Engineers Club Story Prehistory & Barn Gang A New Building The First Decades Postwar Peak Years Crisis & Renovation Building Tour A Charitable Mission Resources


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A Charitable Mission - The Foundation

By Mark Martel

Ropewalk: A Cordage Engineer’s Journey Through History is the Foundation’s award-winning historical documentary film.


External Links

The 1913 Dayton Flood

A Pictorial History of the Great Dayton Flood

Miami Conservancy District

Dayton History

Ohio History Central

Foundation History

The non-profit Engineers Club of Dayton Foundation formed in 1972 with 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt status. Its original mission was to spread knowledge of science and engineering, sponsor public meetings and make grants to students. Beginning with $5400, within five years its net worth grew to nearly $27,000. See the 1977 Annual Report


By then the Foundation was co-sponsoring yearly all-day Edison-Science Youth Days for Dayton and area high school students, contributing to the Dayton Museum of Natural History and the Honors Seminar of Metropolitan Dayton, and making a $500 grant to a college Engineering student. A web search reveals that one recipient passed on the favor by teaching college math.


More recently the Foundation obtained and supplemented an Engineering and Science Foundation  grant to provide Math and Science Teaching Workshops to approximately 300 Miami Valley teachers in 16 school systems.

Education and community outreach

Over the years the Foundation has supported:

Local science fairs, TechFest for primary grade students, Teachers Science Seminar, the Kettering Fund for outstanding senior Engineering student, awards for technical papers by undergrad and graduate student, Rube Goldberg Contest, The Science Enrichment for Minorities program, teacher support programs, Mathematics Collaborative, the Odyssey of the Mind and Women in Engineering – a weeklong experience for high school women, STEM Initiative –FoosBlast 2008, and Ropewalk documentary film.


The Ropewalk film is among the most successful education projects sponsored by the Foundation, having won state and national awards and online distribution through Netflix. Over 500 free copies were sent to schools, museums, libraries, historical societies and sail training tall ships.


The new Dayton Innovation Legacy project will tell the stories of Dayton’s unsung inventors and innovators. It is currently accepting donations to help collect, preserve and communicate these stories through a multimedia website.


Enlarged mission for the Foundation

After the 1995 water damage to the Club building the Foundation added historic preservation to its mission. Public educational events held at the Club helped meet the new charter and make the club eligible for funds. Soon an endowment was also established to save for a rainy day.


Foundation funds have since been used to update the Club’s electrical system, lighting, and to install boilers. We have washed and cleaned the building exterior, painted, performed a building review, and begun a long-term roof fund.


Roof Fund

There is a pressing need today to finish building renovations. Otherwise regular maintenance issues could begin to snowball. We particularly need to raise funds to replace our aging roof.. Concurrently the Foundation seeks to build the endowment to achieve permanent financial viability.


Infrastructure improvements are need to…

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Dayton Innovation Legacy is a Foundation sponsored website documenting the stories of Dayton’s innovators and engineers in their own words and pictures.