A group of Michigan Tech alumni has turned its social events into a significant benefit for Michigan Tech students. Members of the West Michigan Chapter of MTU Alumni, through events like pasty sales and pickled egg contests, are helping students complete their education through an endowed scholarship fund.
Kevin Grzelak has been involved with the West Michigan Chapter since 1997 and its president since 2003. He’s seen activity for the Chapter increase with the high number of Tech alumni living in the area.
“We weren’t trying to raise money initially, but we started making a little money,” he said. “Then someone donated a fishing charter that we raffled off. It wasn’t long until we decided we should use the funds to start the scholarship.”
Events used to raise the funds include annual events like a Chapter Spring Dinner, a Vollwerth’s pasty sale, a golf outing, raffles for fishing charters, and a pickled egg contest.
Scholarship recipients are high school graduates from the counties of Allegan, Barry, Lake, Kent, Mason, Mecosta, Muskegan, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, and Ottawa on the lower peninsula’s west side. Priority is given to children of Michigan Tech alumni. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, and the scholarship is renewable for up to five years.
Over the last 10 years, 14 students have received scholarships to continue their education. Many more will be helped as the endowment balance approaches $100,000.
“The work of the chapter and putting on events is spread over a large group of alumni,” said Grzelak. “We split up the tasks. It’s a pretty active group with good camaraderie, and we’re happy to support our alma mater.”
Contribute to the West Michigan Alumni Chapter Scholarship or support the Annual Fund Scholarship for any student with need.