NDSU announces new faculty fellowship in the College of Engineering

FARGO, N.D., — Matt Vettel, a 1990 NDSU industrial engineering graduate, grew up in Hillsboro, North Dakota. He credits his professors for providing the education and career advice to find excellent opportunities as an engineering graduate.

“They were super supportive in helping me get my internship at 3M and my full-time job at Accenture and launching me down the path of discovery of the type of jobs that are available once you have the engineering degree,” Matt said.

That mentorship eventually led Matt to Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA. Now, he’s giving back to NDSU so the next generation can continue benefiting from inspiring faculty. Matt and his wife, Jenna, recently established the Vettel Family IME fellowship in the College of Engineering to support a faculty member in the department of industrial and manufacturing engineering.

“I understand the impact a fellowship has on the ability to attract quality faculty to the institution. It is so important in making sure the students’ educational experience is as exciting and rewarding as when I was on campus,” Matt said. “It all starts with the faculty.”
This is the first fellowship announcement since the university publicly launched In Our Hands, a $400 million comprehensive campaign to support NDSU students.

“At NDSU, we believe students must be fully engaged with their collegiate experience so they can thrive as motivated community leaders, endlessly curious researchers and thoughtful contributors to society,” NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani said. “Faculty fellowships like the Vettel Family Fellowship help us recruit and retain faculty-researchers who impact hundreds of students.”

Benefactors who establish faculty fellowships provide a minimum of $30,000 in annual funding for at least five years. These fellowships allow faculty members to equip and staff their labs to expand research at the university.

“Investing in faculty is one of the most transformative ways philanthropy can impact our college,” Michael Kessler, dean of the College of Engineering, said. “In higher education today, named faculty positions are critical to recruiting and retaining faculty who provide the best educational experiences possible, drive innovation that will shape a better world and mentor the next generation of engineering leaders.”

Matt is an owner and managing partner at Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm with more than $7 billion capital under management focused on investing in growth technologies businesses. He and Jenna reside in Weston, Massachusetts with their three children, Olivia, Henry, and Adeline. In addition to the fellowship, the family has established a scholarship to benefit freshmen and sophomores majoring in industrial and manufacturing engineering. Matt is a current NDSU Foundation trustee.

“We are grateful to the Vettel family for their belief and confidence in NDSU and have found their philanthropic passion through giving to support our faculty,” John Glover, president and CEO of the NDSU Foundation, said. “Faculty excellence influences the lives of our students in especially meaningful ways, and investments from the Vettel family and others is crucial to the university’s future.”

University officials will announce the first recipient of the Vettel Family Fellowship on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center Diederich Atrium.


The NDSU Foundation builds enduring relationships that maximize advocacy and philanthropy to support North Dakota State University.


Nicole Thom-Arens
Director of Communications
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