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Richard and Mona Alonzo
Richard and Mona Alonzo

New Endowed Scholarship Helps Engineering Students Excel

Richard (Dick) Alonzo ’62, retired vice president of Engineering at Guardian Industries Corp., and his wife Mona have made an endowed scholarship gift to assist UDM engineering students. As an engineering graduate, Dick was the first in his family to graduate from college. He is grateful for the “earn and learn” aspect of the co-op engineering program; otherwise, it would have been extremely difficult for him to pay for his education.

“I believe a UDM co-op engineering graduate enters the workforce with a significant advantage over a traditional four-year engineering graduate,” he says.

Upon graduation, Dick joined the Ford Motor Glass Division where he had his co-op work experience.  He was assigned to a process development team that was working to improve flat glass manufacture. After five years at the automaker, Dick was recruited by his former boss and mentor at Ford to join him at Guardian Industries Corp.

He was part of the team that drove the company’s globalization that grew the company from 500 to 20,000 employees. As vice president of Engineering, he was responsible for the construction and startup of all the new plants.  He traveled extensively and interacted with people of diverse cultures. Of his leadership role and 38 years at Guardian, Dick says, “It was interesting to hire people, mentor them and encourage them to develop and rise to their potential.”

“I believe a UDM co-op engineering graduate enters the workforce with a significant advantage over a traditional four-year engineering graduate”

—Richard Alonzo '62

The Alonzos have been supporters of annual scholarships at UDM and have taken great satisfaction in the results of their giving. Establishing the Richard and Mona Alonzo Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will be vested in three years, is their way of ensuring that engineering students receive tuition assistance for years to come. 

In making their gift, Dick and his wife note, “The future of our country depends on an educated workforce. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are the essential components of innovation that will provide the new jobs and economic stability for the future.”