John and Nancy Kennedy
Joseph Spruit, founder of Autodie Corporation, was a lifelong entrepreneur who inspired many fellow business persons. Mr. Spruit started his career at Link Tool and Die, leaving there in 1962 to buy his first business, Jellens Tool and Die. Renamed Autodie, the business had peak employment of 700 people. This scholarship for engineering students is named in honor of Joseph Spruit by John C. Kennedy iii who was a 23-year-old accountant when Mr. Spruit hired him to be chief financial officer of Autodie in 1982. Within six years, Kennedy would buy Autocam, a spin-off from Autodie, with Mr. Spruit’s blessing and support. “Joe was the greatest entrepreneur I know,” Kennedy said. “He had a vision and a risk-taking spirit that was incredible. I don’t think I would have stepped out and taken the risk I did, if I didn’t have him as a model.” John Kennedy is President and Chief Executive Officer of Autocam Corporation.