Eighty golfers scrambled to raise more than $18,000 for merit-based scholarships in the NIU College of Engineering andEngineering Technology during the second annual Tee Up Fore Scholarships event.
Held June 19, the event is a result of collaboration between CEET and Caterpillar, Inc. One hundred percent of the profits go to scholarships.
“As Aristotle said, ‘’To give away money is an easy matter … and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter. Hence it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy and noble,’ ” CEET Associate Dean Omar Ghrayeb said.
“We want to thank Caterpillar and all other companies and individuals for their praiseworthy support,” Ghrayeb added. “The funds we raise from the golf outing supports five scholarships every year. That is, their noble support helps five young individuals better their future.”
This is the second year that Caterpillar participated in the promotion and execution of Tee Up Fore Scholarships.
Caterpillar’s partnership with NIU is an important one because the company hires many CEET graduates. Meanwhile, the scholarships help to build a strong pipeline of future engineers in the area.
“Seeing an event like this pulled off in central Illinois is critical to our community as it helps provide funding to students to strengthen our future with students in the technical field,” said Brian Krzyaniak, Caterpillar, Inc. powertrain factory manager. “The student involvement enables all players to witness firsthand the skills and people that are in NIU’s CEET program for future hiring opportunities.”
Recent CEET graduate Joey Cross, a volunteer at the event, called the outing “awesome. I went there to be one of the volunteers, but I ended up filling in as a golfer for a group that was missing a person.”
Getting time with industry professionals was beneficial for Cross. “It was a great experience getting out on the course and talking with people in the industry,” he said. “I learned a lot from them, and they enjoyed hearing about what we have going on at CEET.”
Five students were awarded scholarships thanks to last year’s golf outing; mechanical engineering major Mohammad Athar was one of them. This year, he was among the 17 NIU students and staff who volunteered to make sure the event ran smoothly.
“I really enjoyed the actual event. Working with the CEET staff, as well as meeting industry professionals, was a lot of fun,” Athar said.
As a recipient of the scholarship, Athar also was asked to speak last week. He reflected on his experiences as an engineering student at NIU.
“Engineers … bring hope to humanity. They make dreams come true. And that’s what Northern Illinois University represents to me. Hope for tomorrow,” he told the golfers. “And today, you, with your generous donations have given me hope. Because that’s what engineers are. We are not just men of science. We are men of hope.”