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Put it in the cup: Engineering students drive scholarship funds at golf outing with Caterpillar

July 19, 2011

Tee Up Fore ScholarshipsFive students from NIU’s College of Engineering & Engineering Technology will benefit from scholarships in the amount of $2,000 thanks to a tremendous partnership between Caterpillar and the college. 

CEET hosted the first Tee Up Fore Scholarships golf outing June 13 to support scholarships for the college, thanks in large part to the guidance, support and friendship from Caterpillar and their staff.

“In March, the Aurora branch of Caterpillar approached us about hosting a golf outing to increase the scholarship opportunities we have for our students,” said Omar Ghrayeb, associate dean for the college.

“At that time, we already knew Caterpillar was an outstanding partner. But this was just over the top. They provided the roadmap to plan the outing, and supported it by inviting their suppliers, colleagues, and employees. We simply cannot thank them enough.”

During the outing, participants enjoyed beautiful weather, lunch and dinner refreshments and many fun, lighthearted games along the course, including the opportunity to launch a golf ball more than 400 feet.

Tee Up Fore ScholarshipsThe goal was to plan an outing where every golfer had the opportunity to win prizes, have fun and leave knowing that another young student will pursue the engineering profession thanks to their generosity.

For Caterpillar, the outing offered the opportunity for staff to network and socialize with friends, professors and suppliers from all over the nation.

“We don’t have too many opportunities to strengthen our supplier and customer relationships in a relaxed atmosphere to level set on business needs. This allowed some of us the opportunity to meet with some of our supply base as well as our customer base to strengthen these relationships,” said Brian Krzyaniak, manufacturing strategy manager for Caterpillar Aurora. “This outing offered that chance, all while showcasing what the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology is doing to produce quality engineers and support manufacturing jobs in our region.”

In total, the College of Engineering & Engineering Technology raised more than$23,000 for scholarships, but will put the remaining money into an endowed fund; over time, the scholarship will sustain itself.

Future outings will continue to grow the fund while also dispersing smaller scholarships each year.

Participants in the event included CEET alumni, Caterpillar staff and vendors and members of the college faculty and staff. Each had the occasion to win prizes such as trips to Las Vegas, NIU season ticket packages, Cubs and White Sox ticket packages and gift certificates from area stores and restaurants.

Dean Promod Vohra is thankful for the mutual benefits that this partnership brings.

“The CAT-NIU partnerships is a step in the right direction. For CAT to value the need for providing scholarships to prospective engineering students is priceless and should be a lesson for others to learn from,” Vohra said. “CAT-NIU is working together to bring engineering excellence to the region.”