Beetner Family Endowment Supports SIUE School of Engineering Experiential Learning Opportunities

By on March 22, 2019

From RiverBender:  Experiential learning opportunities build on knowledge gained in the classroom to enrich the student experience and prepare future leaders to shape a changing world. But, these co-curricular activities come with associated costs that can make it difficult for students to participate and compete in national opportunities.

Now, the Beetner family has contributed $35,000 to create an endowment that will provide additional resources for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering (SOE) student organizations to continue to excel in such activities and competitions.

“The SIUE School of Engineering deeply appreciates the Beetner family’s generous gift to sustain our student organization activities,” said SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “We currently have 35 student organizations, all of which need resources to organize events, community outreach projects, and attend regional and national conferences. Furthermore, many of our competition teams need funds to purchase materials and devices to build their designs. These are noncredit extracurricular activities completely driven by students, so funding is difficult to secure.”

The Beetner family’s SIUE roots run deep. Generations of family members have experienced the value of SIUE as students, former and current, and employees. Their generous contribution is their way of paying it forward.

“We want to help others reap the benefits of a great education,” said Daryl Beetner, PhD, who earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from SIUE in 1990. From 1997-98, he was a visiting professor in SIUE’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Daryl was inducted into the SIUE School of Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

“Student design competitions, like the SIUE solar car, formula race car or robotics team, are an outstanding way to develop both technical and soft skills. And, they’re a lot of fun to boot!” Daryl explained. “Students learn many skills that aren’t easily taught in the classroom. They get to do the kind of work that motivated them to become engineers in the first place.”

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