Sargent & Lundy joins the Campaign to Transform MEB
Chicago-based Sargent & Lundy has employed many MechSE graduates in its long history. Nine S&L executives recently joined together to give a $500,000 gift toward MechSE’s Transform MEB campaign. This campaign will provide a new state-of-the art facility for student education, innovation, and community.
The nine are CEO Tom White, Roger Coppel, Joe DiCola, Paul Predick, Steve Raupp, Mark Santschi, Terry Sopkin, Shivan Sulkar, and Dave Wright, who also serves as vice president of MechSE’s alumni advisory board. They shared their thoughts on why they were inspired to give to help transform the Mechanical Engineering Building.
Joe DiCola (BSME ’84): “The engineering education really prepares you for anything. Even though I’m not in engineering at this point in my career, I thought it was important to support the program.”
Steve Raupp (BSCEE ’78): “One of the reasons I wanted to get engaged with supporting this ME initiative is we all realize the fruit that comes out of Illinois helps this company regenerate itself continuously, and there’s quite a bit of value in supporting that. The other reason I’m fond of doing this is it gives us internally an opportunity to kind of pass the torch. We’re not going to be around forever.”
Mark Santschi (BSME ’86): “The incidence of leadership coming from our Illinois grads at Sargent & Lundy is significant. There’s a sense that we need to give back to the educational infrastructure of our country, and there is none greater than the University of Illinois in terms of the relationship between us.”
Terry Sopkin (BSME ’82): “My father went to Illinois and played football. He started there in ’51. I ended up going and my two brothers did as well. All three boys went there. Both of my boys are at Illinois. I go there all the time. We spend a lot of time and have a lot of history. It is a great school and I’d love to see it keep going.”
Tom White (BSMTL ’81): “The university has the best students, and it’s the best engineering school in the country, why not have the best facilities? So it was an easy decision to support the addition to the Mechanical Engineering Building.”
Dave Wright (BSME ’82): “It was a tremendous experience and really exposed me to the best education, the greatest amount of competition, collaboration with intelligent people, and really is the foundation from which I’ve been able to build a career. I’ll be eternally grateful for that forever. It’s hard when you’re in school and when you recently graduate, to appreciate what you have from the university. As you age and get older, you begin to appreciate it more and more.”