When Brian Wendt talks about Superior Diesel and Bell Power, he gives credit to the late Bernie Dahlin for not only contributing to the company’s success, but to position it well for the future.
“I think for Bernie, nothing came easy or was given to him in life. He had to work for everything,” says Wendt, the company’s president. “These are qualities that Bernie brought to Superior Diesel and how he challenged us. It was never about profitability of any particular project so much as it was about creating the infrastructure and foundation to keep the business growing and growing.”
After Dahlin passed away in May 2020, Superior Diesel was so moved that leaders decided to create a scholarship for engineering students in his name. Dahlin, an entrepreneur who had ownership in numerous companies throughout his career, loved Green Bay and with his wife, Alyce, supported the community in a myriad of ways.
“The Dahlin family’s support has made an incredible impact on our University community. Bernie and Alyce have, time and time again, demonstrated a commitment to higher education through their support for Athletics and the engineering program. Even more inspiring is how the Dahlins have recognized the value of scholarships, and their desire to support students. As a member of our Council of Trustees and Phoenix Fund Board, Bernie elevated the University. We are so grateful for the Dahlin family’s generosity.”
Chancellor Michael Alexander
Bernie Dahlin had a passion for education, especially UW-Green Bay. He and Alyce were honored with the Chancellor’s Award in 2007. The couple’s philanthropy supported dozens of organizations throughout the community. Bernie contributed his time to numerous organizations as well, including St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation and the University through its Phoenix Fund and Council of Trustees, an honor which he was most proud of even though he never earned a college degree.
“(Bernie) would always challenge us, but he would ask questions because he always wanted to learn more. He was always looking to educate himself and to educate others,” says Wendt. “That’s why it was a natural fit to start a scholarship in Bernie’s name to carry on that legacy.”
The scholarship is even more meaningful, says Wendt, as the company looks to the future. Superior Diesel, with facilities in Rhinelander, Wis., and Seville, Ohio, is a provider of engine power solutions for big equipment. While diesel is a cleaner burning fuel, business is moving toward operating much more environmentally friendly. In fact, in the next decade Wendt expects the company’s products will be fully electric.
That shift creates a demand for mechanical and electrical engineers. With UW-Green Bay’s newly launched engineering program and the electrical engineering program about to launch, Wendt sees Superior Diesel’s relationship with the University growing to include internships and other opportunities for students.
“Our owners believe in investing in the people, that people are the most important aspect of the business,” says Wendt. “Being supportive and promoting the workforce, Bernie was a proponent of that. We want to follow in Bernie’s footsteps to contribute to others and to learning.”
Philanthropists Bernie and Alyce Dahlin (pictured above with past scholarship recipient Jada Taylor) have supported UW-Green Bay for decades, helping transform the University through their contributions to Green Bay Athletics, the Weidner Center, the Founders Association and the Phuture Phoenix program. Bernie passed away in May 2020. Alyce along with family and others carry on his legacy of community support. The Dahlin legacy is evident throughout the UW-Green Bay campus.
- Bernie and Alyce Dahlin Family Endowed Scholarship for Business
- Bernard A. and Edestein Dahlin Endowed Scholarship
- Rodney and Grace Germain Memorial Endowed Scholarship
- Bernie and Alyce Dahlin Family Endowed Scholarship
- Superior Diesel Endowed Scholarship for Engineering in Memory of Bernie Dahlin
- Aldo Santaga (soccer) Stadium Ticket Booth
- Peter F. Dorschel Natatorium (swimming and diving) Team Room
- King Park (softball) Press Box
- Brown County STEM Innovation Center Volunteer Room and Computer Lab
The Superior Diesel Endowed Scholarship for Engineering in Memory of Bernie Dahlin provides a mechanical or electrical engineering student from Brown or Oneida counties an annual scholarship throughout their years at UW-Green Bay.
Founded in 1977, Superior Diesel with subsidiary Bell Power Systems, is a provider of engine power solutions for off-highway equipment.
Story contributed by Joy Wick, Executive Director of Advancement