It was more than just teaching; he took a keen interest in our personal lives.
Professsor Jai Kim, who taught civil engineering at Bucknell from 1966 until 2009, left an imprint on the lives of former students Bill Krokowski '84 and Dan Ertel '84, P’10 that goes far deeper than the technical skills he taught them.
"It was more than just teaching; he took a keen interest in our personal lives — and he introduced me to my first boss when I got out of Bucknell," Krokowski says.
Read more about how Professor Kim built a legacy
More than three decades after their graduation, the friends still keep in touch with Kim, and often when on campus they visit the engineering senior design project they built with their professor: a model bridge that still hangs from the rafters at Brungraber Structural Testing Laboratory.
When they were able to give back to their University, Krokowski and Ertel couldn't think of a better way to honor their lifelong relationship than by ensuring future generations have access to a Bucknell engineering education. Together, they established the Jai Kim Engineering Scholarship, which supports students in the College of Engineering based on financial need.
Krokowski, the founder and principal of Requity Real Estate, and Ertel, president of mechanical construction company R&J Ertel Inc. and CEO of oilfield wastewater recycling and minerals production company Eureka Resources, say that while their rigorous engineering education prepared them for success, the relationships they forged at Bucknell kept them closely connected to their alma mater. Krokowski even reminisces about vacationing with Kim’s family not long after his graduation. "Those experiences don’t happen everywhere — I think Bucknell is a unique place," he says.
Their scholarship has helped them turn that relationship into a permanent legacy.
"Dan and I have a great relationship that will last forever — but at some point, we’re not going to be here anymore," Krokowski says. "This scholarship will always be here. It will always be in Dr. Kim's name. And that means a lot to us."
"It’s great to see that we're helping someone else become a part of Bucknell, and keep the legacy going," Ertel adds.