Going the Extra Mile - Inspire Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

Going the Extra Mile

Going the Extra MileEric Grotzinger and his wife, Shelley, quietly live each day 'giving back.'

They arrived at Carnegie Mellon University 33 years ago when Grotzinger first joined the faculty, devoting himself to his students as both a teacher and advisor. As the first in his family to attend college, the beloved professor credits "the incredible people" who mentored him along the way.

"I've always felt very fortunate and wanted to give back in that way," explained Grotzinger, the Mellon College of Science Associate Dean and teaching professor in biology.

"Teaching and advising - that's where I get my joy. When you help a student and then see how well he or she does in life - it's a tremendous feeling."

The connection extends beyond the classroom. The Grotzingers often open their home to students and entertain former students when they are traveling and visiting their own grown children.

"It's been a wonderful feeling - the connection with students and seeing what they've been able to accomplish," noted Shelley Grotzinger.

That's not all. The Grotzingers have also given back to CMU through many years of financial support, beginning in 1985, and including various gifts to support the building of the Purnell Center for the Arts, the Chosky Theater and the Doherty Hall undergraduate laboratories, as well as other initiatives.

"The university has enriched our lives," Grotzinger said simply. "Once we made a commitment, it seemed easy to give every year."

Most recently, they established an ACS Legacy Scholarship through the Carnegie Mellon Trustee Challenge, a new CMU matching gift program. It's yet another example of how the Grotzingers go the extra mile for CMU students.

"We decided we would like to make a small difference, if we could, to help a student who really needs it," Grotzinger explained. "The Trustee Challenge was a perfect way to do that."

"We just feel it's right thing to do. We believe the old adage, 'the more you give, the more you receive' ... we certainly have."

Related Link: ACS Legacy Scholarship