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A life devoted to science

Marburger STEM Center named in honor of Fox Run resident

Created date

January 4th, 2018
Fox Run resident and President Emeritus of Lawrence Technological University Dick Marburger is a lifelong proponent of inspiring young students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Fox Run resident and President Emeritus of Lawrence Technological University Dick Marburger is a lifelong proponent of inspiring young students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

 

Fox Run resident Dick Marburger is the former president of Lawrence Technological University. He joined Lawrence Tech in 1965 and was president of the university from 1977 to 1993, when he returned to full-time teaching.

In honor of his achievements and contributions to the field, Lawrence Tech named its Marburger STEM Center in Dick’s honor. The $55 million facility was opened in 2016 and is housed in the university’s A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture, and Life Sciences Complex. 

The mission of the Marburger STEM Center is to offer programs that inspire children to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the fields collectively known as STEM. 

Before Dick moved to Fox Run in 2015, he lived in a condo in Farmington Hills, Mich. He says he made the move because he no longer needed as much space. 

“I had 4,500 square feet of space, and I was living in a small fraction of that,” he says. 

When he moved to Fox Run, Dick traded a lot of space that he didn’t need for a vibrant community with over 1,000 other active and engaged retirees. Interestingly, he says the culture and sense of community at Fox Run are similar to those at Lawrence Tech. So, over the summer, he hosted an informational meeting for his Fox Run neighbors to tell them about how they might become involved with the Marburger STEM Center. He says retired teachers and others interested in the STEM fields may find volunteer opportunities to mentor Michigan youth through the center.

“The incredibly intriguing aspect of all of this to me is that [Fox Run executive director] Mike McCormick supervises a ‘college campus for seniors’ of the highest order here at Fox Run, and all three organizations—Manoogian School, Lawrence Tech, and Fox Run—can play a most effective role in the mentoring of youth in Novi and elsewhere,” Dick says. 

Career highlights

Dick has three degrees in physics from Wayne State University. Prior to his tenure at Lawrence Tech, he worked for 17 years at the General Motors Research Laboratories, where he made important contributions to x-ray diffraction techniques. As a professor, he was an early champion of using computers in the education process. During his presidency at Lawrence Tech, computers were widely adopted on campus.  

Dick has also served on the board of the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School and was president of the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Detroit Metropolitan Science Teachers Association, and the Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit. He was also the chairman of the Southfield Planning Commission and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan.

STEM initiatives

The Marburger STEM Center partners with local elementary and high schools to offer programs like “eXtreme Science Saturdays,” monthly workshops that teach STEM lessons in an interesting way that appeals to kids. For instance, a recent session was called “Maggots and Murder,” and participants learned how forensic scientists are able to determine the time of death on a corpse. They also offer summer camps that explore subjects like robotics, game art, and automotive engineering. 

High school students can earn college credit by enrolling in classes through the Marburger STEM Center. The center also hosts Camp Infinity, a weeklong technology camp designed to spark interest in math and science among girls age 9 to 13.

“We are very proud of the Marburger STEM Center because now we can put all of these programs under one umbrella,” says Maria Vaz, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lawrence Tech. 

 

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