Finkl Scholarships Will Reward the Industry's Next-Generation Leaders

Excitement surrounds the launch of FIERF's new Charles W. Finkl Scholarship Program; $100,000 in contributions sought.

The Forging Industry Educational and Research Foundation (FIERF) has set up the Finkl Scholarship Program on the strength of a gift from A. Finkl and Sons Co. in memory of the late Chuck Finkl. The goal is to encourage students studying in forging-related degrees to pursue careers in the industry.

Tribute to Chuck Finkl
“I had the good fortune during my forty-year career in the forging business to have counted Chuck as one of my friends. His intellect and passion for this business have been an inspiration to all who knew him. He was himself dedicated to helping and teaching. I can’t think of more fitting tribute to the life and legacy of Chuck Finkl,” says FIERF president and Walker Forge Inc. vice chairman John Nowak. “And we’re honored to be a part of this tribute.”

Timothy Nealt, v.p. - sales for A. Finkl & Sons Co. explains the genesis of the scholarship. “Chuck’s life was full of so many personal and professional achievements it’s difficult to capture or focus on any one in particular. However, A. Finkl & Sons Co. believes one of the most important traits of the man was his dedication and passion for education — particularly technical education with an emphasis toward the forging industry. That is why the Board of Directors of A. Finkl & Sons Co. wanted to establish a scholarship in his name through FIERF.”

Scholarship qualifications
The Foundation’s Education Committee has been assembling the details of the scholarship program.

Up to twenty $3,000 scholarships will be awarded each year to incoming college juniors majoring in Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, Materials, Mechanical, or Metallurgical Engineering. Recipient selection procedures will include the consideration of past academic performance and future potential, leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, statement of career and educational aspirations and goals. Students must maintain a 2.75 grade point average and be a U.S. citizen. Having interned or worked at an FIA member company will be a credit in the selection process. Scholarships will be awarded over two years ($1,000 in junior year; $2,000 in senior year.)

Most awards will be made to students of FIERF Magnet Schools — schools that cooperate with the foundation in a program that enables FIERF and forging companies to raise students’ awareness of the forging industry. Recognizing the geographic diversity of FIA members, up to 25% of the scholarships in any year will be granted to students outside of the Magnet School Program.

Chester Van Tyne, FIERF Professor at the Colorado School of Mines and academic coordinator of the Magnet School program, believes the scholarships will be of great interest to students. “The Finkl scholarships are a long-term investment by the forging industry in students. The investment will mature and provide significant returns as these students enter the forging industry. I believe that the supported students will become the future leaders of the forging industry. Such an investment is also one that Chuck Finkl would strongly agree with,” according to Van Tyne.

“The establishment of the Finkl Scholarships will provide greater visibility of the forging industry on the Magnet School campuses where forging is already a recognized and highly regarded manufacturing process.

“As a member of a university, I know that these scholarships will be of high interest to the students at Colorado School of Mines. The scholarships will be a means to attract more high-quality students to learn about the excitement and opportunities of the forging industry.”

Industry helps grow fund
“The forging industry is indebted to A. Finkl & Sons for establishing this scholarship,” says Dr. Kevin Handerhan, president of Open Die and International Operations, Ellwood Group, and the Foundation Fundraising Chair. “It is a great start. Now, it is up to us to build on this beginning to grow the fund to reach successive generations. We’re extremely pleased to know we will be able to reach out to 100 young people in the next five years as they pursue their degrees.

“The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is challenging industry individuals and organizations to contribute $100,000 to grow the fund to invest in the future of the North American forging industry.”

Friends and colleagues may make tax-deductible contributions to the fund through the Forging Industry Educational and Research Foundation, 25 W. Prospect Avenue, Suite 300, Cleveland, OH 44115. Tel. 216-781-5040 e-mail: info@forgings.org.

Scholarship applications being accepted
Posters are being distributed to all FIA Members and Magnet Schools with scholarship details. Applications are available on the FIA website at www.forging.org. Deadline for application postmark is March 15th. Students will be notified in May.


Charles W. Finkl: 1920 – 2002
To many, Charles W. Finkl was synonymous with A. Finkl & Sons Co. As the fourth member of the family to head the company, Chuck served as president and chairman in his 57-year career. Chuck’s great-grandfather, Anton Finkl created a hammer/chisel that was forged in a small blacksmith shop in 1879, and used to recycle bricks left from the Great Chicago Fire.

Among Chuck’s many credits and accomplishments are:

  • Inventor of ladle metallurgy.
  • Holder of more than 100 patents for processes and equipment.
  • Over 25 years of service on the FIERF Board of Trustees, twice serving as its president.
  • Recipient of the Billy Wallis Award from the Electric Metal Makers Guild.
  • Benefactor of the FIERF Finkl Challenge — Chuck’s challenge led to over $350,000 raised to fund education and research programs in the forging industry.
  • Honored by the Iron and Steel Society as one of the principal founders in the science and practice of vacuum degassing and ladle metallurgy.
  • Awarded an honorary doctorate by the Illinois Institute of Technology for a lifetime of contributions to industry and education.
  • Major supporter of several Chicago Public and Private Schools, one of which is named the Finkl Academy.
  • Served on the Board of Directors of the American Iron and Steel Institute and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
  • Member Chicago Business Hall of Fame.
  • A dedicated environmentalist, Chuck received awards from the City of Chicago and the National Arbor Day Foundation for his effort.
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