The Martin D. Walker School of Engineering in Reed Hall of Science was dedicated Oct. 7 in honor of the five million dollars donated to Olivet Nazarene University by Martin Walker.
Known as “Skip” to friends and family, Walker “epitomized Christian business leadership in guiding and growing a number of leading manufacturing and business enterprises. He and his family have supported countless industry, corporate and nonprofit organizations through volunteer service,” an Olivet press release said.
The dedication of the establishment of the Walker School of Engineering was held in the atrium in Reed. Speakers were President at Olivet Dr. John Bowling, Vice President of Academic Affairs Carol Maxson, Chair of the School of Engineering Shane Ritter, senior engineering student Preston Shelton and Walker himself.
Engineering students, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees gathered wearing matching shirts that read “Martin D. Walker School of Engineering” on the back and pins on their left shoulder that said, “Thanks, Skip!”
“This marks a new beginning for the Olivet School of Engineering. Our buttons proudly declare ‘Thanks, Skip!’ Skip is wearing a button that says, ‘I’m Skip!’” Bowling said with a chuckle. “This is the future of engineering. It doesn’t start 20 years from today. It starts right now.”
Bowling said that individuals cannot buy recognition at Olivet, but are recognized for their gifts as believers and followers of Christ.
“[Walker] represents the qualities and values we celebrate as an Olivet community. His life reminds us that success is not just about titles and positions, but also about significance, which flows from a life of faith, service and generosity,” Bowling said in a press release.
Chair of the School of Engineering Dr. Shane Ritter said, “The Lord continues to bless [the engineering program] as we have seen great fruit already.”
Senior engineering student Preston Shelton said that Walker continues to challenge the engineering students to continue to do their best and not accept mediocrity. “We hope that God will give us the same opportunity someday [to give back],” he said.
Walker said, “I want to thank God for what he’s done for me. He’s allowed me to do things I never thought I could do. I’m proud to be associated with all you guys and gals. I hope and pray you’ll enjoy your profession as much as I did. God is really the giver of this gift. He just used me.”
Walker talked and laughed with engineering students after the dedication as they posed for photos with him.