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Tech kicks off fund campaign

October 1, 2010

HOUGHTON - Michigan Technological University kicked off the public phase of a $200 million multi-year fundraising campaign - in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the university - with the amount raised so far being $125,125,125, President Glenn Mroz announced at a campaign dinner Thursday evening.

The "Generations of Discovery" campaign began with a "quiet phase" in 2006, reaching half of its goal, and will enable Michigan Tech to acquire the resources to raise its recognition as a premier research university.

The campaign will focus primarily on the university's strategic plan goal for attracting and supporting the very best faculty, students and staff by increasing the number of endowed faculty positions and increasing endowed financial aid for students.

Article Photos

Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
George Butvilas, Michigan Tech Fund Chair; Marty Richardson, Board of Control chair; Dave House, 1965 graduate of Tech and Generations of Discovery campaign chair, university president Glenn Mroz and board member Kathryn Clark toast the kick-off of the Generations of Discovery campaign public phase Thursday.

"We sought to build a strong culture of philanthropy," Mroz said. "If you take a look at most really great universities, they are really great universities because people believe in them and support them. We felt that a place like Michigan Tech, with such a loyal group of supporters, we really could make that happen and we see that happening every day."

Mroz said for Michigan Tech to flourish, the campaign needs to grow more over time and the campaign serves as a platform for telling the story of what Michigan Tech has become.

These endowments are permanently invested gifts which continually grow, and are important to Tech's future for endowed faculty chairs and professorships, as well as scholarships to graduate fellowships.

"We've gone from four endowed chair faculty positions to 16," Mroz said.

Mroz thanked those involved for investing in Michigan Tech's future and for making a difference in the lives of students today and far into the future.

"Our students now have a world-reach in what they do," Mroz said.

Dave House, a 1965 graduate of Michigan Tech and campaign chair, has pledged $10 million, the largest gift Michigan Tech has ever received.

"Dave feels deeply about our strategic plan that in order for Michigan Tech to be a great place, we have to have great people," Mroz said.

House told the crowd of hundreds at the campaign dinner he believes in Michigan Tech and the power of change.

"Michigan Tech needs to change for two reasons," House said. "The market has changed."

George Butvilas, Michigan Tech Fund Chair, thanked Mroz, who he called an outstanding president, for his work with the campaign.

At the kickoff dinner, Mroz announced two new $1 million gifts from Tom Shaffner and John and Ruanne Opie. The event ended with a rousing performance by the Michigan Tech Pep Band, led by House.

Stacey Kukkonen can be reached at



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