Opus College of Engineering
Friends of the College Award
Janet L. Shibilski and Frank R. Shibilski, P.E.
Janet and Frank had no connection to Marquette before they approached the university in 2009 to discuss establishing an endowed scholarship for students in the Opus College of Engineering.
An electrical engineering graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Frank founded the HVAC control engineering company Climactic Control in Milwaukee with his first wife, Mary Jane, in 1965. Mary Jane passed away from cancer in 1984; four and a half years later, Frank married Janet Reif, a realtor and property manager in Atlanta who met Frank while she was visiting her daughter in Cedarburg, Wis.
Frank served as the president of Climactic Controls until 2000, when the company merged with New Jersey-based Industrial Controls Distributors. Over the years, he hired a number of engineering graduates to work for Climactic. Impressed with their values, as well as their skills and work ethic, he and Janet wanted to create opportunities for students to study engineering at Marquette.
They established the Shibilski Family Endowed Engineering Scholarship, one of the largest gifts to the university in 2009. Frank says they feel the contribution "will make an incremental change for the world by helping students in need to complete their engineering education and develop new products and health aids for the world population." His perspective is that education can help individuals contribute more meaningfully to world peace and harmony, something that he often contemplates as a man of faith.
Frank and Janet also support Milwaukee County's Boerner Botanical Gardens, the Catholic Stewardship Appeal, St. Eugene Congregation, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and other local charities. They divide their time between Milwaukee and Bradenton, Fla.