Empowering tomorrow’s engineers 

Joyce and Ed Lehotsky

In the 1970s, when urban decline left Cleveland schools severely underfunded, Ed Lehotsky and a few other promising high school students were able to take courses at one of Case Western Reserve’s predecessor schools, Case Institute of Technology. The experience was transformative, and inspired Lehotsky to pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and applied physics at the university.

Now retired from a successful career in the liquefied natural gas industry, the alumnus wants to offer the same opportunities to the next generation.

 “I’d like to do what Case [Western Reserve] did for me—to give underprivileged kids a head start in high school so they have the desire and tools to pursue higher education,” said Lehotsky (CIT ’76). 

Lehotsky and his wife Joyce established the Lehotsky Endowed Student Support Fund at Case School of Engineering to support the university’s Envoys program.

Established in 2006, Envoys brings students from Cleveland and East Cleveland high schools to campus for three years of intensive research, mentorship and coursework in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Of the hundreds of students who have participated over the years, more than 90% have been Black or Latine—a statistic that was important to Lehotsky, as he hopes to help diversify the engineering field.

“During my career I spent a lot of time overseas visiting or working alongside engineers from many cultures,” he said. “It’s important to encourage diversity in the field and bring in people with different perspectives, especially in the United States.”