BIG RAPIDS, MICH. - Fred E. Schwab, a plastics industry pioneer and co-founder of the Society of Plastics Engineers, received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Ferris State University in Big Rapids during commencement ceremonies May 4. Ferris said Schwab was instrumental in the fund-raising drive that built and equipped the school's Plastics Technology facility in the 1980s.
Schwab currently sits on the executive board of the American Center for Education in Plastics and Rubber Technology, a group composed of chief executives in the plastics, rubber and elastomer industries.
Ferris said the state of Michigan recently approved $4.6 million in funding for the ACE-PART project, which will add 24,000 square feet to the plastics technology building on campus.
Schwab, 77, was born in Ger-many. He moved to the United States in 1937 to escape the Nazi regime. Shortly after arriving, he and fellow German immigrant Jack Frank formed a venture to make acrylic denture material.
In the following years, Schwab was involved in various plastics enterprises in the Detroit area, in engineering and sales positions. He is currently owner and chief executive officer of Group Four Associates of Livonia, Mich.