Winter 2016

|  by Jennifer Heil Bonacorsi

Kresge Library gift supports opportunity for all

The Nybergs
Penny and Mike Nyberg, MSU-O ’63, CAS ’88, both used courses from OU to boost their careers. To give back, they used a combined cash and planned gift to name a room at OU’s Kresge Library.

For more than 50 years, opportunity and Oakland University have gone hand-in-hand for Mike and Penny Nyberg.

As a member of the MSU-Oakland Charter Class of 1963, Mike Nyberg said that the formation of the University close to home changed the future for the couple, who met in junior high school.

“It was within five miles of my house,” said Nyberg, who went on to a 36-year engineering career at Ford Motor Company. “Living at home made college more affordable. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college.” Penny also attended OU, and put her studies on hold in order to work and save money for the couple’s wedding.

Decades later, the Nybergs again looked to OU for a new opportunity. With the 1980s economy taking a toll on the auto industry and two daughters in college, they turned to academic counselors at OU for advice about how to update their work skills.

Both Nybergs used courses from OU to boost their careers. Penny earned an accounting assistant certificate that she used to get an internship, and then a job, at Henry Ford Health System. Mike earned a Master of Science in applied statistics from OU in 1988.

“Instead of getting laid off, as we’d been concerned about, I got a promotion,” he said.

Most recently, the Nybergs found yet another opportunity at OU, this time seeing a chance to give back to the University. They used a combined cash and planned gift to name a room at Kresge Library, a place on campus that they consider to be especially important because it supports all areas of study — and the entire student body.

“The University has been relevant to us for decades,” Mike said, adding that it has been wonderful to see Kresge Library and the entire University grow and strive to meet students’ needs. “Staying current and relevant is so important,” he said. “That’s what helped us live the American dream, really.”

By Jennifer Heil Bonacorsi, CAS ’94