Professor Lucy King retires, leaves legacy

Jul 3, 2013

Professor King established the Lucy S. King Scholarship Endowment by creating a charitable remainder trust and designating a portion of the trust to the Lucy King Scholarship.

Dr. Lucy KingDr. Lucy King, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, retired from Kettering University on June 30, 2013, after 22 years of service. To commemorate the occasion and to continue serving Kettering students in perpetuity, Professor King established the Lucy S. King Scholarship Endowment by creating a charitable remainder trust and designating a portion of the trust, which is currently valued at nearly $100,000, to the Lucy King Scholarship. The scholarship will provide inspiration and support for students pursuing careers in manufacturing.

Born in Hong Kong, King once gave up a prestigious seat in medical school in order to secure a visa to the U.S. to study physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Upon graduation in 1968, King went on to earn her doctoral degree in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. She completed post-doctoral studies in Zurich in 1973, where she conducted DNA/RNA research. In 1978, she moved to Metro Detroit when her husband accepted a position with Ford Motor Company. At that time, King was hired to teach computer graphics, statistics, and computer-aided design (CAD) at Lawrence Technical University, where she taught for 12 years before joining the faculty at Kettering University as a full professor in 1991.

King noted that the key lesson she learned from the transitions in her career was that “higher education prepares individuals with the versatility and agility to learn new principles and concepts quickly, with a fast turnaround to applying them and teaching them.” She added, “A strong background in physics helped me make the transition to manufacturing.”

Fanuc robots, like this one in Lucy King's CIM Laboratory at Kettering, are helping to make automation in U.S. manufacturing plants a reality.

King will pass that ability on to future Kettering students through the King Scholarship Endowment. “Manufacturing is this institution’s legacy,” said King. She was adamant that Kettering University is the right place for exceptional students who wish to pursue careers in manufacturing. “Students come to Kettering University for a special purpose,” King continued, “because they are doers. The University needs these kinds of students in its programs. This scholarship is intended for them, so they can follow their dreams.”

King hopes this scholarship will not only support talented and capable students pursuing manufacturing-related degrees, but will also inspire others to make similar commitments to Kettering University. The establishment of a charitable remainder trust is mutually beneficial to the University and to the donor. During the donor’s lifetime or for a period of years, the donor receives a fixed percentage of the fund’s value as income. After that period, the assets transfer to the University to generate scholarship support. “I encourage others,” King said, “to do the same to support this revitalized University.”

The scholarship account is designed to be perpetual and is open to additional gifts at any time. If you would like to contribute to the Lucy S. King Scholarship Endowment, or if you are interested in similar giving opportunities at Kettering University, please call University Advancement at (810) 762-9863.