarks reinforce GM’s commitment to sustainability though this relationship.
“The GM Foundation grant is symbolic of our dedication to the next generation of leaders and innovators,” said Tomaszewski. “By supporting higher education programs, we’re ensuring students receive the necessary knowledge and skills to compete in a global marketplace now and in the future.”
In summer 2013, GM provided funding for a youth outreach program called “Ride the Waves with GM,” where students in grades 4–12 participated in guided explorations of Lake Superior and its tributaries aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz. More than 500 students participated in this program.
GM continues to be a strong supporter of automotive-related programs and student groups, including the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Enterprise and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition vehicles. They also provide continuing support for campus diversity/equity programs.
A group of alumni and friends at GM meet regularly to discuss and plan activities with Michigan Tech. This University Relations Team (URT) is involved with recruiting, alumni events, GM Foundation proposal preparation, and it serves as student project advisors and as members of department and College advisory boards on campus.
The depth and breadth of the Michigan Tech - GM relationship is built on a strong foundation by both organizations to sustain this partnership for many more decades to come.