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SEI Futures Fund - Spotlight on Philanthropy

 

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Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., SECB, F.SEI, F.AEI, F.ASCE

 

 Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., SECB, F.SEI, F.AEI, F.ASCE has practiced structural engineering for more than 43 years and still enjoys his profession. As an active member of ASCE for more than four decades, he has served on numerous boards and committees and has created several new initiatives and organizations. After serving on the ASCE Board of Direction as its first Technical Region Director, he was appointed to serve on the SEI Board of Governors, where he currently is in his fourth and final year. In addition, he is serving on the Board of Directors of SECB and the Steering Committee for SELC. His love of engineering can be seen through his exemplary career and record of volunteerism, and he has been honored to receive awards from ASCE, SEI, AEI, SEAoT, and ACEC-Texas.

When Stan isn't working as a volunteer for these organizations or advising his paying clients on engineering issues related to construction litigation, he spends time playing with his three young grandchildren, exercising with strenuous workouts, reading history to better understand the present, chasing ducks out of his backyard swimming pool, watching movies and sports (especially his beloved Wisconsin Badgers), and driving his bright red Porsche all around North Texas.

  StanHat

About the SEI Futures Fund

Stan has been a member of SEI from the day it was founded, and he has been an outspoken advocate for the profession of structural engineering for many years. When 2013 SEI President, Sam A. Rihani, P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, asked him to resurrect the SEI Endowment Fund, Stan accepted the challenge despite having no prior experience in philanthropy or fundraising. According to Stan, "Challenges always present special opportunities for personal growth, and resurrecting the SEI Endowment Fund certainly qualifies as a major challenge. I view it as a great opportunity. Besides, who can say no to Sam?"

After recruiting an initial Board of Directors from around the country by reaching out to some engineers that he knew only by reputation, Stan organized an initial board meeting in August 2013. It quickly became apparent to him that the new directors possessed "outstanding intellect, energy, chemistry, and passion for the profession." The directors immediately began to restructure the old SEI Endowment Fund into the new SEI Futures Fund, which officially launched in November 2013. All of the directors are committed to raising philanthropic funds to support the art, science, and practice of structural engineering. And toward that purpose, all of them promptly stepped forward with their own generous gifts.

Stan's Gift

In January 2014, Stan and his wife, Jane, gave a leadership gift of $7,500 to the SEI Futures Fund. When asked why he supported the SEI Futures Fund so generously, Stan responded, "I believe in leading by example. I don't know how I could credibly chair the SEI Futures Fund without making a meaningful gift, and doing so sooner rather than later. I also believe in the mission, and the heavy lifting needs to start now."

And while Stan excels at leading by example, his reasons for giving go deeper. He believes the SEI Futures Fund is an outstanding way to support not just SEI, but also the profession of structural engineering … and he has a long view of the profession:

 "I believe that structural engineers are now facing more challenges than ever before. There are trends such as automation, globalization, and contractor-led procurement that cannot be ignored. The profession will need to change in order to produce the structural engineering leaders and innovators that will thrive in the future. This will require a great amount of effort and resources. As the resource needs go beyond SEI's annual operating budget, the SEI Futures Fund can help to bridge the gap."

Stan encourages all structural engineers to give generously to the SEI Futures Fund. He insists on transparency in all aspects of the SEI Futures Fund, including how your gifts are put to use within the four priority areas established by the directors. You can be assured that 100% of your gifts will benefit the SEI Futures Fund, free of any administrative burdens. Also, your gifts will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Learn more about the SEI Futures Fund, or visit the booth in the Exhibit Hall at the Structures Congress on April 3-5 in Boston.

Collaborative Philanthropy

The SEI Futures Fund has partnered with the ASCE Foundation. Together, we are forging a new collaborative approach to philanthropy within ASCE. Stan concludes, "After just a few months of working together, it is obvious that this is a great collaboration. I predict that it will only get better." The ASCE Foundation is proud to partner with the SEI Futures Fund and looks forward to our continued joint efforts to support future generations of structural engineers.