Materials Engineers Unite to Establish Robust Scholarship Endowment

ArcelorMittal’s loyal “steel people” combined funds and leveraged matching gifts for a smart and generous show of student support.
The 13 donors from ArcelorMittal are: Top Row: Barbara K. Turk (BS ’08), Kenneth B. Kolodziej (BS ’83), Jason M. Burbey (BS ’06, MS ’08), Kenneth E. Blazek (BS ’65, PhD ’71), Second Row: Lazo Trkulja (BS ’07), Richard P. Thiel (BS ’81), Linda M. Sarros (BS ’77), Leonard Mark Keilman (BS ’81, MS ’83), Timothy S. McCrea (BS ’83), Third Row: Melissa McLaughlin (BS ’93), Jason W. Lawhorn (BS ’99), Richard T. Gass (BS ’77), Jesicka M. Jones (BS ’11)

Tim McCrea (BSMSE ’83), division manager, talent acquisition and development at ArcelorMittal in Burns Harbor, Indiana, heard about the Purdue Affordability Scholarship Challenge while serving on an advisory committee for the School of Materials Engineering.

The challenge — in line with the Purdue Moves goal to increase affordability and accessibility for students — promised to match, dollar-for-dollar, any gift from $25,000 to $250,000 to fund scholarship endowments.

McCrea, a longtime supporter of Purdue students through personal and corporate pathways, realized this was an opportunity to energize the dedicated Purdue materials engineering alums at ArcelorMittal, leverage matching gift programs at both their alma mater and current company, and make a generous, creative contribution that would leave a lasting imprint on the school.

Pooling resources with other alums allowed us to achieve the ambitious goal of creating an endowment for Purdue that will last forever. Our collaboration shows the unity and pride that Purdue Materials Engineering instills in students.

LAZO TRKULJA
(BSAAE ’05, BSMSE ’07)
Technical Service Representative
ArcelorMittal

Banding Together

“This seemed like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of matching funds and pool our resources to keep it affordable for us as donors, and also help make Purdue even more affordable for deserving students,” McCrea says.

Each donor agreed to a five-year commitment of $250 a year. Through collaboration and leveraging of their corporate gift-matching opportunity — which enabled the group to take advantage of the University’s matching funds — these alums established a $50,000 scholarship endowment, a sum 40 times the amount of their individual donations.

“Corporate matching is crucial to amplifying the individual gifts of alumni,” says David Bahr, head of the School of Materials Engineering. “The corporate matching program at ArcelorMittal, our largest current employer of materials engineering alumni, allowed this dedicated group to band together. They endowed something that will always last and can continue to grow with future alumni and matching contributions.”

Lazo Trkulja (BSAAE ’05, BSMSE ’07) says, “Pooling our resources allowed us to achieve the ambitious goal of creating an endowment for Purdue that will last forever. Our collaboration shows the unity and pride that Purdue Materials Engineering instills in students.”

This seemed like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of matching funds and pool our resources... and help make Purdue even more affordable for deserving students.

TIM MCCREA
(BSMSE ’83)
Division Manager, Talent Acquisition and Development at ArcelorMittal

Authentic Boilermaker Pride

The 13 donors share their pride in Purdue, in working for ArcelorMittal and in the field of materials engineering. Self-proclaimed “steel people,”; they wanted the endowment’s name, as well as its purpose, to reflect their uniqueness and passion.

Referred to as the Purdue Materials Engineers of ArcelorMittal Scholarship, it is the first alumni-corporate funded scholarship for the School of Materials Engineering. The effort exemplifies community among materials engineers and the idea that graduating from Purdue connects you with a network of like-minded alumni.

“Besides the technical aspect of preparing students to excel in industry and research, it is exciting to be part of a school that treats students as a family,” McCrea says. “Every alum remembers their time with the school because of the personal attention they received from everyone — from the head to the clerical staff. It is phenomenal. They truly put students first.”

The benefits of a Purdue education are tangible. Kenneth Blazek (BSMSE ’65, PhD ’71) says, “A major reason for my success in engineering is the education and training I received obtaining my degrees at Purdue.”

The ArcelorMittal group’s scholarship endowment supports the College of Engineering’s Strategic Growth Initiative by enabling the College and the School of Materials Engineering to compete for top students — building quality, regardless of economic circumstances, into the student body.

“Affordability is crucial,” Bahr says. “We have many students with significant financial need, and scholarships such as this help ensure Purdue can attract all interested students into the MSE program.”

To lend your support to Materials Engineering initiatives, contact Robyn Jakes, director of development, at 765-494-4094Call 765-494-4094 or RNJakes@prf.org.