The Paper Technology Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, was established in 1958. The mission of the Paper Technology Foundation is to recruit students for the Paper Engineering program and Chemical Engineering students pursuing paper engineering minors at Western Michigan University and to provide those students with competitive scholarships. Careful, directed recruiting, provision of competitive scholarships, and co-op and intern placements are strategies and tools that ensure that we provide strong leaders for the paper and allied industries well into the future.

Western Michigan University, at their Parkview campus, has made an unprecedented and unequaled investment in the Paper Engineering program. Western’s Parkview campus is a $72 million investment in engineering and research and includes a modern 1 meter wide pilot coater with multiple coating application capabilities. During the past five decades, our industry has undergone dramatic change and the programs at the university continue to evolve to meet these challenges. The Parkview campus provides our student body with the most modern and most capable educational and research facilities available in any Paper Engineering school in the nation.

Our industry will continue to evolve in ways that will challenge the ability of universities to provide technically trained individuals to the industry. Western Michigan University is prepared to answer that challenge and to provide talented and motivated graduates who are academically positioned to lead the future generation. Industry change and evolution provides an extremely exciting time for a young person to enter our industry. Changes in the way we work, game-changing leaps in technology as well as the continued globalization and often privatization of both the paper industry and the U.S. economy will make the coming years unlike any we have experienced in our lifetime.

The Paper Technology Foundation Board of Trustees will continue to challenge our faculty while providing assistance to augment and enhance the pulp and paper programs by reflecting critical needs of the industry, by adding value to the degrees offered by the University, and by enhancing the reputation of the programs over the coming years.

2012—13 Executive Report
We have proudly offered fifty-four years of support for the students studying Paper Engineering.  In recent years, PTF has been supporting Chemical Engineers with minors in Paper Engineering.  PTF has supported a number of PCI Graduate students thru a quasi-endowment dedicated to graduate thesis support.

Our Foundation continues its excellent support for Western Michigan University, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and specifically the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering.

Foundation Personnel Changes
During the 2012—2013 year there were personnel changes of note:

  • Mr. John Bales ’64, Peregrine Unlimited Inc. resigned from the Board
  • Mr. James Thorpe, Bercen Chemical resigned from the Board
  • Mr. Jeff Lange, Bercen Chemical joined the Board replacing Mr. Thorpe
  • Dr. Denise Trainer ’75, MeadWestvaco resigned from the Board
  • Mr. Steve Bushhouse ‘90, MeadWestvaco joined the Board
  • Mr. Robert Gallo, Voith Inc. resigned from the Board
  • Mr. Fred Kalakay ’89, PaperWorks Inc. resigned from the Board
  • Mr. Rex Robertson, Metso Paper USA Inc. resigned from the Board
  • Mr. Mike Nelson, Metso Paper USA Inc. joined the Board
  • Mr. Matt Stall, EKA Chemicals Inc. resigned from the Board
  • Mr. Derek Maddox’98, AkzoNobel joined the Board
  • Mr. Charles Robinson, Ashland Water Technologies joined the Board
  • Mr. Jack Bray ’81, Domtar Inc. joined the Board
  • Ms. Sandra Steinbach, Western Michigan University resigned from the Board

We wish to recognize John Bales for his many years of dedicated service and leadership. John served notably in several officer positions, as president and as fund raising campaign co-chairman during his tenure. We extend John and his wife Mary best wishes.

Ms. Steinbach served as associate treasurer of PTF and resigned from WMU and PTF. Sandy has returned to private industry.

Ms. Kate Miller has now demonstrated very positive results in recruitment and retention results. Kate is addressing students concerns as they develop.

Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention
New incoming Paper Engineering major and minor enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 19 Paper Engineering Majors, 13 Minors, and 3 Transfer Students as Majors. An excellent first full year result on Kate’s part! Dr. Margaret Joyce and Dr. Thomas Joyce aided Kate substantially.

As of fall 2013 scholarship review, we have 13 sophomores; 7 are majors and 6 are minors. This is from an initial class of 10 true freshmen; a 130% retention rate attributed to additional successful recruiting efforts.

We have 12 juniors (7 majors, 5 minors.) This is from an initial class of 14 students; a 86% retention rate.

We have 20 seniors (9 majors, 11 minors.) The original class was 10; a 200% retention from freshmen level to senior status.

Scholarship Awards
PTF scholarship awards are now granted on an annual basis per WMU policy in order to facilitate coordination with other financial aid that may be granted to our scholarship students.

Annual 2013–14 awards were distributed to 48 students; 35 majors and 13 minors. Total awards were $250,707.

Endowment performance was quite strong at year-end, although some drop had occurred in June. There was a net gain from security transactions of $545,127 as of June 30, 2013. Total invested assets were $5,599,031 as of June 30, 2013. Net cash provided by financing activities was $109,611. Trustee and brokerage fees increased to $70,903 from $69,812 in 2012. These fees have been netted with income from investments and realized gains and losses.

During 2012-13, Ashland joined the Paper Technology Foundation Board of Trustees and Mr. Charles Robinson, Vice President, will serve as their representative on the Board. RockTenn Corporation has joined as a member and Mr. Tim Hagenbuch ’94, General Manager, will be their representative on the Board. Mr. Bob Gallo, Vice President of Voith has resigned from the Board. Mr. John Bales ’64, Peregrine Unlimited Inc. has resigned from the Board.

Audit Committee
The Audit Committee of the Board met to review the audit plan and has recommended and approved the plan. Plante & Moran has conducted the independent audit per those plans. Areas of risk and the anticipated level of risk were discussed as part of the audit plan review. Plante & Moran believes the financial reports present fairly in all material respects, the financial position of the Paper Technology Foundation Inc. as of June 30, 2013.

The Paper Technology Foundation has experienced a remarkable track record, and we are most grateful to our alumni, friends, and corporate donors who continue to make it possible.
Our mission remains clear: we are about the business of recruiting, and educating motivated and talented students to earn their places of leadership in our industry.

Our graduates continue to be well received by the industry and are being placed at salaries starting around $70,000 annually.  We continue to have 100% job placement for paper engineering majors; again reinforcing the positive outcomes of our program.  Students work as productive professionals during internships and co-ops.  These practical experiences along with their academic accomplishments have created their successful career launch with outstanding starting salaries and positions.

Investment in the Paper Technology Foundation, therefore, is an important public statement about a commitment to Western Michigan University the Paper Technology Foundation, and the Paper and Allied Industries which is guaranteed to be sustainable and provide leadership for the future.

We invite you to join us in this venture and to participate in our sustained commitment to our students and the Paper and Allied Industry's future.

Patrick T. Gibney 
Board of Trustees
Director of Manufacturing Support, Verso
John F. Bergin
Managing Director