Category Archives: Alumni Spotlight

Robinsons Continue Philanthropy to SBE

By Mark Wilcox | Published May 3, 2016 

Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics Alumnus Ed Robinson and his wife Betty  have generously given to the SBE for 50 years. Their latest gifts benefit the School two ways, with an endowed fellow as well as physical improvements to the Academic Office Building that houses the SBE.
Ed Robinson graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1966. It’s been 50 years since he left campus, but the culture of philanthropy he fostered in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) will resonate far into the future.For more than 30 years Robinson and his wife Betty have generously given to the SBE. Last year the couple decided that what they’ve done in the past wasn’t enough and vowed to do more—much more.

Through the Robinsons’ philanthropy, the SBE will see significant improvements both academically and in the physical state of its building. What was initially an idea for renovation, ended up as a major improvement to the Academic Office Building, home of the SBE, and a planned bequest for the Edward and Betty Robinson Endowed Faculty Fellow in accounting. The bequest will fund what will be known as the “Robinson Fellow.”

Eric Halonen, Michigan Tech’s assistant vice president for advancement, said students are the beneficiaries of the Robinsons’ service and philanthropy.

“Ed and Betty are building the School of Business and Economics through two facets, with both a building renovation and the faculty fellow position,” he said.

Sam Tidwell Center

Dean Johnson, interim dean of the SBE, noted Robinson’s past dedication to the school, particularly his work as chair of the Tidwell Center Endowment Campaign. Named after the legendary late accounting professor Sam Tidwell, the Tidwell Center consists of endowment funds to support scholarships and direct student services.

“Ed’s guidance and his generous gift will ensure a lasting bond between legendary faculty like Sam Tidwell and those who will have the honor of serving as the Robinson Fellow,” Johnson said.

Ed Robinson said he and Betty want to continue to help the School that has given so much to them.

“We want to do our small part in helping SBE on to greater achievements for the benefit of students now and into the future.”Ed Robinson

“Sam Tidwell and other SBE faculty were a great inspiration to me,” he said. “We want to do our small part in helping SBE on to greater achievements for the benefit of students now and into the future.”

Betty Robinson also acknowledges Tidwell’s influence on her husband’s success. “Fifty years ago, Michigan Tech invested in my husband’s quality education. … He blames Professor Sam Tidwell for steering him into a public accounting career. From that investment by Michigan Tech, he enjoyed years in public accounting.”

Betty Robinson said her husband spent 22 years in public accounting and became Deloitte’s National Industry Director-Transportation as a partner. He also became chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Transportation Committee.

“In his career, he went on to become the chief financial officer of two regional railroads in the Midwest from their inception and continues to serve in that capacity,” Betty said.

Noting that faculty are key to student success, Johnson went on to say, “Ed’s gift will support and attract high-quality faculty who are the interface for the next generation of accountants.”

Johnson said the gifts are doing more than looking out for the future of the SBE.

Academic Office Building Renovation

“The Robinsons are making additional annual gifts in order to have an immediate impact,” he said. “As a result, renovations in the Academic Office Building have recently been completed. We anticipate filling the Robinson Fellow position in the near future.”

In addition to the Robinsons’ philanthropy, Ed Robinson continues to serve on the SBE Dean’s Advisory Council and the Accounting Advisory Council and is a member of the School of Business and Economics Academy.

The Robinsons are members of the McNair Society and the 1885 Society, and Ed is a life trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund, as well as a current member of the President’s Advancement Council.

“The Robinsons are a true ‘Michigan Tech family,’” Halonen said. “Ed and Betty’s son, Decha, is a 2006 graduate of the School of Business and Economics as well. Their service and philanthropic spirit are matched by only a very select few.”

Betty Robinson said it’s only fair they give to back to the institution that has meant so much to them.

“The investment by Michigan Tech paid off, and now it is time we returned a payback to the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Tech,” she said.

 

Robinson's photo


Agen (Fall 2015 Finance Grad) Signs Free Agent Deal with NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs

agen

Michigan Tech defensive lineman Tanner Agen signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent at the conclusion of the NFL Draft Saturday night.

Agen was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team as a senior after leading Michigan Tech in sacks (5.5) while finishing third on the team in tackles with 62. The Kaukauna, Wisconsin, native notched 137 tackles   during his four years with the Huskies – including 28 tackles for loss – and had 10 career sacks.

Agen and the Chiefs will begin rookie camps this month.

For more Michigan Tech Athletics, visit michigantechhuskies.com.


Alumni Spotlight – Maggie Chen

Maggie Chen ’04 recently presented at Goldman Sach’s Alternative Investment Conference in Hong Kong.  There were over 150 people in attendance, and her panel was highly ranked among attendees.

After completing her BS in Business Administration at Michigan Tech, Maggie earned her MBA from Yale University in 2010.  She has also spent time working at China’s SAFE Investment Company, AIG and Morgan Stanley before she assumed her current role as Head of Portfolio Management at Junson Capital Company Limited in Hong Kong.

 


DECA sends its thanks to the Michigan Tech Alumni Association

Alum Assoc

The Alumni Association has donated funds to Michigan Tech’s Student Organization, DECA.

DECA wishes to thank the Alumni Association for helping to support the opportunity to attend the State Leadership Conference in Madison, WI this coming spring. Without the association’s help the School of Business and Economics’ DECA Students would not have been able to achieve their goal of competing and representing our University at the state level.

The purpose of the Michigan Tech Alumni Association Board is to sponsor events that allow them to contribute to the University’s strategic goals. The students of DECA and the School of Business and Economics would like to thank the Michigan Tech Alumni Association for their support!

 


Lyth Donates to School of Business and Economics

By Mark Wilcox mlwilcox@mtu.edu

David Lyth sits with recipients of the Joyce Caylor Lyth Endowed Scholarship and the  Pioneering Women in Business Scholarships at a luncheon in August.

David Lyth sits with recipients of the Joyce Caylor Lyth Endowed Scholarship and the Pioneering Women in Business Scholarships at a luncheon in August

December 3, 2015—

A Michigan Technological University alumnus has provided a gift of $100,000 to the School of Business and Economics to offer financial assistance to women and to honor the memory of his wife.

David Lyth calls his late wife, Joyce Caylor Lyth, “a pioneer,” and he hopes a scholarship at Tech’s SBE will encourage future generations of Upper Peninsula women to follow in her courageous footsteps.

Lyth, a professor at Western Michigan University, met his future wife while they were both undergraduates at Michigan Tech in the late 1960s.

Joyce Lyth

Joyce Lyth, a native of the small Menominee County community of Wallace in the central UP, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009 and bravely fought the disease for nearly five years, passing away in March of last year.

“She was a first-generation college student and came to Tech to study accounting at a time when most women went to college to study either teaching or nursing,” He said.

To honor her memory and preserve her legacy, the Joyce Caylor Lyth Memorial Endowed Scholarship is open to female first-generation college students from the Upper Peninsula studying accounting at Tech’s SBE.  It is the first scholarship program of its kind in the business school in that it is for women and was set up by a woman.

“Throughout her career, throughout her life, Joyce was always focused on what was ethical and what was right,” David Lyth said. The couple laid the framework for the scholarship while she was still alive, according to Lyth.

He says referring to his wife as a “pioneer” is not an exaggeration.

“She made her own way in the world, working her way through college.” Lyth says it was rare for UP women to attend college in the 1960s, and as a result, there were no scholarships available to her. Working a variety of jobs, she self-financed her education. Her ground breaking didn’t end with college, in many ways it began.

“She pioneered women moving off campus in 1970, and went on to become chief accountant at Stryker” he said.

Joyce was the controller of two firms in the 80s. 90s and 00s, and on two occasions, she was a business owner.

“She started her own accounting services business in Houghton in 1979 and another in Kalamazoo in 2005 and retired due to her illness in 2009.

Role Model and Mentor

Throughout her business life, Joyce was a role model.

“She very effectively mentored all around her, even after recovery from cancer treatment,” Lyth says.

“This scholarship is a continuation of her legacy. She was about mentoring. She was always looking to help others develop their capabilities and grow professionally,” he says.

The scholarship is designed to have a mentoring component with one year’s recipients mentoring the next.

Pioneering Women in Business Scholarships

In addition, Lyth, in collaboration with the School of Business and Economics, has helped establish the Pioneering Women in Business Scholarship. The program provides four $1,000-a-year scholarships for four years.

“Joyce and I realized the value and importance of an education, especially at Michigan Tech. We want to give others the same opportunities Joyce had,” Lyth said.  “Our aim is to support those who may not be able to come to Tech without some help.”

Lyth is hoping the initiative will inspire support from alumni and friends of the SBE for the Pioneering Women in Business Scholarship program, the Joyce Caylor Lyth Scholarship, or by establishing their own endowed scholarship fund.  David has also included a significant provision for Joyce’s endowed scholarship in his estate plan, to ensure their wish to provide opportunities for young women like Joyce continues far into the future

 Gene Klippel, SBE dean, says the Lyth Scholarships provide excellent opportunities for financial support to female students enrolled or enrolling in the School.

“Making a college education more affordable to our students is a continuous goal of the School,” Klippel said. “Thus, the Joyce Caylor Lyth Memorial Endowed Scholarships and the Dr. David Lyth-supported Pioneering Women in Business Scholarships are indeed most welcomed and greatly appreciated.” 

Klippel hopes the philanthropy of the Lyths will be inspirational. “It is our sincere hope others will see the value such scholarship support provides for our students and be willing to explore with us how they, too, can make a difference in the life of a student.

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.