For Mike Holmes '67, giving to MSOE is nothing new. "I started donating to MSOE back in the 1970s," he recalled. "Since I received a scholarship to attend MSOE, it seemed logical for me to try to give something back. I started out with small donations and, as my career grew, I was able to slowly give more." Holmes' lifetime employer, General Electric, matched his contributions. "GE's charitable matching program was a good incentive for me to give."
Today, Holmes has established a scholarship fund that provides four sophomore electrical engineering students $10,400 annually towards their tuition costs. "I felt that if the students showed they could handle freshman year at MSOE, then they have proved themselves and deserved a little extra help. I fund the scholarship on an annual basis but I've also established an endowment, so when I pass the scholarship will live on in perpetuity."
Supporting students is important to Holmes. "I felt I was successful in my career at GE, and was able to stay there for 39 years thanks in part to my MSOE education. Since MSOE furnished me with a scholarship and helped me maintain what I was doing, I wanted to help MSOE students and give something back."
One of Holmes' scholarship recipients, senior Scott Ambelang, is especially thankful for the assistance the scholarship has given him. "The Michael J. Holmes Scholarship gave me the opportunity to attend MSOE. Without Mr. Holmes' generous gift, I would not have been able to afford MSOE and would have missed several life-changing opportunities," said Ambelang.
Holmes was able to meet his scholarship recipients (Ambelang included) at a recent Scholarship Luncheon held at MSOE. "I enjoy funding the scholarship, especially when I get to meet the recipients. Last year one of my scholarship recipients gave a speech at the luncheon, and another one studied abroad in Germany. I'm happy to be able to put a face with the name, and it makes me proud to know that the money is helping them."
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