Don Unsworth ‘60

don uDon Unsworth is a 1960 BGSU graduate whose career included industrial manufacturing at Ford Motor Company and Chrysler before finding his passion as an instructor at Henry Ford Community College.

He grew up in a rural area in southeast Ohio and was educated in a one-room schoolhouse. His experiences at BGSU broadened his view of the world through the industrial education curriculum, his cultural experiences, and by “meeting kids from Cleveland, Toledo, Pittsburgh - because they had a totally different understanding of life than I did.” He got to see some famous and influential people on campus, including Margaret Mead, Marion Anderson, the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra. Don joined the choir and twice a year went on tour up and down the east coast. He said, “for a small-town kid, talk about getting your eyes opened and the world starting to open up.”

Unsworth remembers having to design, as well as build projects, which “broadened the thought processes.” One day he and fellow students competed to see who could make the longest chip while turning a piece of steel in a lathe. The instructor challenged them to think about why that material reacted in that way. He credits his interest in embracing new technology throughout his career to that curiosity he learned from his instructors at BGSU. He said, “critical thinking wasn’t a thing you talked about back then, but that was what they were teaching.”

Don’s first job after graduation was at Ford Motor Company, and then he worked at Chrysler for three years. Although his wife was pregnant with their first child at the time, he decided to switch careers and start teaching at Henry Ford Community College. He said, “that was a big gamble, but so was going to BGSU.” He called his career change decision, “the best I ever made in my life” and continued teaching at Henry Ford for 38 years, until he retired.

In retirement, Don enjoys building wooden boats, singing with choirs and, most of all, spending time with his family, including a granddaughter who is a current BGSU student.

He hopes that students “are open to different ideas and enjoy the experiences offered.” When considering his own career, he thinks his BGSU education gave him the confidence to seize opportunities. He said, “Bowling Green will give you the tools so that when you walk on graduation day, you have experience to guide you.”

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Updated: 11/22/2022 01:54PM