Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer

The Societies of Distinction 2015 Event Recognizes Ferris Donors

Ferris State UniversityVIDEO: Watch the full video of the Societies of Distinction 2015 Event.

VIDEO: Watch feature video from the Societies of Distinction event.

Ferris State University took an opportunity to salute the men and women who have generously supported the institution’s mission and core values. The recognition was part of the Societies of Distinction dinner and reception held on Saturday, May 2 in the University Center building.

“This event is a celebration of philanthropy and of the kind of generosity that makes a positive and lasting difference in the lives of Ferris students,” said David Eisler, president of Ferris.

Katy and Jim Moore were recognized for contributions to Ferris and its students. The Moores are employees of Ferris. Katy works as a secretary in the Surveying Engineering program while Jim works as a custodial/equipment repair technician in Physical Plant. In 2011 the Moores established two annual scholarships: one to support students in the College of Health Professions and another for students in the College of Engineering Technology’s Surveying Engineering program. LeAnne Barstow, a student scholarship recipient from the Michigan College of Optometry was also highlighted. She was introduced by Howard Stross, a board member for The Ferris Foundation. Finally, the inaugural Pass the Torch award, which celebrates the outstanding people who make a difference in the lives of Ferris students, was presented to alumnus and former faculty member Richard “Dick” Shaw.

The Pass the Torch award will be presented annually at the Societies of Distinction donor dinner, held on the first Saturday in May. Recipients of this award attend the following year to “pass the torch” to those inspired to invest in Ferris students.

Shaw earned an associate degree from Ferris in 1963 before he served in the military. After his return to Ferris, Shaw completed his bachelor’s degree in Technical Education in 1971 and later taught Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration at Ferris that same year. He taught until his retirement in 1998 as department chair.

Shaw was instrumental in the growth of the HVACR program, its expanded curriculum from the two-year associate degree to a four-year bachelor’s degree with its first graduating class in 1986. In the 1980s, Shaw led the effort to develop training for HVACR technicians to obtain certification for environmentally important CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) removal. This effort generated more than $2 million in revenue for the program. The funding was used to establish The Ferris Foundation’s HVACR Endowment, which is now valued at more than $5 million and generates earnings to support HVACR scholarships and programs.

Shaw has served on The Ferris Foundation Board since 2005. In addition to a term of service as board chair, and as part of the development committee, he has worked with Ferris’ Advancement staff to engage alumni and friends. Shaw has made a planned gift to provide scholarships support for football, hockey and HVACR students, as well as a programmatic endowment for Ferris Athletics.

The Societies of Distinction event included student-led tours of the newly-renovated University Center building. Throughout the evening, donors had opportunities to engage with each other, students, faculty and administrative staff.

For more information about the university fundraising.

To learn more about The Ferris Foundation.