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Hawley New Ventures Fund boosted by alumni

Dr. Martin Hawley is the kind of educator who touches lives.

One of his first students, John Ogren (’65, Engineering), is now spearheading an effort to raise $2.5 million to add to the Hawley New Ventures Fund. The effort will greatly enhance an endowment that allows Dr. Hawley, chairperson of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, to do what he does best, pursue new initiatives to strengthen the department. John and many of his fellow alumni have contributed to help ensure the department remains one of the top programs, and to express appreciation for Dr. Hawley’s outstanding leadership in guiding the department during his 50 years at MSU.
“He is a very bright person with broad interests, a can-do attitude and a pleasing personality,” John said of his former professor. “He has a very broad range of interests in the chemical engineering and material science fields with an experienced eye for the practical. His tenure as a professor spans the lives of nearly all chemical engineers ever graduated from MSU. He has had a major impact on a lot of Spartans.”
As a high school student, John enjoyed science and math and zeroed in on chemical engineering after a young couple came to see his father about building a second home on Higgins Lake. “The man was a chemical engineer, so I figured that must be a great way to make a living,” John recalled.
John was in the very first class taught at MSU by Dr. Hawley and never forgot the dynamic young professor. The two kept in touch over the years as John recruited other Spartan engineering alumni and also hired Dr. Hawley as a consultant for his first employer.
John married his wife Chris, while they were MSU students, and together they have provided previous financial support to the MSU College of Engineering, particularly for the 1997 addition to the Engineering building and ongoing scholarship support to the College of Education.
John started out as a process engineer for Conoco in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and moved through a series of operating and staff roles to senior vice president, administration. Later, after DuPont acquired Conoco, DuPont tapped him to be president of DuPont Canada and later as executive vice president for DuPont’s human resources.
He finished out his career as president and CEO of Production Operators, an oil well services company in Houston, before retiring in 1999.
He is a past recipient of the College of Engineering’s Claud R. Erickson Distinguished Alumni Award as well as the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Red Cedar Circle Award.
And yes, he and Chris spend five months of the year enjoying their second home on Higgins Lake. It is a pleasure that also affords John with the opportunity to attend the annual engineering golf outing and to serve in many volunteer and advisory capacities to benefit Michigan State and the College of Engineering.
For more information about contributing to the College of Engineering or the Hawley New Ventures Fund, contact Director of Development Stephen Bates at (517) 355-8339.