Kettering receives $15.5 million pledge from Mott Foundation

FLINT — Strengthening Kettering University’s leadership in the field of higher education and expanding its role as a strategic partner in the region’s revitalization are the goals behind a $15.5-million grantmaking initiative announced today by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Mott’s pledge of support, which is conditioned on Kettering successfully meeting certain criteria, is the largest ever received by the University.

The Foundation intends to provide a series of grants to Kettering University over three or more years. The first of those grants – for $2,006,000, was made in May 2012. The grants will support a set of strategies designed to help Kettering:

• grow student enrollment;

• nurture the school’s economic impact on the Flint community;

• communicate the university’s unique identity to a broad audience; and

• build alumni relationships and support for the school.

“Kettering has a longstanding tradition of academic excellence, highlighted by inspired teaching that offers a blend of classroom and real-world learning,” said William S. White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation.

“Across Michigan we are seeing higher learning institutions play transformational roles, both in their home communities and throughout the entire state. These initiatives, with Mott support, will build on Kettering’s strengths and help the institution lead the way in redefining the way colleges engage with their communities and educate young people for the 21st Century.”

Mott grantmaking related to Kettering has totaled $29.6 million since 1983. That funding over the years has enabled the university to improve and expand its facilities, enhance and diversify its academic curriculums, provide scholarships to underserved students, and launch outreach efforts to engage and connect with the Flint community.

The Foundation’s commitment to its hometown is further reflected in the more than $758 million that it has invested in the greater Flint area over the past 84 years – $24 million in 2011 alone. That funding has included support for area educational institutions, such as Kettering; programs serving children and youth; economic and downtown development; job training; public safety; and emergency and family services.

Kettering witnessed a 19 percent increase in its freshman enrollment between 2010 and 2011. The Mott grants will help Kettering to further grow and retain its student body through the redesign of admissions and graduation criteria for educational programs outside the school’s traditional engineering curriculums, and the strengthening of academic and career counseling programs. — G.G.

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