Keith Mantis (BS76)
Eastern Michigan alumnus Keith Mantis (BS76) credits scholarship support for helping him get through college and driving his professional success. Now that he has founded and serves as CEO for three major construction equipment suppliers in the Southwest U.S., Mantis is "paying it forward" to provide current students with similar opportunities.
Mantis founded and has served as CEO of Fasteners Inc. Southwest Supply since 1987 - not long after he graduated from EMU. Las Vegas-based Fasteners Inc. is a major retail supplier of contractor supplies and equipment. His other companies include Toolup.com, a massive online retailer of construction equipment, and Professional Contractor Supply in San Diego, Calif.
Mantis also resides in Las Vegas but is originally from Long Island, NY. For his senior year in high school, he found himself attending Harrison High School in Farmington, MI. An athletic scholarship for wrestling eventually landed him at Eastern.
During his first year at EMU, Mantis worked in the library where he learned the Dewey Decimal System and the value of research. Mantis said those skills gave him a leg up over some of his classmates.
"While a lot of my associates were partying, I was busy with sports, working and studying," he says.
Mantis gives back regularly to EMU to help current students have the same opportunities he was given as a young man. His latest contribution is a $10,000 matching gift for the College of Business Student Organizations that was featured as part of EMU's #GivingTuesday fundraising campaign. Thanks to Mantis' awesome generosity, nearly $25,000 has been raised to help COB students visit important conferences and events to support their professional development.
Mantis hopes his support will help students find success.
"I was blessed," says Keith. "Eastern provided me with a great education, and I felt pretty fortunate to be able to go there through financial aid and some scholarships, and I wanted to be able to give something back."