Construction Management alum establishes endowment to support Housing Education Research Initiative

Alan and Johanna Scott have established the Alan F. Scott Fund for the Housing Education Research Initiative to provide support for graduates, undergraduates, assistantships, educational programs and other needs for the initiative.

Photo of Alan and Johanna Scott

Alan Scott, of Marblehead, Ohio, is a 1973 building construction alumnus from the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“To be an MSU alumnus is a prestigious accomplishment because it is one of the best programs in the country. To say I’ve graduated from MSU gives me a status people respect,” Scott said.

Scott strongly believes in giving back to his alma mater, and as such, has been a guest speaker for the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) Industry Seminar Series and served as a member of the advisory board of the Housing Education and Research Initiative (HERI) within the Construction Management program. This board helps to provide feedback on the housing research topics coordinated by Sinem Mollaoglu, residential education, industry liaison, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student competition team coached by George Berghorn.

“I thought we needed to have something to support fellowships and research. We decided as a board to develop an endowment that would support and replace money we’ll lose in grants,” Scott said.

To help provide a source of revenue for the future, Scott and his wife, Johanna, established the Alan F. Scott Fund for the Housing Education Research Initiative, a permanent endowment fund held by the university.

“We wanted to have a perpetual source of funding. If we just use the interest only, it just keeps going on. This is a long-term plan to keep money funded,” Scott said. “I committed the first $100,000 and really hope we get other alumni and individuals to get the fund up to $1 million, which would give the university about $50,000 each year to continue this program.”

The endowment will provide support for graduates, undergraduates, assistantships, educational programs and other needs as they arise for the Housing Education Research Initiative.

“Al Scott is a great supporter of the Construction Management Program and a great friend,” said Matt Syal, professor of Construction Management. “I am highly impressed by his passion to support housing industry research and education. His role on the advisory board of our Housing Education and Research Initiative (HERI) was recognized nationally when he was awarded the Industry Advisory Board Member of the Year Award by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). We are fortunate to have him involved in our program.”

“Al is a strong supporter of our NAHB student competition team and has provided his time and resources to help prepare the team. Our team has won the first prize nationally two years in a row and Al has been there at the both award ceremonies,” Syal added.

Leaving a legacy for the future

In addition, Scott has included a planned gift in his estate plans to help grow the endowment.

“Michigan State University has always been near and dear to my heart,” Scott explained. “I’ve been very blessed and feel fortunate. I have been very successful in the real estate industry. My coaching from Michigan State University has given me tremendous opportunity in life. There comes a point when you want to give back to give the same types of opportunities to those succeeding you.”

Scott shared an inspiring story from his college days. In 1972, he was one of the students selected to attend a national construction management conference. The Professional Builder of the Year Award recipient was Ray Ellison that year. Scott admired Ellison’s many accomplishments and wanted to be like him. Scott approached Ellison and asked for advice on how to succeed in this industry.

To this day, Scott recalls Ellison’s reply, “Son, you buy it by the acre and sell it by the foot.”

Over the years, Scott took Ellison’s advice to heart. Scott spent the next 40 years buying land, developing on it, and selling it by the lot.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from MSU, Scott earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Dayton in Ohio. He then served 13 years as vice president of Wallick Construction Company, and seven years as president of Zaremba Development Company.

In 1995, he co-founded The NRP Group LLC, where he served as managing member until retiring from the company in 2014. Currently, Scott is president and owner of Alan F Scott (AFS) Inc., a residential construction company. Scott has been a longtime member of the NAHB where he has held a variety of leadership roles. He is also an ambassador of the United States Jaycees, serves as a Lab Coat Society Member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a former Habitat for Humanity board member.

“I’m thankful that Michigan State has given me the opportunities it has given me. I feel honored to be on the advisory board — I feel honored to know that I’m doing something good to help the students and help the faculty and help the program,” Scott said.

The MSU Construction Management Program is within the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC). Construction Management is a profession of both the management and technological aspects of the construction industry. Students studying construction management take classes in management, contracts, finance, estimating, scheduling, project management, real estate, structural design, accounting, building codes, business law, safety and materials.

Help grow the fund

Gifts to help grow the Alan F. Scott Fund for the Housing Education Research Initiative can be made:

  • Online by credit card, or
  • By check mailed to University Advancement, Spartan Way, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing, MI 48824. Please make checks payable to “Michigan State University” and include the name of the fund you wish to support on the memo line of your check.

To explore additional ways to support the fund and the Construction Management Program, please contact Brittany Lawrence at mill2849@msu.edu.

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