Oilgear’s legacy in Milwaukee will live on at MSOE thanks to a $935,000 gift from the Oilgear-Ferris Foundation. Representatives from the foundation presented a check to MSOE President John Y. Walz, Ph.D. on Tuesday, July 18 to create an endowed fund that will support student programs and projects, as well as scholarships for students in MSOE’s Mechanical Engineering Department.
“MSOE is honored to carry on the investment Oilgear made in the community,” said Walz. “Endowed gifts such as this enable us to offer students additional scholarship and project support.”
Oilgear began in Milwaukee in 1921 out of a development project by engineers at the Bucyrus Co. Over the years, Oilgear grew into a global company and the world’s most demanding hydraulic control applications have relied on its high-performance fluid power solutions. Until 2015, the company’s location in Milwaukee was responsible for manufacturing pumps, hydraulic systems and other parts for industrial machinery and construction equipment. The company is now headquartered in Traverse City, Mich.
The company was founded on a tradition of bringing only the most advanced engineering to its customers. Oilgear made an indelible impact on Milwaukee, providing many jobs for laborers, assemblers, machinists, engineers and business professionals for decades. For decades, Oilgear and the Oilgear-Ferris Foundation have financially supported MSOE. As the Oilgear-Ferris Foundation winds down, executives have elected to transfer the balance of the foundation to MSOE. With this gift, the foundation has created an endowment at MSOE to preserve the company’s legacy. The new Oilgear-Ferris Foundation Endowed Fund at MSOE will support mechanical engineering student projects, programs, organizations and scholarships.
“Oilgear was created by three engineers from a development project,” said David Zuege, former President/CEO, Oilgear Co. “We are very pleased that this endowment could support such projects and scholarships for mechanical engineering students.”
The gift comes at a time when MSOE’s Mechanical Engineering Department is growing. “We’ve doubled in size since 1998,” said Dr. Matthew Panhans, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department. “We have a lot of good potential uses for this gift that would help us deliver MSOE’s mission. The Oilgear Legacy will continue on through the Oilgear-Ferris Foundation and we will be good stewards.”
Milwaukee School of Engineering