Category Archives: Events

College celebrates 100th Founders Day

President Rich Wagner delivered the following address to the  college community at a Founders Day All-College Assembly on Friday, Dec. 12. The College’s 100th Founders Day occurred on Sunday, Dec. 14.


To start, I want to read a short piece from the Last Will and Testament of William Hood Dunwoody.

“Believing that in the multiplied facilities for obtaining a liberal education by the youth of this state, enough attention has not been given to instruction in the industrial and mechanical arts, therefore, it is my purpose and desire to establish and endow a school to be called the ‘William Hood Dunwoody Industrial Institute’ wherein shall be taught industrial and mechanical arts, giving special importance to the different handicraft and useful trades.”

After William’s death, his wife Kate worked with community leaders to organize and create the structures for this new school that made their dream a reality. On December 14, 1914, Kate attended the opening ceremonies as 80 students and 7 instructors started classes in four programs…and here we are 100 years later.

It is hard to believe: one hundred years of changing lives, providing hope, and building better communities through technical education. William and Kate Dunwoody saw a need and through their visionary leadership and philanthropy wanted, in their words — “to provide for all time a place.” And what a place it has become!

To reflect on all the accomplishments of Dunwoody’s faculty and staff and of Dunwoody’s alumni and students over our first 100 years is overwhelming.

The faculty and staff of Dunwoody:

  • Created and implemented the educational model that is the gold standard for career and technical education and has resulted in Dunwoody being called the birthplace of technical education
  • Provide a unique educational experience that helps students realize their maximum potential
  • Started technical education programs across the globe
  • And today are leading the technical education renaissance

Dunwoody alumni have:

  • Changed companies through the leadership and technical expertise they bring into the world of work
  • Changed industries by creating companies and creating new technologies and processes that revolutionized things like fiberglass welding, microchip processing, and sugar free fat-free commercial baking
  • With the good jobs and great careers a Dunwoody education affords they have changed the world by building better communities as active and productive citizens — in the words of our founders they have “fit themselves for the better performance of life’s duties.”

It is incredible to think that the vision of two humble people has had such a profound impact —an impact that can be seen throughout the Twin Cities, the State of Minnesota and across the globe.

So today we reflect on the significance of Dunwoody and we attempt to understand our place in this great history:

Faculty and staff — not only are you part of the legacy, but you preserve our traditions while helping us reach for the future. Your commitment to the mission of the College keeps us focused and your dedication to our students creates a unique learning environment and distinguishes Dunwoody as the leader in hands-on student centric learning.

Students you are the next chapter in Dunwoody’s storied history. And from what you’ve shown us so far in the results of the competitions in which you participate in many of our programs; the quality of your work displayed across the campus; and what is happening every day in the classroom we can rest assured that the next chapter is going to be even better!

In this this room we see the Dunwoody’s dream, we feel the presence of the Dunwoody’s spirit, and we take great satisfaction in knowing that William and Kate Dunwoody are proud of all the people that have been positively touched by their vision.

It is so cool to look around this room and see all of us gathered together: the people that are Dunwoody. Dunwoody’s legacy isn’t about a building. It’s about a place. And that place is defined, and continues to be defined, by people — all of us and all of those who have gone before. Together we have created for all time a place!

Stay commitment, be proud because together — we are Dunwoody!

Brenda Piliego-Geniz receives $15,000 scholarship from Minneapolis Rotary Club

Pictured (l-r): YCAP Manager Peggy Quam, Architecture student Brenda Piliego-Geniz, and President Emeritus Dr. C. Ben Wright. Piliego-Geniz is holding a skin diagram she created in her studio class using SketchUp. The diagram shows what a house looks like when it is pulled apart and the materials are exposed.

Pictured (l-r): YCAP Manager Peggy Quam, Architecture student Brenda Piliego-Geniz, and President Emeritus Dr. C. Ben Wright. Piliego-Geniz is holding a skin diagram she created in her studio class using SketchUp. The diagram shows what a house looks like when it is pulled apart and the materials are exposed.

Architecture student Brenda Piliego-Geniz, of Arden Hills, recently received a $15,000 scholarship from The Minneapolis Rotary Club to assist her studies at Dunwoody. Piliego-Geniz is a participant in the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP). YCAP enhances the career opportunities of under-represented youth, by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

For the past 20 years the Minneapolis Rotary Club has granted a scholarship to a student in the YCAP program. Piliego-Geniz was selected as the scholarship recipient because of her GPA and involvement in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. She received the scholarship check at the rotary breakfast on Oct. 29–which she was accompanied to by Dunwoody President Emeritus Dr. C. Ben Wright, Senior Development Officer Mary Meador and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam.

“I want to say thank you for the scholarship. It really means a lot to me because I am the youngest of four and the first to go to college, and I have nobody to ask what the experience was for them and how they got through it,” Piliego-Geniz said.

She added that the scholarship allows to her focus on her schoolwork instead of worrying about how she is going to pay for her education.

For more information about Dunwoody’s YCAP program, visit

College features 40 alumni leading up to 100th Founders Day

Dunwoody College of Technology’s 100th Founders Day is Sunday, Dec. 14.

To celebrate the College’s 100th birthday, we are featuring 40 of our alumni on the College’s Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll feature five alumni each day.

To see who we feature, visit or

Students and employees will celebrate Founders Day on Friday, Dec. 12.

Check out the Alumni & Friends Fall 2014 Magazine article “100 for 100″ that features 100 Alumni stories (PDF).


Construction Sciences & Building Technology fish house to be raffled Dec. 6

 On Oct. 17 and 18 Construction Sciences & Building Technology students built a Minnesota Bound-themed fish house for Fish House Frenzy Twin Cities.

Minnesota Bound-themed fish house

Teams from Adolfson & Peterson Construction and Kraus-Anderson Construction also participated in the 24-hour construction competition to raise funds for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, which makes critical repairs for homeowners in need–particularly older adults, individuals living with disabilities, families with small children and members of the armed forces.

While the other fish houses were auctioned off already, the Dunwoody team’s fish house is still available via raffle to be drawn on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Joe’s Sporting Goods, 33 East County Road B, St. Paul.

In addition to raising money for a good cause, the students learned about the importance of preparation and teamwork.

Students learned through trial and error how to manage people and time. During a recap session they shared ideas about technical and management problems that arose,” said Senior Instructor James Strapko. “For example, they agreed on the value of preparation and following the drawings. They also recognized the need for establishing clear lines of authority and matching work crews with tasks.”

Through the competition construction students formed partnerships with other Dunwoody programs. The College’s HVAC and Electrical students provided some labor and materials for this year’s project, and Interior Design students have expressed interest in participating with the College’s Fish House Frenzy team next year.

Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Joe’s Sporting Goods, 33 East County Road B, St. Paul.  Tickets are $20. To purchase raffle tickets, email

MDES students visit Modern Metals Foundry Inc. for putter casting project

Engineering Drafting & Design students in the Product Design class recently visited Modern Metals Foundry Inc. in Bloomington, Minn. The visit is part of a golf putter design project the students are working on.


Before the students visited the foundry, Dan Taylor, pattern maker and partial owner of Modern Metals, spent a day in the classroom working with 21 students to create golf putter designs and follow boards that could be easily cast in aluminum.


“At the foundry the students were able to watch the actual process of packing the sand into a core and cavity using one of their putter patterns and follow boards,” said Senior Instructor Andrew LeRoy. “The sand was hardened using a CO2 process. Finally the sprue and runners were cut into the mold and the liquid aluminum was poured into the mold by hand using a ladle. After a cooling period the part was removed and then brought into the grinding area to clean it up.”


When all the putter parts are complete they will be returned to the students to do the final machining of the putters striking faces and installation of the shaft and grip.


“This project makes the design process come to life from conception through final manufacturing of a part using required standards from industry. It is very realistic and mirrors what graduates will face in industry on a smaller scale,” LeRoy said. “Modern Metals has been integral to the MDES program for several years and they really make an invaluable contribution.”

Putter Contest
For this project the students are required to ensure their putter meets United States Golf Association standards of weight and design. In mid to late November the students will host a putting contest for Dunwoody faculty, staff and students–who will be asked to vote for which putter they think is best. The winner will be listed on a trophy displayed in the Robotics & Manufacturing department.

Dunwoody history pictorial show, Alumni & Friends Reception July 17

Mill City MuseumAlumni & Friends Reception and Pictorial Show at Mill City Museum–Thursday, July 17

Join us from 6 to 8 p.m. for a very special evening of history, friendship and celebration at the Mill City Museum,  704 S. 2nd Street, Minneapolis, for the Alumni & Friends Reception and Dunwoody College Pictorial History Display.

No RSVP is required. Alumni, friends and the public are welcome.

For further information contact, or call 612-381-3064.
Dunwoody College, celebrating its Centennial in 2014, will hold a pictorial show at Mill City Museum highlighting the College’s history and the impact Dunwoody has had on the local community – from the founders William and Kate Dunwoody, to the present day.  Featuring historic photographs of the past 100 years, the show will run through Oct. 5.

William H. Dunwoody was the primary share holder of Washburn Crosby Company (now General Mills) and his involvement in the greater milling community was instrumental in making Minneapolis the Flour Milling Capital of the World for 50 years – it was Mill City.  Dunwoody is delighted to join with Mill City Museum a hundred years later to celebrate this relationship.

William and Kate Dunwoody were prominent citizens of their time and helped build many significant institutions that survive in today – General Mills, Wells Fargo, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Northwestern National Bank, and of course Dunwoody College of Technology.

Dunwoody College’s influence continues today as a leader in technical education and a producer of alumni who continue to make an impact on the community.  Alums such as M.A. Mortenson (Mortenson Construction), Howard Lund (Lund Boats), and Maurice Wagner (Morrie’s Automotive) are just a few examples of Dunwoody Colleges continued impact on the community.

Dunwoody was featured on “Life to the Max” May 17

Mike Max took a tour of Dunwoody College through its 100 years of history to the present day for his Life to the Max TV Show that highlights stories of perseverance, tenacity and winning attitudes.

If you missed the episode that aired on May 17, you can watch it at

 Mike Max takes a tour of Dunwoody College of Technology through its 100 years of history to the present day. A generous gift left by William Hood Dunwoody in his will started the Minneapolis technical college in 1914 and since then its reputation for excellence continues to grow. Mike meets with instructors, current students and wildly successful alumni of Dunwoody to find out what makes the college and its culture breed success.

“Life to the Max” is sponsored by Lifetouch and produced by Lifetouch Media Productions.

For more information about Life to the Max, visit

Architectural Drafting & Design students win Hole Design trophy at Skyway Open

The golf hole Dunwoody Architectural Drafting & Design students designed and built won the award for 2014 Top Hole Design at the eighth annual U.S. Bank Skyway Open Feb. 21-23.


—————————————————-Architectural Drafting & Design students design golf hole for Skyway Open

The golf hole Dunwoody’s Architectural Drafting & Design students designed and built will be featured at the eighth annual U.S. Bank Skyway Open Feb. 21-23.

This 18-hole scramble mini-golf tournament features professionally designed golf holes by leading Minneapolis-based architects and contractors set up throughout the downtown skyway system. Golfers can visit for registration and ticket information.

This year’s theme is “Minneapolis Neighborhoods — Putt the City.” Teams were challenged to create a golf hole that captures the personalities of the city’s communities.

Dunwoody’s team–Patrick Anderson, Nick Conniff, John Dwyer, Randy Iverson, Adam Krause, John Nelson, John Tilbury and Kyle Vogt–named their golf hole “The Spirit Lake Trail.”

This is the first year Dunwoody has participated in the charity event. Dunwoody’s team–Patrick Anderson, Nick Conniff, John Dwyer, Randy Iverson, Adam Krause, John Nelson, John Tilbury and Kyle Vogt–named their golf hole “The Spirit Lake Trail.”

“This structural metaphor claims Hennepin Avenue as the original neighborhood, the Minneapolis section of a Native American path through the Midwest known as the Spirit Lake Trail,” explained Senior Instructor John Dwyer. “The structure is composed to invert our common perceptions of the city. The top layers represent the less perceivable topography and geology. The lower layers represent the more easily perceivable streets and neighborhood delineations.”

The Skyway Open is hosted by the Downtown Network and benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. For more information about the event, visit