by Geoff Larcom, Published May 13, 2013
YPSILANTI - A couple who established a special scholarship in the Eastern Michigan University College of Business, two eminent former EMU faculty members and several community partners have received the University's highest honors for philanthropic advancement this spring.
The late Paul Tucker, Jr. and his wife, Evelyn, and emeritus professor William Fennel were honored with the Presidential Award for Advancing Philanthropy. Bert Greene, an emeritus professor in education, received the Presidential Award for Faculty and Staff Leadership in Advancement. The City of Ypsilani, DTE Energy Foundation, Washtenaw County and the Eastern Leaders Group were recognized with the Presidential Award for Community Partnership.
The awards, administered through the EMU Foundation, recognize individuals and organizations that advance Eastern through philanthropy and strategic investment, and who have substantially contributed to the preservation and growth of University resources.
The recipients were honored during a special event this month at the EMU Student Center.
"We are pleased to honor these special individuals, who have contributed so much time and resources to help students at Eastern Michigan," said Tom Stevick, EMU vice president for advancement and executive director of the EMU Foundation. "These awards represent an outstanding commitment to helping others achieve and succeed at Eastern."
In 2001, Paul and Evelyn Tucker created the Paul Jr. and Evelyn Tucker Endowed Scholarship in the College of Business. The Tuckers were motivated to share with others what they themselves had been given. The Tuckers mentored each of their scholarship recipients during the college years and stayed in touch with many of them after graduation. Even after Paul's death in 2011, Evelyn remains committed to the tradition of mentorship they established together.
Paul Tucker received an MBA from Eastern in 1975. He retired in 2005 as chairman of the board and CEO of Tucker, Young, Jackson, Tull, Inc., the Detroit engineering firm he founded in 1984. He served on the EMU Foundation Board of Trustees from 1999-2010 and received EMU's John W. Porter Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003 and EMU's Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award in 2008.
Evelyn received a bachelor of science in medical technology from Lawrence Technological University in 1971, where she and Paul met as undergraduates. Evelyn retired in 1999 as senior scientist from Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Research Company in Ann Arbor.
William Fennel's infectious love of biology and spirited teaching drew students to his classroom for decades. Now, at 90, he continues to make regular treks to campus to visit and advise with faculty, students and former colleagues.
After his retirement in 1993, Fennel continued to teach several classes, volunteered his time on the College of Arts and Sciences Resource Development Board and remains a strong supporter of the annual Undergraduate Symposium, arts and sciences, athletics and WEMU.
He was a significant contributor to the Kresge Science Equipment Initiative Endowment, a project that raised $1.5 million to support science equipment maintenance at EMU.
Widely known as "Doc Fennel," Professor William E. Fennel joined the EMU faculty in 1970. He taught introductory biology classes, teaching nearly 20,000 students. Fennel was honored with EMU's Outstanding Teaching Award and the Ronald Collins Distinguished Faculty Award in 1980; served as biology department head from 1988-1992; and was recognized in 2007 by the EMU Alumni Association with its highest award, the Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award.
Bert Greene has supported Eastern as a student, alumnus, teacher and professor emeritus for the past 62 years. He and his wife, Phyllis, established the Bert Greene Endowment Fund in 2004 to provide annual support to selected EMU students and programs.
Greene has contributed to multiple EMU funds and causes, including education, athletics, Honors College, music, drama, WEMU and the Undergraduate Symposium. He served on the EMU College of Education Resource Development Board, the Athletic Club Board, and currently chairs the Emeritus Faculty Executive Board. He is also a member of the EMU College of Education Hall of Fame.
A long-time faculty member at EMU in Teacher Education, Greene graduated from Michigan State Normal College in 1955. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1961 and joined the EMU faculty in 1963. He has been instrumental in enhancing learning technologies at EMU by being one of the first professors in the College of Education's Department of Educational Technology and helping to establish and secure funding for the Bonisteel Computer Lab at the College of Education.
Other honorees included originators of the LiveYpsi Forgivable Loan Program, which received The Presidential Award for Community Partnership.
The program, which has been renewed for a second year, offers forgivable home loans to EMU faculty and staff who buy or renovate a home in the city of Ypsilanti.
Organizations cited for their involvement in the program include: the city of Ypsilanti, represented by Paul Schreiber, mayor, and Teresa Gillotti, city planner ; DTE Energy Foundation, represented by Paul Ganz, regional manager for DTE Energy; Washtenaw County, represented by Verna McDaniel, county administrator, and county commissioners Felicia Brabec, Ronnie Peterson and Rolland Sizemore, Jr.; and the Eastern Leaders Group, represented by Robert Tetens, co-chair, Anthony Vanderworp, executive director, and Melissa Milton-Pung, project manager.
For more on the EMU Foundation, please visit http://emufoundation.org/