Community Engagement

A Community Honors the Life of George Thomas Preisinger

Preisinger enriched the lives of countless faculty, staff and students during his 39-year career at Oakland University.

A profile shot of a man sitting and smiling.
A man and a woman smiling
A man and a woman smiling.
A man and a woman smiling.

icon of a calendarFebruary 17, 2021

icon of a pencilBy Catherine Ticer

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Loving, kind, joyful, dependable, generous, hardworking and fun are just a few words used to describe George Thomas Preisinger.

Preisinger enriched the lives of countless faculty, staff and students during his 39-year career at Oakland University. During these years of service, he became a familiar face on campus and a dear friend to many. His death on September 4, 2020 left a saddened OU community determined to honor his life in a meaningful and lasting way.

Over the next few months, Oakland University received more than 100 donations to fund a memorial scholarship. Combined with a generous gift from George’s wife, Sarah, the combined value of these contributions created the George and Sarah Preisinger Endowed Scholarship Fund. As an endowed fund, this scholarship will exist in perpetuity, honoring the legacy of a man who gave so much to the university and his wife, whose tireless support of OU has brightened the path of many.

Tom LeMarbe, associate vice president for finance and administration, is inspired by the outpouring of support to create this permanent tribute for his colleague and friend. "George’s legacy of sharing, caring and tireless support to Oakland University was recognized so wonderfully as family, friends and members of the OU community came together to honor George by creating the George and Sarah Preisinger Endowed Scholarship” he says. “This generosity is a wonderful example of remembrance and giving for our colleague who gave so much to OU for nearly four decades."

The scholarship will support students with financial need who demonstrate a commitment to activities important in Preisinger’s life: leadership, volunteering and community involvement. The first recipient of the scholarship will be named in the fall of 2021.

Preisinger joined Oakland University in 1979 as the manager of classroom support services and later served as the assistant vice president for classroom support and instructional technical services until his retirement in 2018. Widely considered a lead problem solver at OU, he was instrumental in outfitting classrooms and laboratories with video and lecture-capturing technologies.

Preisinger strengthened the university by volunteering his skills in many areas, including OU athletics. "George loved the entire university and was dedicated to solving problems, both large and small," says John Young, OU's vice president of communications and marketing. "He and Sarah were fixtures at the men and women's basketball games. He brought his skills to the O'rena to elevate the audio-visual experience for everyone."

George and Sarah both dedicated countless hours to ensuring the success of athletics projects and events, and George helped to build the media tower in the O’rena shortly after OU joined the Division I League. As a tribute to their passion for athletics, close friends Tom and Jean LeMarbe made a contribution to name the media tower in honor of George and Sarah Preisinger.

An avid golfer, Preisinger was also a fixture on the Sharf and Katke-Cousins golf courses, where he remarkably scored four holes-in-one. A generous gift from longtime friends Steven and Bonnie King has funded the installation of a bench, named in memory of Preisinger, to be placed at the golf course on the beautiful grounds of OU’s most serene acreage.

Glenn McIntosh, senior vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer, knows that Preisinger’s legacy will continue to be an important part of Oakland University. “George lived the values of the university,” he says. “It was not unusual to see him here seven days a week, lending his expertise and time to anyone who needed a helping hand. His contributions have played an important role in OU’s success.”

On a personal note, McIntosh is grateful that Preisinger’s memory is being honored through the George and Sarah Preisinger Endowed Scholarship Fund. “George taught me the importance of appreciating every day,” he says. “It will be a pleasure to see the Preisinger Scholarship support students and carry on a tradition that was so meaningful to George — helping others.”

To make a gift to the George and Sarah Preisinger Endowed Scholarship Fund, click here or contact Lynn Fisher at lfisher3@oakland.edu.

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