Frederick M. Seibert ’69, ’73
Owner and President, Preece Inc.
College of Liberal Arts & Education
“Education lays the foundation for success” is a tenet of Frederick (Fred) M. Seibert ’69, ’73, a successful CEO who received his high school diploma from University of Detroit High School (now University of Detroit Jesuit High School) and his undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Detroit.
He is an avid supporter of both the University and high school. He met his wife, Suzanne, at University of Detroit, and they married in 1969. Financially challenged as newlyweds, Seibert received a loan from his University of Detroit fraternity to complete his Liberal Arts degree in 1970. He returned to the University to earn an M.B.A. in 1973 while working full time at Ford Motor Company.
He credits his education and good decisions with helping him advance in the workplace. In 1974, Seibert was recruited by Rockwell International Automotive, where he was later promoted to materials manager and transferred to Illinois. He returned to Ford Motor Company in 1977 as a materials planning manager in Milan, Michigan. In 1981, Seibert received an offer to work for Smith Oil Tool Company as director of International Planning and Manufacturing in California.
Three years later, Seibert joined Preece Inc., and worked his way to become president in 1991. Founded in 1961, Preece Inc. began by making fluid and pneumatic components for aeronautics and other industries. It became a full-service manufacturer by producing custom manufactured hose assemblies and allied products. Seibert became the owner and CEO of the company in 2000, and led the company’s growth. Today, Preece’s fluid and pneumatic-related components are used extensively in defense programs and the commercial aerospace market.
Longtime supporters of the University, the Seiberts established an endowed fund in 2010, the “Frederick and Suzanne Seibert Scholarship,” to assist junior- and senior-level students in good academic standing with financial need. The Seiberts reside in Coto de Caza, Calif.
Below is an excerpt from Frederick Seibert’s remarks upon accepting his award at the Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Awards, April 11, 2014. View a video of his remarks and those of the other awardees.
“As part of this event, there was a published summary of my life and career written by someone here at the University. It was very complimentary toward me, and I am grateful for the” wordsmithing” that went into the summary. One of the key items in that article was a reiteration of my belief that ‘education builds the foundation for success.’ I have been very fortunate to have received what I believe to be an incomparable Jesuit-led educational experience. Starting at the University of Detroit High School and culminating with my MBA here at UDM in 1973, I was exposed to not only the rigors required to excel at an academic level, but to view education as a part of a much larger life-long learning experience.
To all of tonight’s attendees, I urge you to use the great educational opportunity that you have or are getting here at UDM and then set your goals for the broader world. And above all, be persistent.”