Paying tribute to 3M: A story of giving

Richard Coleman took a non-traditional route in getting his college degree. Married and employed full-time at 3M as a project engineer in the BPSI (Business Products Sales, Inc.) subsidiary, Coleman attended evening and weekend courses to earn his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1973. 3M covered the cost of tuition through its company reimbursement program.

“I am thankful and indebted to 3M for the financial support they provided,” he said. “During my last two quarters, the company also allowed me to work a schedule where I could attended classes that were only offered during the day.”

After graduation, Coleman and his wife, Faith, relocated to Pittsburg, Kansas where Coleman’s engineering expertise was needed to help expand the family business—Miller’s Professional Imaging.

Today, Miller’s Professional Imaging has grown to be the largest professional photographic imager in the United States. The company provides photographic and press products for professional photographers in all fifty states and Canada.

In gratitude for the financial support that 3M provided in Coleman’s University of Minnesota experience and his subsequent career success, the Coleman family established the 3M/Coleman Family Foundation Scholarship Fund.

“I’m grateful that my manager at BPSI was willing to ‘experiment’ with me as a full-time 3M employee who wanted to pursue an engineering degree,” Coleman said. “My education at Minnesota was a great influence on me personally and it also helped to achieve our strategic plans for the family business. Establishing this fund will help to ensure that CSE students continue to be successful.”