Foundation – MPEF

Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers Foundation

The MnSPE Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization founded by members of MnSPE in 1962. The Foundation supports the future STEM workforce in Minnesota through its support of educational outreach programs, and scholarships for engineering students.

Make a tax-deductible donation to the Minnesota Professional Engineers Foundation (MPEF).

Vision

The vision of the Foundation is to assist current and prospective engineers, scientists, and educators grow their interests, knowledge and expertise by funding learning resources, activities, and scholarships.

Mission

The mission of Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers Foundation (Foundation) is to provide scholarships, grants, sponsorships, and materials to support the education of students pursuing engineering as a career, as well as the continuing education of professional engineers.

Diversity Statement

The Foundation will promote equal access to and opportunity in its program support, scholarships, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

History

The Minnesota Professional Engineers Foundation (MPEF) was started in 1962 to enable the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers (MnSPE) to give scholarships to engineering students.

Later, the 555 Park Building in St. Paul, owned by a partnership, was sold. The money was donated to the Foundation. MnSPE President Howard Loomis’ leadership was instrumental in building the Foundation during this era.

Since then, many individuals and companies have donated to advance engineering and STEM education in Minnesota.

Today the two organizations continue to foster the next generation of engineers. MPEF is just one of many opportunities for members of MnSPE to influence the future of engineering in Minnesota.

555 Park Inc., History

In the late 1960s, a group of engineers from the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers outlined the idea to construct an office building. The concept was to combine the goals of providing office space for MnSPE and the leasing of the rest of the building as a source of income. The dream was that with a source of funds beyond member dues MnSPE could support lobbying and continuing education of engineers.

 

A small group of dedicated MnSPE members worked tirelessly to achieve the first step of constructing the building. They set their sights on 555 Park Street, at the corner of the Park Street and Charles Avenue in St. Paul, because of its proximity to the Minnesota State Capitol building. This was a long-range project, requiring purchasing seven different properties and managing the properties until they were rezoned for commercial use. After rezoning they proceeded to building design and prepared for construction. MnSPE members were encouraged to buy debentures to help finance the project. By July 1977, MSPE entered a ground lease with the construction company Kraus-Anderson.

 

As the realization of the financial magnitude of the project set in, it was decided that the office building venture should become an entity with some separation from MnSPE. 555 Park, Inc. was established, and the dedicated group of members stuck with the project through completion of the building in 1981 and beyond, managing the building. By 1990, the building was turning a moderate profit, but by 1999 the 555 Park, Inc. Board of Directors reached a critical decision when they evaluated the future earnings potential. They decided that the corporation had reached its maximum earning potential, and it was a good time to dissolve the organization.

 

In 2000, the shareholders opted to dissolve 555 Park, Inc. Most company shareholders donated the funds from their share of the sale proceeds to the Minnesota Professional Engineers Foundation, to be used for engineering student scholarships; a decision once again, with members choosing to invest in the future engineers of Minnesota.

MNPEF Board of Directors

Chuck Clanton, PE, PhD
Univ. of Minn. (retired)
Randy Ellingboe, PE
MN Dept. of Health (retired)
Suzanne Jiwani, PE
MN Dept. of Natural Resources (retired)
John Lasswell, PE
WestRock
Kyle Oraskovich, PE
Great River Energy
Kent Schneider, PE, FNSPE
Corval Group (retired)
Brian Simmons, PE
Bolton & Menk, Inc.
David Wolfgram, PE
Terracon Consultants, Inc.