GE, MSU Celebrate $200K Renewed Support

EAST LANSING — GE renewed its relationship with Michigan State University and celebrated a $200,000 gift in support of the College of Engineering during ribbon-cutting ceremonies Friday, Feb. 5.

Officials from MSU and GE dedicated the redesigned third-floor lobby in East Wilson Hall. The event featured MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and GE officials, who celebrated the company’s most recent gift to the college’s CoRe Experience. CoRe is MSU’s first-year engineering program that integrates the academic program with a living-learning community that connects students to their engineering future.


The updated lobby offers students a highly collaborative space that reflects GE’s highly collaborative business as the world’s digital industrial company, said Mike Wagner, general manager, electronics components, controls and accessories value stream, GE Aviation. He is a 1990 graduate of the MSU Eli Broad College of Business.

“Our goal is to encourage students to use this colorful and upbeat space to fine tune team-building skills, which are essential at our company,” Wagner said.

He said GE’s energy sectors and digital space are growing the fastest, particularly with engineering and IT and software jobs.

“GE hires about 9,000 people a year in the U.S. and we offer paid internships, so we are always looking for the best talent and ways to introduce students to GE at the beginning of their engineering careers,” he said.

GE hosted games and networking throughout the day of celebration.

S. Patrick Walton, CoRe director, served as the master of ceremonies during the Feb. 5 celebration. Speakers were:
• Leo Kempel, dean of the MSU College of Engineering
• MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon
• Mike Wagner (’90), GE Aviation

Kempel said the celebration is a day of significance for the college.

“GE’s re-commitment to CoRe is even more meaningful than their original support because it shows they have seen the value of being engaged with CoRe these past three years,” he said. “It benefits our students to have the strong support of engineering industry employers in the college.”

Among the students who will benefit from the renovated GE lobby is Sonja Berger, a sophomore in electrical engineering from Fraser. Berger will be an intern with GE this summer.

Berger lives in East Wilson Hall, where she is a CoRe peer leader assisting students in their first-year living-learning engineering experiences.

Sonja Berger, MSU student

“We use the GE lobby for homework and social events,” Berger said. “We’re able to see it every day. It’s very important to us It’s part of our living area – large enough for other students to join you but still be part of your own space. I look at it and know that GE is here to support us.”

GE has offices in 175 countries and employs 305,000 people — 136,000 in the U.S. GE created some of the world’s most important devices — such as the X-ray machine, electronic locomotives, and the electric fan. It works in more than a dozen industries — from aviation and retail to health care and food and beverages.

Shaunda Zilich, GE global recruitment marketing leader, said one-third of GE’s current employees are millennials, generally considered to be those born after 1980.

“They range from university grads to experienced professionals,” she said. “We are constantly looking for today’s ‘innovative thinker’ in the competitive marketplace.”

The Michigan State University College of Engineering has seven academic departments serving 4,900 undergraduate and more than 800 graduate students through 10 undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs. For more, go to: Read more about the CoRe program for first-year MSU engineering students at:

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