Sara Kinnamon Fritsch, President of Schoolhouse Electric and Supply Company, will deliver the University of Vermont’s (UVM) College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences’ (CEMS) commencement speech on May 22, 2022. Returning to an in-person format this year, following the height of the pandemic, the event will celebrate the accomplishments of over 300 students.
An alumna of CEMS’ Mechanical Engineering program (2000), Fritsch, who minored in Studio Art, has built a vibrant career that synthesizes her technical knowledge with business acumen. Prior to taking the lead at Schoolhouse—a company that is dedicated to preserving American manufacturing—she worked as a manager and consultant in the finance, I.T., and software sectors. Schoolhouse’s iconic lighting, furniture, art, and domestic utility goods are designed, developed, produced, marketed, and sold all in the company’s Portland, Oregon, facilities.
During her time at UVM, Fritsch, whose husband is also a UVM Mechanical Engineering alumn, was on the Dean's List and was member of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society. She was named the 1999 UVM Greek Woman of the Year, was a 2000 recipient of student life’s Class of ‘67 award, and won the 2010 UVM young alumni award. She raised funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and the Make a Wish Foundation and was a member of the track team for all four years—breaking the school record in the women's pole vault. She was a founding member of the UVM Society of Automotive Engineers and participated in the creation of CEMS’ first entry into the Mini Baja Competition— helping to design an amphibious off-road vehicle.
An avid marathon runner and mother of two, Fritsch has been featured in Forbes and was named the 2020 Executive of the Year by the Portland Business Journal.
“Returning to campus as the graduation speaker is the ultimate honor,” said Fritsch. “My time at UVM was a joy and also equipped me with confidence and knowledge to chase my potential. My mechanical engineering degree has defined and differentiated my approach to life and has been foundational to my success.”
“I’m pleased to say we’re returning to an in-person ceremony to celebrate the achievement of our students,” said Dr. Linda Schadler, Dean of CEMS. “As a young, successful business leader who turned her Mechanical Engineering degree into a thriving career, Sara Fritsch is a great fit to welcome the students to their new alumni status.”