Published: Aug. 5, 2010

MSU, Whirlpool, Habitat for Humanity to partner for campus build

Contact(s): , Julie Burtch Habitat for Humanity of Lansing cell: (517) 775-0264, Whirlpool Corporation Media line

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Honoring their commitment to civic responsibility, Michigan State University students, faculty and staff will commemorate the National Day of Service on Sept. 11 with a first-ever Habitat for Humanity campus build in partnership with Whirlpool Corporation.

The build will end Oct. 15, wrapping up MSU’s Fall Welcome activities. The first phase of construction will take place in the commuter parking lot near Mount Hope Road and Farm Lane. The house will then be moved to its permanent location in Lansing, where construction will be completed. The future homeowner is an MSU graduate student, and the family will be the 100th family housed by Habitat for Humanity Lansing.

“Partnerships, like this one with Whirlpool Corporation and MSU, allow us to create affordable housing opportunities for local families,” said Denise Paquette, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Lansing. “We hope the student volunteers will stay interested in Habitat’s work both locally and worldwide.”

The build is part of the 2010 Whirlpool Building Blocks initiative, Whirlpool Corporation’s signature program with Habitat for Humanity. Since 1999, the company has supported Habitat in its mission to create affordable housing and is one of the organization’s largest corporate sponsors. In total, the company has donated more than 110,000 ranges and Energy Star qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes built in North America, serving 55,000 families. In addition, it plans to support every new Habitat home built globally by 2011, through product donations, cash or volunteerism. 

At MSU, service and community engagement are part of the academic experience, said Karen McKnight Casey, director of MSU’s Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. In fact, MSU has the oldest continuously operating service learning center in the country.

“MSU was approached by Habitat for Humanity and Whirlpool Corporation to partner in this first on-campus build of a Habitat house because of our strong commitment to and engagement with community,” Casey said. “MSU students will not only give through their participation in this tangible representation of campus to community connections, but also will gain in their knowledge and understanding of civic responsibility.”

In 2009-10, CSLCE recorded 16,114 student registrations for service learning and community volunteer opportunities.

The build is a cross-campus event, with several units participating: the School of Planning, Design and Construction; College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; the MSU student chapter of Habitat for Humanity; MSU Police; and more. In addition, the MSU Federal Credit Union will donate vans to shuttle students and supplies.

“Working with Habitat for Humanity and the Whirlpool Corporation provides us with a unique opportunity for our students to apply their knowledge and skills, and to give back to our community and people who need our help,” said Scott Witter, director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction. “An important part of our undergraduate programs is to teach students the importance of giving back.”

A presentation of the keys to the new homeowners will take place during the Oct. 16 Homecoming football game against the University of Illinois.

“Whirlpool Corporation is proud of its 10-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity,” said Dave Binkley, MSU graduate and senior vice president of global human resources for Whirlpool Corporation. “We are pleased to sponsor and participate in the MSU campus build, and are grateful to the university, participating student organizations, Habitat for Humanity Lansing and Habitat for Humanity International for helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for another Habitat family.”


Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.