Days after earning his Bachelor of Science in Surveying Engineering from Ferris State University, Matt Bissett began his career with Atwell LLC, with the support of his alma mater following shortly thereafter. As he continues in his leadership role as a partner and senior vice president with the coast-to-coast, multi-service firm, Bissett has been welcomed as a director of The Ferris Foundation through action by the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday, Dec. 17.
“I grew up on my family’s farm in Sandusky, in Michigan’s Thumb,” Bissett said. “I have real thankfulness since Ferris gave me a foundation for success, along with the ability to put those early morning chores on the farm behind me. Karen Weber, director of Major Gifts at Ferris, has more than once asked me to join The Ferris Foundation Board. I have served on the survey program advisory board and am an honorary surveying society member of Lambda Sigma. I am always willing to help in any way that I can, but I want to be sure my involvement has real impact on the university.”
Bissett will join five other alumni and Ferris’ Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion David Pilgrim as new The Ferris Foundation directors in a session for directors and Advancement staff on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
“I am still learning about The Ferris Foundation and its mission,” Bissett said. “My early impressions are that this will be a great way to help the university improve the support that can be offered to students, faculty and staff, in their pursuit of excellence.”
Bissett’s early efforts to support Ferris began with encouraging the Atwell, LLC to endow scholarships, as their Limited Liability Company supports Surveying Engineering students and those in the Associate of Applied Science degree for Surveying Technology.
“I also felt compelled to help a student from the Thumb who hopes to make a similar career choice to my own, so my wife Melissa and I established the ‘M & M Surveying Engineering Annual Scholarship,” Bissett said. “My degree put me in a position to join Atwell and grow professionally, and we hope our support serves as a catalyst for success, for the recipients of our scholarship.”
Bissett, who received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Ferris in 2014, said he makes his way to campus as often as possible for a combination of professional and personal intentions.
“I remain good friends with Associate Professor Bob Eastley in the College of Engineering Technology,” Bissett said. “Atwell also has held a long appreciation for the excellence in Surveying Engineering, since we continue to need fresh talent in that field, to mesh with our work in consulting, engineering, and construction. Through our recruiting and scholarship efforts, we hope students can appreciate the opportunities they can discover and enjoy through collaborating with us. Finally, I have been very excited to follow the successes in Athletics and return for games in recent years.”
The Ferris Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021, dedicated to advancing the mission and goals of Ferris State University by generating and managing private support for the university.