The continued generosity of alumni helps recruit and retain the talented faculty of the Department of Engineering Technology and Management

Through a recent generous gift, alumnus Bob Kraft, BSME ’61, and his wife Marie have expanded the existing Kraft Scholar Family Award at Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology, providing a additional support to create the Kraft Family Associate Professorships.

The Krafts established the Kraft Family Scholar Awards more than 20 years ago to provide associate professors in the Department of Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) with the resources to enhance their academic growth. Over the past 20 years, $208,115 has been awarded.

For Bob and Marie Kraft, Ohio University represents a family tradition spanning four generations and including six Kraft family Bobcats.

After graduating from OHIO, spending 3½ years in the US Navy and seven years as a commercial engineer, Bob and Marie in 1972 founded Kraft Fluid Systems. Over the past 50 years, their company has become a leading distributor of mobile hydraulic equipment, hydraulic and electric drives and electronic controls. The company requires International Fluid Power Society (IFPS) certifications for all its technical employees, and retired Bob Kraft served as president of the IFPS in 2007.

“Throughout my career, I have believed that education, training and experience lead to learning and competence,” Bob Kraft said. The Krafts recognized their employee owners by becoming a wholly owned ESOP employee in 2000.

ETM President Dr. Todd Myers, himself a former Kraft Family Scholar, explains that faculty recipients will receive a stipend to support their research and engage in scholarly activities, such as traveling to university conferences. Expanded support from Krafts will increase the stipend for each new associate professor in the Kraft family.

“The Kraft Family Scholar was awarded to high-potential, mid-level tenured faculty to encourage their growth within Ohio University,” Myers said. “Accessing these stipends and demonstrating this type of recognition helps to secure these individuals and keep them in touch with students, stay current in their discipline, and add value to the college and department. “

Associate Professors Dr. Neil Littell and Dr. Yuqiu You are the current Kraft Family Scholars. You, who started teaching at OHIO in 2015, consider this award a token of appreciation for his hard work.

“I was very honored to receive this award,” she said. “It means that your colleagues, your department and everyone have recognized your hard work here. I think it’s really great for beginner teachers like me.

Thanks in part to the continued generosity of the Krafts, Russ College will continue to attract high caliber faculty who are awarded a Kraft Family Associate Professorship.

“I really appreciate that this award was created, and especially that it’s given to junior teachers who have come to OU and worked for several years,” You said. “This award is definitely something that motivates us.”

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