An institute created to teach University of Toledo engineering students leadership skills was the recipient of $1 million gift from Roy Armes, CEO of Cooper Tire and a 1975 UT mechanical engineering graduate, and his wife, Marcia.
During a ceremony honoring the couple at the College of Engineering Thursday afternoon, Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, thanked the Armes and announced that the Engineering Leadership Institute would be renamed the Roy and Marcia Engineering Leadership Institute.
“The Engineering Leadership Institute is a transformational initiative for our students,” Naganathan said. “We are grateful and delighted that Roy and Marcia have set a strong foundation for not only our current students, but for generations of students to come.”
The Engineering Leadership Institute, which was launched with philanthropic support from the Armes family in 2009, provides leadership opportunities for 12 to 15 sophomores and juniors in the college.
Students are nominated by their departments and are selected through a rigorous process that includes interviews with the dean. The students will participate in seminars, team-building exercises, and public speaking opportunities, including attending one or more national conferences.
“The Engineering Leadership Institute is about selecting top students out of engineering and helping them develop their leadership skills along with their academic skills,” said Roy Armes, noting that success in the field of engineering extended beyond just the subject matter.
“As a business leader, [leadership skills] are the kinds of things I’m looking for when we look for students or new hires in our company,” he said. “This provides students with a competitive advantage, and it’s something a lot of other universities don’t offer.”
“It is very exciting to see these young adults emerge,” said Marcia Armes. “It’s very satisfying, and I feel very fortunate that we are able to give back to the University and to this group of students.”