$1 million for international exchange

May 16, 2005

A gift from Bob '64 and Marcy Oswald will support international study and research for students and faculty.

Students and faculty members at Kettering University in Flint will have new opportunities to travel the world for study and research after a $1 million gift was presented May 16 to enhance an international exchange.

The $1 million gift is from alumnus and Kettering Trustee Robert Oswald ('64), and his wife, Marcy, of Bloomfield Hills. "Marcy and I wanted to do something for Kettering," Oswald said. "The academic and work preparations I received as a student was significant, so we decided we wanted to give something back. Providing opportunities for enhanced global experiences resonated with both of us."

Kettering President James E.A. John said the Oswald family's contribution is a long-term commitment in establishing Kettering as a global university. "This will open doors for both students and faculty members interested in broadening their study and research options in the international community," he added.

The Oswald Endowment for International Student and Faculty Exchange will:

  • increase the number of Kettering students who can study abroad and work in international co-op jobs,
  • encourage the exchange of faculty members with international universities,
  • ensure the continuing quality of the international exchange program and
  • enhance a Kettering education with global experience.

"There are two or three things we'd especially like to see happen," Oswald said. "We want to make sure that Kettering's international exchange program continues, that's why we are offering help to students who may need an assist. We'd also like to encourage the development of job assignments on both sides - U.S. jobs and foreign jobs. Additionally, we hope to encourage faculty members to be engaged in international programs."

Oswald supports Kettering President James E.A. John's goal of having half of all university students participate in international study and travel during their college years. "Our hope is this gift will provide substantial growth in the participation, jobs and faculty opportunities for teaching and research in international programs," Oswald explained. "We want this gift to provide the monetary support needed for those goals."

Oswald said Kettering's international efforts have already been successful. Kettering is currently the top American university for exchanging students in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the region of Germany that Scientific American magazine calls "the Technology Heart of Europe."

Kettering currently has study abroad programs with:

  • Saltillo, Mexico, at Monterrey Institute of Technology (IE),
  • Melbourne, Australia, at the Swinburne University of Technology (ME),
  • Esslingen, Germany, at the School for Applied Sciences (ME),
  • Reutlingen, Germany, at the School for Applied Sciences (Mgmt, IE and EE),
  • Ulm, Germany, at the School for Applied Sciences (ME, CE, EE and CS),
  • Konstanz, Germany, at the School for Applied Sciences (ME),
  • Wiesbaden, Germany, at the School for Applied Sciences (ME) and

Kettering will be opening study abroad programs in:

  • Chongking, China, at Chongking University,
  • Beijing, China, at Tsingwa University and
  • Munich, Germany, at the School for Applied Sciences.

"We want future international endeavors to grow," Oswald said, "and we want to make sure that international efforts remain a high priority within the university."

A 1964 graduate of Kettering/GMI, Oswald is noted for his leadership within the automotive industry. He began his career as a co-op student with General Motors, but left GM shortly after graduation. He spent18 years at the Ford Motor Co., and then six years with Cummins in Columbus, Ind. Much of his own international business experience came during his 12 years with the Robert Bosch Corp., the North American (NA) subsidiary of the Stuttgart, Germany, based Robert Bosch GmbH. Oswald was chairman, president, and CEO of the NA operations, and a member of the Bosch Board of Management. He retired from Bosch in 2001.

The international connection continues with his current position as chairman of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, LLC. Bendix with headquarters in Elyria, Ohio, is part of the Munich, Germany based Knorr-Bremse Group, the leading worldwide supplier of air brake and related safety systems for commercial vehicle and railroad applications.

Oswald has been a member of Kettering's Board of Trustees since 1993. He was instrumental in the funding and implementation of Kettering's Bosch Automotive Electronic Systems Laboratory in November 2000.

Kettering University, formerly called General Motors Institute, is located in Flint, Michigan, and is one of the country's premier co-op institutions. It provides 2,500 students with career-based education in engineering, applied sciences, mathematics, and business management. Founded in 1919, the University also offers graduate programs in engineering and manufacturing management. Kettering is ranked among the nation's finest specialty schools by "U.S. News and World Report." More about Kettering University.



Code for degrees:
CE - Computer Engineering
CS - Computer Science
EE - Electrical Engineering
IE - Industrial Engineering
ME - Mechanical Engineering
Mgmt - Management

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533