Original Press Release
SME Education Foundation Celebrates 30 Years Secures Legacy, Charts Course for Future
Press release date: January 7, 2010
DEARBORN, Mich., - The SME Education Foundation celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year thanks to the vision, leadership, and dedication of a manufacturing industry caring about the vitality of its future. Acknowledged as the number one influencer of manufacturing education, the Foundation has reason to celebrate and is charting an exciting future. A sponsored, invitation-only 30th Anniversary event will be held on September 16, 2010.
In its infancy, the Foundation provided in-kind donations of software and capital equipment to worthy colleges and universities. Although engineering students had access to state-of-the-art software and equipment, according to industry employers, graduates weren't prepared for the challenges of the work world. To address these industry identified competency gaps and ensure grads "hit the ground running," their Manufacturing Education Plan was developed. Through curriculum development grants, over $8.5 million was awarded to colleges and universities. Leveraged with industry match SME Education Foundation grants, there was a $25 million impact on higher education. The impact reverberates in today's programs.
Philip R. Marsilius, FSME, LSME, whose involvement with the Foundation began in its origination, monitored its growth. "The results of relationships we established and the programs we created thirty years ago are very satisfying to see. Manufacturing as an industry will continue to exceed our expectations simply because there are processes and technologies we have yet to invent and the challenges being presented to the manufacturing industry will secure its future." Marsilius served as the Foundation's past president (1984-1987), Board member (1980-1984) and Board Chairman Emeritus (1988-present).
Early supporters of the SME Education Foundation continue still today to reinforce programs important to manufacturing education and include Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Foundation, TRW Foundation, Lockheed Corporation and a host of others. The legacy of individual donors who established endowments thirty years ago, allows the Foundation to fund awards, scholarships and in-kind gifts to colleges and universities. In spite of major scholarships being cut throughout the country, the SME Education Foundation is able to continue providing financial support to scholastically-talented young people pursuing technology-based careers.
About the SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org and award-winning Web site, manufacturingiscool.com.