Scholarship Lauds GVSUs Engineering

ALLENDALE — General Dynamics Land Systems has established a new scholarship on behalf of students at Grand Valley State University’s Padnos School of Engineering.

The $1,500 General Dynamics Land Systems Engineering Scholarship will benefit at least one GVSU student annually and possibly more, said Paul Plotkowski, director of the Padnos School of Engineering.

Students at the engineering school presently receive a collective $50,000 a year in scholarships established by a variety of benefactors, Plotkowski said.

“We’ve been very fortunate. The West Michigan community has been very supportive in trying to help engineering students make their way through school,” he said. “A very large number of the engineering students are scholarship students.”

The scholarship, available for full-time pre-engineering or engineering students, “will make a nice little dent” in the more than $5,000 annual tuition cost to attend the Padnos School of Engineering, Plotkowski said.

To become eligible for the General Dynamics scholarship, students must carry a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average. The university will give first priority to students who have a financial need.

General Dynamics Land Systems gave Grand Valley State $30,000 in November to establish an endowment for the scholarship. The gift, Plotkowski said, furthers the connections between Grand Valley State and General Dynamics Land Systems, which employs several Padnos students at its Muskegon facility under a co-op program.

The Sterling Heights-based General Dynamics Land Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., is a $1.2 billion defense contractor that has 5,000 employees in 10 states and produces armored vehicles and subsystems. The company’s Propulsion Systems Center in Muskegon makes combat vehicle engines and transmissions, systems integration services, modernization packages and mobility systems.

“We look forward to helping many Grand Valley students in the coming years and to working with the university, especially the outstanding Padnos School of Engineering,” said Karl G. Oskoian, manager of communications and public relations for General Dynamics Land Systems.

The Padnos School of Engineering has grown steadily over the years. The school had a fall enrollment of nearly 700 students and offers five undergraduate and three graduate programs. When Plotkowski joined the university in 1991, the Padnos School had an enrollment of about 150 students and offered one undergraduate program.


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