Growing up in Bridgeport, Conn., Michael Ambrose, ’84 B.S., spent most of his time playing sports and, as the first male in his family to graduate from high school, he gave little thought to any career aspirations.
“However, when I discovered that engineering encompassed my love of drawing and math, I thought I would give college a try,” he says. “Turns out, I loved every minute of it.”
A 27-year employee of Sikorsky Aircraft, Mike is now vice president of engineering vehicle systems and holds two U.S. patents for his engineering work.
Aspiring to succeed in college, Mike declined several track athletic scholarship offers. “I really wanted to concentrate on school and not be distracted by the demands of college athletics.”
However, his good intentions ran low when his funds did. It felt like a gift from above when the UNH track coach called and said, “We want to give you a tryout.” With a partial scholarship in hand, Mike took this second chance and ran with it. He went on to set seven UNH track records — all of which stand today — and still managed to graduate summa cum laude. In 1991, he was elected into the UNH Athletics Hall of Fame.
Why He Helps:
“It’s really hard to major in engineering and to compete in any sport,” Mike says. “My wife and I established an endowed scholarship to help relieve the burden for an engineering student to also pursue a collegiate career in track.”
His loyalty to UNH runs deep, as Mike sits on the Alumni Board, works with engineering students on campus projects and regularly speaks to classes about the field. “I want them to know how important it is to gain communication and business skills as well as technical skills,” he says, “and know that all three skills are essential to success.”