November 18, 2004

Aisin Mfg. Illinois Engineering students benefit from donation

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Engineering will benefit from the generosity of a corporate neighbor.Aisin Mfg. Illinois today (Nov. 18) presented a $10,000 donation to SIUC officials during a ceremony at the firm's Marion facility. The funds will support five, $2,000 scholarships in the engineering college, and company officials said they hope to contribute to the Aisin/SIUC Scholarship Program on an annual basis.

The company also plans to continue its internship program with the engineering college. Two students are serving internships at Aisin this semester.

Aisin, which opened in July 2002, manufactures sunroofs and door components for such customers as Toyota, General Motors and Mitsubishi. Last week, the company held a grand opening celebration for its newest facility, Aisin Light Metals, which doubled the office and plant space.

"We're hoping the scholarship program can help to foster a strong relationship between all the Aisins in Marion and SIUC in general and the College of Engineering specifically," said Angela Holmes, section manager for general administration. "We are trying to show our commitment to education and to hiring students and alumni."

Aisin employs manufacturing and quality engineers.

"We expect to be growing a lot next year and we are looking forward to hiring community members, students and SIUC alumni," Holmes said. "Engineering will be very big for us."

Chancellor Walter V. Wendler lauded Aisin's contributions.

"We're extremely grateful for Aisin Manufacturing's generosity, foresight and commitment to our University and our students," he said. "Our students will benefit from the company's financial donation as well as the opportunities it is making available for hands-on experience."

Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement and CEO of the SIU Foundation, emphasized the role corporate partnerships play in helping the University provide the best possible educational opportunities for students.

"It is partnerships like this that enable the University, despite tight budgets, to better prepare our students for careers in a very challenging and competitive field," he said. "Aisin's support is essential to our students, many of whom work tirelessly to help put themselves through school."

Shaping cooperative ventures is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

(CAPTION: Corporate partnership – Aisin Mfg, of Illinois, located in Marion, today presented SIUC officials with a check for $10,000 to support scholarships in the College of Engineering. On hand for the presentation were (from left): Jerry Thomas, associate director, SIUC Institutional Advancement; Steve Takahashi, president, Aisin; George Swisher, dean of the College of Engineering; Glenn Edwards, general administration, Aisin; Mike Murray, associate director, SIU Foundation; and Mark Saso, general administration, Aisin.)

Steve Buhman photo