University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Machlin Endowment Helps EWB Help Thousands

A $27,500 endowment created by alumnus Charles “Chuck” Machlin, who graduated in 1982 with an Industrial Engineering and Operations Research degree, has been set up “in perpetuity” to support the worthy international work done by our campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Machlin’s gifts have previously supported other funding priorities at the College of Engineering, including unrestricted funds to be used at the dean's discretion, and funding for our summer Research Experience for Undergraduates. EWB UMass is a student organization dedicated to helping local and international communities create sustainable solutions in order to improve their quality of life.

“The EWB holds particular appeal for Mr. Machlin as it mirrors his own philosophy on philanthropy,” says Major Gifts Officer Ericka Prew of the college development office. “That is to say, he strongly believes in providing financial resources and volunteering his own time to the organizations whose work he supports.”

Rest assured that the Machlin gift will be put to good use. “The EWB UMass student chapter very much looks forward to using the financial support from the Charles Machlin EWB Endowment for various ongoing and periodic needs of the group,” says Professor John Tobiason, EWB’s faculty advisor from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. “Resources will be allocated to support students to attend regional and national EWB conferences and workshops, to pay required fees to EWB USA related to membership and review of applications to travel for project work, and, if available, for direct support of project work. Having the known support of endowment earnings is a great benefit to EWB UMass.”

Our campus EWB is currently running two international engineering projects. The seven-year-old Kenya project has created healthy drinking water for several thousand people surrounding the village of Namawanga in western Kenya, including the design and construction of a drilled deep water well, for which the chapter raised $20,000. EWB volunteers also constructed two spring boxes and created local organizations to manage and maintain these assets.

The EWB chapter also has a six-year-old clean water project in the Brazilian Amazon, which has constructed or rebuilt spring boxes to provide safe drinking water for several hundred people. In addition, EWB designed a simple and inexpensive pump, which can be put together by local residents using available materials, and also wrote an instructional manual for assembling it.

Being able to count on the annual support of the Machlin endowment is a huge advantage for the campus EWB chapter, which raises its own funding through two annual events. One was the EWB UMass Sweat for Clean Water 5K, held on October 1, when 89 hardy runners and walkers, among the 107 who registered, braved a driving rain to participate.

The second EWB fundraising event is the 5th Annual EWB UMass Auction & Social. Known also as Kenya Night, this year’s event is scheduled for April 21, 2012. Last year EWB UMass sponsors donated $9,100, and the event yielded a total net income of $12,760.

Besides Machlin, there are several other major donors for EWB UMass. The GOLD sponsors of $2,500 and up are Machlin, Dr. Dennis Bushe, and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin. The BRONZE sponsors of between $1,000 and $1,499 are Bob Brack of Barker Steel, Hudson Design Group, Tighe & Bond, and the UMass Amherst Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. (November 2011)