GM makes major contributions to automotive, motorsports programs

November 9 2006

General Motors has rolled out extensive support for Indiana State University's automotive technology and motorsports management programs by donating 28 high-tech engines and a 2006 Buick Lucerne to the university.

GM's contribution includes 18 Saab 2.8 liter, V6, turbo-charged engines and 10 Ecotec engines. The Saab engines will be used as part of ISU's automotive technology management program and as part of its "Introduction to Automotive Engines" course - a required part of Indiana State's new motorsports management minor, which was launched last spring and went into full gear this fall.

ISU's automotive technology management program will be replacing its old Quad Four technology with this new state-of-the-art equipment, said Randy Peters, assistant professor and program coordinator for the automotive technology management program. "The 2006 Buick Lucernes have what's called a CAN (controller area network) operating system on them that is used extensively throughout the industry now, so we'll be able to demonstrate that system and incorporate hands-on activities utilizing the latest technology."

The Ecotec engines also will be used in support of the automotive technology management program. In addition, they will be the driving force behind ISU's new student organization, Team Sycamore Racing. With this leg up from GM, Team Sycamore Racing is expected to be operating, managing and driving a dragster at area speedways by this time next year.

"We're looking at some different opportunities to partner with them (Team Sycamore Racing), with GMAC, with Chevrolet Motor Division and through the service and parts organization to really ramp that up (the relationship) and have Indiana State be fully recognized in a true partnership with General Motors," said Sheila Powell, a 1977 graduate of ISU, with a degree in automotive technology. It was the active dialog between Powell and fellow ISU alumnus John Fletcher that led to such a significant donation.

Fletcher is district sales manager for the Chevrolet Division for GM's North Central Region. He is a 1975 graduate of ISU, with a degree in automotive technology and a member of the College of Technology's Automotive Technology Management Advisory Committee.

Powell, one of ISU's 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, recently took a position with General Motors South Central Region with the responsibility of promoting the retail sales of ACDelco service components to distributors and independent accounts. A strong supporter of technology education at ISU, she has served on the College of Technology's advisory committee for many years and was instrumental in securing vehicles, components, and tools for use in the program's laboratories and classrooms. This year, she renewed her commitment to the program and accepted a lifetime appointment on ISU's new Automotive Technology Management Advisory Committee. As a result of this commitment, she has quickly procured updated technologies for the program and opened doors at General Motors for financial support.

"Sheila has been very supportive of our programs," Peters said, "and through her position with General Motors and her desire to see the programs be successful and continue to succeed and supply graduates to the industry, she has made sure that we have been able to keep as up-to-date as possible with the technology."

"I enjoy working to help students and grow their expertise," Powell said, "and I want to keep technology in the forefront of their minds."

PHOTO: http://www.indstate.edu/news/photodatabase/test_tony/2006_motorsports_engines/images/2006_motorsports_engines_0024.jpg

PHOTO CUTLINE: Indiana State University automotive technology management majors Josh Maller and Greg Sitzman, unload some of the SAAB engines donated to the university by General Motors. GM donated 18 SAAB and 10 Ecotec engines, as well as a 2006 Buick Lucerne, to ISU�s automotive technology and motorsports management programs.

PHOTO GALLERY: http://www.indstate.edu/news/photodatabase/test_tony/2006_motorsports_engines/

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CONTACT: Randy Peters, assistant professor of automotive technology management, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4962 or rpeters@indstate.edu

WRITER: Maria Greninger, associate director, Communications & Marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4357 or mgreninger@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

General Motors has rolled out extensive support for Indiana State University's automotive technology and motorsports management programs by donating 28 high-tech engines and a 2006 Buick Lucerne to the university.

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