Karen Mitchell (Friend of LTU and Scholarship Donor, Legacy Society Member)

Release Date: October 31, 2018
Karen Mitchell

How did you first get involved at Lawrence Tech?

I worked as a Director of Major Accounts at DTE Energy at the time, so LTU was a both a client and a partner. Through that partnership, I met a number of people in the University Advancement Office and was recruited to join the committee for the Tech Invitational charity golf outing more than 10 years ago. DTE has been the presenting sponsor for that event for a while now and I was Chair of that committee at one point. Even though I retired from DTE in 2013, I’ve continued to serve on the committee and stay involved at the university.

What’s your favorite thing about LTU?</strong>

I’ve always loved the community feel at LTU. You can tell the students are really the focus and everyone goes out of their way to help students, including making sure they have the financial aid they need.

Why did you choose to give back?

I started giving once I was serving on the Tech Invitational committee and realized what an impact my gifts could have because of DTE’s matching program. Those match dollars made establishing an endowed scholarship much more manageable.

A few years ago, I was meeting with my financial planner and also made the decision to include LTU in my will. I don’t have any children myself so I wanted to do something for LTU students. It means so much to me to know I can leave that legacy and help students for years and years to come.

Ultimately, I'm driven by relationships. I've always felt like the university valued me as an individual. I really do have friends there who are happy to see me when I come to campus and know me by name. I attended a larger public university as an undergrad and don't feel nearly as connected there; when it comes to giving back, I've chosen to direct my support exclusively to LTU because of the relationships I've built. 

What are you passionate about supporting at LTU?

If I had attended LTU as a college student, I would have love to study Architecture. So after my significant other of 25 years died, I funded a scholarship for Architecture students in both our names to honor his love of higher education and my desire to make a difference in the lives of others struggling to get through college. Neither of us came from families that could afford to put their children through college and we both knew how difficult it can be to worry about how to make ends meet.

What would you like to tell someone who might be thinking about giving back?

Any amount can help change a student’s life—don’t wait! There are a lot of options available to you to make a difference. I definitely recommend looking into whether your employer has a matching gift program. You could double or even triple your impact!

Share your donor story

What are you passionate about supporting at Lawrence Tech? Do you want to inspire others to contribute to the university? We’d love to hear from you!


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