MRO Magazine

A $5 Million Bequest to Michigan State University College of Engineering Will Endow Scholarships for New Innovation Leaders

By Business Wire News   


A $5 million bequest commitment from a Kentucky couple will strengthen the Michigan State University College of Engineering’s ability to coach, develop and educate the next generation of innovation leaders.

The estate gift from Gary and Patricia Coffman is one of the largest donations ever given to MSU Engineering. It will establish the Gary A. and Patricia A. Coffman Endowed Scholarship/Fellowship, funds that will be split into an endowed scholarship/fellowship fund for talented, qualified students and a discretionary fund for the dean.

“We are grateful for the gift from Gary and Patricia, a commitment that will keep MSU among world leaders in the field of engineering, as well as position us to continue to serve as a global innovation leader,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.

Gary Coffman said supporting the next generation of engineering leaders is exactly what they had in mind in creating the endowment.

“One of the key things in the engineering field is to establish an environment for others to leverage their capabilities,” he said. “As a leader, you are responsible for providing coaching and development for your employees to stretch and grow. It is my hope to impact students with this gift.”

Coffman was born and raised in the Detroit area. He graduated from MSU in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and began a 31-year career with Dow Corning. His responsibilities included a variety of plant management roles. He served as plant manager for the Dow Corning facility in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, from 1998 until his retirement in 2005.

“We’re thrilled to receive this entire commitment from the Coffmans,” said Leo Kempel, dean of the MSU College of Engineering. “Discretionary funds allow us to take advantage of opportunities to support faculty researchers at critical junctures, implement innovative new programs when other funding sources aren’t available, and to keep improving our student experiences.”

The MSU College of Engineering has eight academic departments serving 4,900 undergraduate and more than 800 graduate students through 10 undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs. For more, visit:

Michigan State University College of Engineering
Patricia Mroczek, 517-432-1303


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