Margaret Dunning Foundation gives UCS auto program a lift
Margaret Dunning Foundation gives UCS auto program a lift
Posted on 04/26/2019
Student working on a wheelA foundation founded by a car enthusiast has provided a $30,000 grant to support the Henry Ford II High School’s automotive care program.

The Margaret Dunning Foundation has provided a $30,000 grant to Henry Ford II to purchase a new lift for its automotive repair program.

“This generous support demonstrates again how positive partnerships in UCS produce great results,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “Thanks to the Dunning Foundation, our students will have unique experiences that provide them real-world opportunities in our classrooms."

Henry Ford II Career and Technical Education teacher Brett Orlowski said the grant will purchase a “Drive-on Scissor Lift”.

“It gives the students a new hands-on opportunity,” he said. “Rather than learning through a video or book, they will be able to apply what they are learning directly with the car.”

Students in the automotive program in UCS earn certification through the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence), with many already employed in private auto repair businesses.

Orlowski said the students work on “all aspects” of cars, including brakes, steering suspensions, electronics, fuel injection and diagnostics. The students are also learning how to use technology as part of their diagnostic tests to identify issues in today’s increasingly more complex automotive systems.
It is the wide range of experiences that appeals to Senior Lukas Teuscher.

“This class has really given me an understanding of how everything in the car works together,” he said.

Classmate senior Adam Skelly agreed.

“This program has allowed me to get to where I am right now in life,” who has worked in automotive repair companies and has worked privately on repairing transmissions and motors. “I really live the job.”

The new lift is slated to arrive prior to the end of the school year. In addition to the Dunning Foundation grant, the program recently received an $11,000 grant from the State of Michigan for the addition of a new and updated tire machine.

“In this day and age, it is great to see that career and technical education is expanding,” Orlowski said. “This program gives our students the opportunity to make a comfortable living after completing high school.”

The Margaret Dunning Foundation was founded by Ms. Dunning 1997. She was born in 1920 in Redford Township and moved with her mother to Plymouth, Michigan in the 1920s.

During her lifetime, Ms. Dunning was a successful business woman, philanthropist and civic booster. She was a major support of many Plymouth nonprofits, including the Plymouth District Library and the Plymouth Historical Society. In addition to her personal philanthropy, Ms. Dunning was a classic car enthusiast and was a regular participant in the Woodward Dream Cruise with her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster.
Ms. Dunning passed away in 2013 at the age of 104.

Her estate provided additional funding for the Margaret Dunning Foundation, which continues to support her charitable interests and legacy. For more information,