Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) announced that through the generosity of alumni and friends, it has met a $50,000 challenge grant issued by the Woodard Family Foundation, and raised more than $100,000 for equipment in the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering (MMET) department.

The challenge grant provides essential funding for necessary replacement and upgrades of equipment which will ensure that students will continue to benefit from the applied, hands-on education that results in a 97 percent graduate success rate, and average starting salaries of $58,000. The grant supports Oregon Tech’s vision of becoming a destination for distinct professionals by providing outstanding project support to students while pursuing an education at Oregon Tech.

“We are grateful to the Woodard Family Foundation for their generous gift and for using it to encourage others to come forward and support students,” said Oregon Tech president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan. “We commend the members of our Oregon Tech community who responded to the challenge with overwhelming support to provide students with state-of-the-art equipment.”

Cornett Hall 2018
The equipment will be located in Cornett Hall, home to a variety of exceptional engineering and natural science programs. With a dedicated focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, the remodeled Cornett Hall will boast spaces designed to enhance cross-departmental collaboration and foster an innovation ecosystem. The building is currently undergoing the second phase of a significant renovation, which will modernize all labs and classrooms, greatly enhancing the student experience in project based learning. Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Technology and Management, Brian Moravec, shared the importance of this grant, “New equipment and technology will significantly add to the potential of our exciting renovated classrooms and labs. With spaces designed to encourage the sharing of ideas and up to date learning resources at their disposal, students will have the tools to be more successful and industry-ready upon graduation than ever.”

The impact of the Woodard Family Foundation gift reaches far beyond the initial grant. It has inspired others to contribute to matching this amount (a stipulation of the grant), including nearly 50 members of the Oregon Tech alumni community answering the call to give back to their alma mater’s equipment need. Now, virtually every student in a MMET program will benefit from over $100,000 in new equipment that will furnish the renovated Cornett Hall facility.

The Woodard Family Foundation supports charitable and philanthropic work, particularly in education, economic advancement, social service and the arts in communities of particular interest to the family. The Woodard Foundation also exists to promote family giving by providing a forum for family members to affirm their core values, honor a common legacy in Oregon and promote and encourage family philanthropy.

To learn more about how you can help support students at Oregon Tech, contact Tracy Ricketts, associate vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at 541-885-1118 or Tracy.Ricketts@oit.edu.


About the Oregon Tech Foundation

The Oregon Tech Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and funds the educational, cultural, charitable, and service functions of the Oregon Institute of Technology.