FEF is the cast metal industry's educational program at the college level. It includes four-year technology schools as well as traditional engineering colleges and graduate schools. It spans the broad range of higher education from production supervision to specialized research.
In 1947, when FEF was established to assure a continuing supply of technical manpower for the metal casting industry, a campaign was organized to provide financial support for three years - 1947 throuth 1949. Firms were asked to make pledges for the three-year period. Prior to the conclusion of the first three-year cycle, FEF began to demonstrate encouraging results and the Board Members inaugurated a second three-year cycle which was also financed on a pledge basis for 1950 through 1952.
In 1953, the Board Members decided to place FEF on a permanent basis and have it financed through annual contributions similar to the dues assessments of trade associations.
All revenue received from annual contributors goes into FEF's general fund and is used to support the regular scholarships & programs, as well as all other FEF activities. In addition to this revenue, FEF receives funds for special purposes (named scholarships, AFS Chapter scholarships, memorial contributions, directed campaigns, student chapter activities, and year-end contributions). FEF works closely with donors to develop Restricted Endowments which can be set up to honor living and past Industry leaders, highlight a company's philanthropy, or serve to endow a Key Professor position or support a school. Funds set up in memory or to honor a leader are a permanent remembrance of their life work for future generations.
Commissioned to work with full-time college level students, FEF, although independently supported, is an extension of the educational activities of the major trade and technical associations of the cast metals industry such as AFS, DIS, NADCA, SFSA, and NFFS.
FEF scholarships are offered currently at 33 colleges and universities in North America. The majority of scholarship recipients are selected by Key Professors at FEF schools. Size (minimum of $500 and maximum of $3,000) and number of scholarships are determined by the professors, based on the amount of money allocated to their school by FEF. FEF "Key Professors" receive financial assistance from the Foundation with discretionary funds and special awards. In addition, several special scholarships are available at the FEF website each year.
Many leading foundry people and university professors are former FEF scholarship recipients. These former scholarship awardees, along with FEF Board Members, other industry leaders, and friends of FEF, support the Foundation on an individual basis.
FEF continues to connect with educators and industry to inspire students towards a career in metalcasting. FEF provides scholarship support; supports world-class metalcasting engineering programs, encourages internships & co-ops, partners with innovative Key Professors, impacts real-world laboratory experiences, and promotes tier one research projects.
The legal name of the Foundation is Foundry Educational Foundation. However, Board action (Annual Meeting, May,1990) has changed the emphasis to simply FEF. This is consistent with current usage.