Tag Archive: Mecklenburger Scholarship



In September I was a freshman college student at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) starting the Fall semester of the year 1977. My Father, Mr. Roberto Hung Juris Doctor wanted me to attend NEIU because he worked at Felt-Products Inc. nearby at McCormick Boulevard and Touhy in Skokie, Illinois. The Felt-Pro Corporation included the college children of employees in the Mecklenburger Scholarship benefits.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Felt Products was originally a parts supplier for the Ford Model T, Felt Products Manufacturing Co. was founded on the North Side in 1918 by Hugo Herz and his son-in-law Albert Mecklenburger. Later renamed Fel-Pro, the company remained family-owned until it was sold in 1998 to Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Mich., which subsequently went into bankruptcy reorganization. (All three families who ran Fel-Pro at the time of the Federal-Mogul deal are descended by blood or by marriage from Mr. Herz.)

Fel-Pro, which had 2,700 employees and 11 plants making gaskets for internal combustion engines, sold for $720 million.

Softer side: Fel-Pro regularly headed lists of companies offering generous employee benefits. There were fitness and day care centers at the Skokie plant, as well as a children’s summer camp and recreation area spanning 250 acres near Cary. Fel-Pro paid for tutors for employees’ children and sponsored scholarships. There were company-paid lawyers and psychologists on site to counsel employees, and even an artist-in-residence program.

The company contended the extras weren’t expensive. “At Fel-Pro, 93 cents of every benefit dollar went to standard things like pensions and profit-sharing and health care and vacation. That’s what automakers are struggling to fund today,” says Ken Lehman.

“All the other things cost just 7 cents out of every benefit dollar.” Even so, many of the old perks have been dismantled since the sale”.

Nowadays: Kenneth Lehman is managing partner of a family investment concern, KKP Group LLC in Evanston, and is on the board of the family’s charitable organization, the New Prospect Foundation, which has assets of about $20 million. He is also chairman of Winning Workplaces, a non-profit that consults on workplace issues. He’s on the boards of both Care USA, an international relief organization, and Public Radio International. Public station WBEZ-FM in Chicago named its studios the Lehman Family Public Radio Center.

David Weinberg promotes charter schools in Chicago. Paul Lehman heads Austin Lehman Adventures, which sponsors off-the-beaten-path vacations.

Dennis Kessler is a principal in Family Business Innovations, which assists private firms with succession planning, and Kessler Management Consulting LLC, both in Northbrook, Illinois.

My Father, Mr. Roberto Hung was a full-time employee at the Felt-Products Corporation until 1996, for twenty-two (22) years in Skokie, Illinois USA.

I was referred to the NEIU Financial Aid Department for Work Study as an Assistant Student Aide for the Veterans Administration GI Scholarship managed by Mrs. Annette Cohn, Shirley Levin.

In addition, I was to help the Computer Analyst Marie Liszewski Ruiz with NEIU Student Financial Aid Reports, provide student aide support to Marilyn Kuhn, and also assist Angie Pappas at the Reception Desk, Kathy Crane, George A. West and Frank Solano, David Hefland at the Career Counseling Center and other Civil Service staff who worked at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis, B Wing, Chicago, Illinois 60625 USA.

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In 1867, the first experimental Teacher Training School was established in Blue Island, Illinois by the Cook County Commissioners who appropriated the money for 32 students.

Three years later, on September 21, 1870, the Normal School opened its new building in Englewood, Illinois.

The City of Chicago sponsored the Normal School which became the Chicago Normal School.

In 1938, the Normal School was renamed the Chicago Teachers College, the only tuition-free, four-year degree-granting institution in the city, conferring the Bachelor of Education degree at the time.

Two years later, the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools fully accredited the Chicago Teachers College in 1940.

The Board of Education expanded its services by establishing two branches of the Chicago Teachers College on the north side, in order to accommodate overcrowding in the schools in 1949.

“What happened to the Chicago Teachers College in 1952?” In sixty-one years, they have come a long way from the two north side branches at Foreman High School and Sabin which were closed after a new facility was built at the existing NEIU Campus on St. Louis Avenue. The Chicago Teachers College Alumni are now retired octogenarians and nonagenarians from the schools around the world.

In the year 2013, Northeastern Illinois University welcomes Alumni to the NEIU Reunion and a special “Welcome Home Luncheon” for the Chicago Teachers College Alumni on Friday, October 18th. The 2013 NEIU Alumni Reunion includes a Medallion Ceremony for the Diamond Alumni of the Class of 1952 and Golden Alumni of the Class of 1962 during the afternoon on campus. On Saturday, October 19, NEIU Alumni and Friends will be welcomed for a brunch and a general meeting. “Tour Your New Campus” is arranged for all guests, visitors, and friends at Northeastern Illinois University. The NEIU Alumni Association encourages everyone to learn more about the University’s great achievements and its progress throughout the years to grow and enhance its programs for the benefit of all students.

Thirty-five years ago, I was sent to Northeastern Illinois University by my Father, Mr. Roberto Hung J.D. who insisted that I should become a teacher at the Illinois State College which was a member of the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities. Since my Father worked in Skokie at the Felt-Products Corporation known for manufacturing gaskets in the automobile industry, his co-workers and friends highly recommended Northeastern Illinois University as a good choice for an Illinois State University in 1977. Felt-Pro Corporation rewarded employees like my father who had a high school graduate with High Honors in the family with $1,000 for college tuition at the Illinois State institution of higher education. In addition, Felt-Products supported employees educational goals for their children with the Mecklenburger Scholarship which subsidized tuition for one semester during the university’s academic year. I only received the Mecklenburger Scholarship in 1977 and 1980 from the Felt-Products Corporation in Skokie, Illinois while my Father was an employee there. The fifth year of college at NEIU, I was granted an Illinois Guaranteed Loan to complete my college studies. The Illinois Guaranteed Loan for college tuition was paid in full during 1983 while I worked for Holy Cross High School for Boys, a Christian Brothers School in River Grove, Illinois USA.

I attended Northeastern Illinois University in the Fall of 1977 and continued my college studies there for the next five (5) years, until I completed the Student Teaching curriculum at NEIU in December 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, French, Spanish, and English. I am a graduate NEIU Alumni from the Class of 1982.

Since NEIU changed control and management to an independent Board of Trustees from the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities in 1996, Northeastern Illinois University has developed the campus facility and expanded its services as an Illinois institution of higher learning locally, nationwide and around the world for the 21st century.

Photo: Angelina Pedroso Diversity Center, B Wing at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois USA

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