Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Pawley's Challenge encourages others to follow passion
Dennis (SEHS ’82) and Carlotta Pawley believe in giving back to the organizations and institutions that have supported their success. A graduate of the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS), Dennis Pawley credits Oakland University as being a significant factor in his lifetime of personal and career achievement – in turn, the Pawleys have a long history of support for the university. With the Pawley Alumni Leadership Challenge, they now are calling on fellow alumni to step up to the plate.
A former Chrysler executive, Dennis Pawley has served two terms on the Board of Trustees, including a term as chair, and is co-chair of Innovation and Opportunity – The Campaign for OU. Pawley said “As a leader it’s important for me to set an example. We have an obligation – and that’s a strong word but I believe it – to support the organizations and programs that helped make us successful. We need to give back so that others can experience success as well.”
The Pawley Alumni Leadership Challenge encourages Oakland University alumni, who have the financial ability, to follow the example of Dennis and Carlotta Pawley by pledging $100,000 or more to a program, initiative or scholarship opportunity that they feel especially passionate about. The Pawleys are leading the way with new collective gift commitments of $600,000 to the SEHS. The gift will fund three endowments for undergraduates, graduate students or faculty for pursuing, promoting and facilitating learning in lean studies – a philosophy close to Dennis Pawley’s heart.
In 2002, Pawley established the Pawley Lean Learning Institute to teach others the lean approach to conducting business, a concept that increases efficiency and streamlining processes. Through the Pawley’s recent gift, Oakland will be able to offer opportunities for students and faculty to continue to working in lean and building on the strong reputation of the Pawley Institute. The award will permanently endow a professorship, a faculty research award and two student scholarship awards.
For alumni who are ready to meet Pawley’s challenge, he says the key is to choose an area that is important to them. Pawley said he chose the SEHS to benefit from the endowment because it is the school he attended, and also because “SEHS is all about people. I think we can reach the most people and make the greatest impact this way.”
Dennis and Carlotta Pawley are two of Oakland University’s most committed and dedicated supporters. In 2004, Pawley Hall was named in the Pawley’s honor in recognition of their $4 million support for the university. In addition, Dennis Pawley is a recipient of the OU Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2001 and the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2003.
“This gift not only supports the mission of the Pawley Institute, but moves Oakland University and the School of Education and Human Services, toward our vision of delivering a distinctive educational experience that is complemented by the strength of our graduates and research accomplishments,” said Mary Otto, dean, School of Education and Human Services. “By being so actively involved in the programs and experiences that support Oakland, the Pawleys clearly demonstrate their passion for the success of this university.”
Pawley is confident his fellow alumni will meet the Leadership Challenge, “Being an alumni myself, I know that I probably wouldn’t be as successful as I am if I hadn’t gotten this great education from Oakland University. I know many people who feel the same way…and who will agree it’s essential to give back to the institution that drove their success.”
For more information, visit the Pawley Institute Web site.