Category Archives: Donors

Supporting Mechanical Engineering Students—Rudolph and Judy Shunta

photo of Rudolph and Judy Shunta
Rudolph and Judy Shunta
Muskegon, Michigan

Gift Designation
Endowed scholarships
for ME-EM students
Mechanical Engineering

Type of Gift
Appreciated Securities

“Normally, Judy and I prefer to keep our charitable activities, if not anonymous, certainly low key,” says Rudy Shunta. “We like to help out where we can, but the magnitude of our donations certainly doesn’t put us at the philanthropist level.” Nevertheless, the Shuntas agreed to “go public” to encourage others. “We wanted to share our belief that it is everyone’s responsibility to pass along their good fortune to those who follow them,” he says.

Rudy paid his way through Michigan Tech in a multitude of ways. His parents helped, his uncle arranged for a summer job, and he received several minor scholarships. “I also had a fellowship as well as a teaching assistantship and a counselor assignment in Wadsworth Hall,” he says.

With this help, Rudy earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1962, followed by an MS in Engineering Mechanics a year later. Those degrees contributed to a successful career at General Motors and later at Dana Corporation’s Perfect Circle Sealed Power Division, where he was vice president/general manager.

After Rudy retired, he and his wife began donating appreciated securities to fund the Rudy and Judy Shunta Endowed Scholarship, which supports undergraduate mechanical engineering students.

“I’ve always been interested in investing, and over the years, I’ve bought stock that has appreciated quite a bit,” Rudy says. “By giving it to Michigan Tech, you don’t have to pay capital gains, and the University receives the full value.

“We are hoping that those who benefit from this scholarship will someday feel the responsibility to do the same as we have done. Good fortune is only a loan. Pass it on.”

For more information on the wide range of options to support Michigan Tech, contact the Office of Gift Planning.


Promoting Student Success with a Bequest—Waino Wahtera

Photo of Waino Wahtera
Waino Wahtera
Marquette, Michigan

Gift Designation
Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Type of Gift
Will Bequest

A generous bequest of approximately $875,000 from the estate of Waino Wahtera is funding the new Wahtera Center for Student Success at Michigan Tech.

Waino earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Michigan Tech in 1942. His degree contributed to a successful career at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, from which he retired in 1977 as senior air pollution control engineer. Waino passed away in June 2012 at the age of 93.

After discussions with Waino’s nephew, Michigan Tech decided to use his undesignated bequest to coordinate an array of initiatives to help students complete their degrees. His gift will help the University to provide additional funding to the learning centers, develop workshops and hire peer coaches, initiate an academic recovery program for suspended upper-level students, increase cooperation with academic advisors, and remodel the Office of the Dean of Students to bring staff together.

The concept behind the Wahtera Center for Student Success arose over a year ago, said Dean of Students Bonnie Gorman. “We wanted to bring the academic student support services together, so we could create better programs for our students. Then we received the bequest from the Wahtera estate, and that has enabled us to move more quickly. We are very grateful to the Wahtera family for making this possible.”

For more information on the wide range of options to support Michigan Tech, contact the Office of Gift Planning.