The Polytechnic Institute of New York University mourns the sudden passing on January 27, 2013 of a treasured alumnus and trustee, Michael H. Kappaz ’70. NYU-Poly has lost a dear friend, guiding presence, and supporter. Michael was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2000 and served on the Trustees and Development Committee. In 2010 he was awarded the NYU-Poly Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor given by the Polytechnic Alumni Association. His service and dedication will be sorely missed. Among his many gifts to the Institute was the establishment of the Kappaz Graduate Fellowship Fund, which supports outstanding master’s degree students from Colombia or Latin America.
A native of Colombia, Michael graduated from La Salle College in Cartagena and earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Polytechnic University and an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He completed post-graduate work at Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
During his long and varied professional career, Michael served as vice president and general manager for international operations at the Bechtel Group. He later became chairman and CEO of the K&M Group of Companies, which includes K&M Engineering and Consulting Corporation and K&M Global Construction LLC. He had founded K&M in 1987 and later also co-founded the KMR Power Corporation, together with Rockefeller and Co. (KMR was acquired by AES in 2000.)
Michael’s commitment to advancing the mission of NYU-Poly will long be remembered. His work and life has had a profound and lasting impact on our community, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Chafica, his six children, 21 grandchildren, and the entire family.
Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Charities of Washington, D.C.