WMU News

DENSO contributes $100,000 to WMU engineering college

Nov. 22, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- DENSO North America Foundation is contributing $100,000 toward construction of a new building for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University.

The gift was announced by Dr. Michael Atkins, dean of the college, who says that an area called the Student Commons in the center atrium of the new building will be named for DENSO in appreciation of the company's support.

"We are extremely pleased about our continuing relationship with DENSO Manufacturing," says Atkins. "This gift is a premier example of our collaborative partnerships with industries in our region."

Support for the engineering college is a major element in WMU's centennial capital campaign, Partnering for Success, which was announced in August 2001 with an overall goal of $125 million. DENSO Manufacturing's gift contributes another $100,000 to the total raised during the campaign, which stood at $113 million as of October 31. DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc., one of 25 DENSO companies in North America, is located in Battle Creek, Mich., and contributed toward construction of Schneider Hall, home of the Haworth College of Business, a decade ago.

"Many of our engineers are graduates of WMU," says Stan Tooley, senior vice president for corporate affairs at DMMI and a member of the foundation board. "We at DENSO Manufacturing are excited about the new engineering campus and are very pleased to help enhance the education of engineering students at Western."

The first part of the engineering complex, a new 50,000-square-foot Paper Coating Pilot Plant housing a modern, high-speed paper coater, was completed and dedicated in October. The main college building is slated for occupancy in fall 2003. It will consist of two long, two-story wings, joined by a center atrium and administration area. The Student Commons will be located in the center portion of the building with large windows and an impressive view of the campus.

The new engineering college complex is on the University's Parkview Campus, which is located along U.S. 131, just north of Interstate 94 and about three miles from the main Kalamazoo campus. The new campus is also home to the WMU Business Technology and Research Park, which will soon include the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, a high-tech business incubator and accelerator.

DENSO, headquartered in Japan, operates in 30 countries with 87,000 associates. Global sales totaled $18.1 billion for the fiscal year ending in March 2002. In North America, DENSO employs 14,000 people. Sales in North America were $4.7 billion for the fiscal year ending in March 2002.

DMMI supplies heating and cooling components to major automakers. The Battle Creek plant opened in 1986 and was the first DENSO production facility in North America. It now has 2,200 employees.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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