A generous discovery

HOUGHTON – In 2006, Michigan Technological University decided it was time to make a change and established the Generations of Discovery campaign to raise funds to support its new priorities.

“To use a business analogy, our product line was out of date,” said Dave House, campaign chair.

Tech set a fundraising goal of $200,000,000 to be met by 2013. Last night the results of the campaign were announced. Not only did they reach the initial goal, the surpassed it for a total of $215,366,353.

“It was gratifying to see all areas of the University unite to turn this strategy into reality,” said George Butvilas, chair of the Michigan Tech Fund Board of Directors.

“Each area helped the advancement officers facilitate contact with alumni and friends of Michigan Tech in order to raise the funds to move towards these important goals. Team Tech moved the ball forward and brought the University to a new, higher level.”

The fund was earmarked for four main priorities – endowment funds for faculty and professorships and scholarships and fellowships, academic and student programs, campus facilities funds for new buildings, upgrading labs and classrooms and campus beautification, and the annual fund. During Thursday evening’s announcement, House, Butvilas, and Glenn Mroz, Michigan Tech president, listed some of the countless ways the money has already helped Michigan Tech evolve from where it was at the beginning of the campaign.

“1,359 graduate students – that’s the number we have on campus now,” Mroz said. “That’s a 52 percent increase from when the campaign began. It’s also an additional 111,000 cups of coffee sold to those students burning the midnight oil on campus through one of the gifts on campus, the coffee shop.”

In addition to increased enrollment, they noted many academic, research, recruiting, athletic and aesthetic accomplishments made possible by the donations received through the Generations of Discovery campaign. The successes made possible by the campaign also support the university’s strategic plan by helping attract a world-class faculty, staff and student body and supporting research and discovery.

Many programs were mentioned during the ceremony which were made possible by the campaign.

One is the Mind Trekkers program. Since its beginning, Butvilas said, Mind Trekkers has hosted 34 events with a total of 1,304,250 participants. During the campaign the university also added 57 new academic programs, an honors institute, greatly increased the number of funded research awards and increased the aesthetic appeal of the campus through measures such as gardens and pavilions.

“This is a transformational shift for Michigan Tech,” said Mroz. “Thank you to everyone who felt that they could make a difference in the lives of those at Michigan Tech.”

For more information on the campaign, visit mtu.edu/campaign.