To honor its namesake’s long history of hiring and mentoring students, the Ken Heiser Memorial fund supports UM-Flint student employees.

Ken enjoyed seeing student employees succeed in their education and begin their professional journeys. Through his own experience, Ken knew the challenges of balancing school and work and enjoyed seeing students succeed. When Ken passed away in 2021, he was serving as the Chairperson of the UM-Flint Staff/Faculty Golf Outing, an event that raised funds to support UM-Flint students. His fellow committee members and several donors came together to honor Ken by creating an award that supports student employees who exemplify the UM-Flint spirit. This honor is given to students at the annual UM-Flint Staff Recognition event. A gift to this fund supports deserving students and serves to keep Ken’s legacy alive for future generations of campus community members.

Ken was not only my former coworker, but also my mentor and friend. Under his leadership, I learned the importance of a customer-first philosophy, which has helped me tremendously in my professional growth. Our shared passion for golf brought us closer, and we became more than just colleagues. Ken was there for me during some of the most important moments in my life, including my engagement to my wife, vacations, and even helping us move into our new home. He was always willing to lend a hand and never hesitated to help anyone in need. When Ken told me about his battle with cancer, I was devastated, but I made a promise to continue his legacy through the UM-Flint Student Scholarship Golf Outing for Staff/Faculty. To honor his memory and the impact he had on our university, I established an endowed scholarship through University Advancement. I hope this scholarship will not only help students but also ensure that Ken’s legacy lives on at our campus for years to come.

Joel Howard