miki youngMiki F. Young

The Miki F. Young Charitable Trust has three trustees: lawyer Bill Kruse, banker Maureen Finn, and accountant Steve Eperthener. All worked with Miki Young for more than three decades, so they knew her well. She was confident, results-oriented, and determined. She was also sincere, humble, and gracious.

However, Young was also a private person, so the trustees didn’t know a lot about her personal life. After her death, they were able to piece together some details: She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, and she volunteered as an usher for the Laguna Playhouse. But they did not discover why she named Caltech a beneficiary in her will.

Although the nature of Young’s connection to Caltech remains a mystery, her support for the Institute makes perfect sense. She and her husband, Cy Young, ran an aerospace and aircraft materials manufacturing company from 1963 until his passing in 1980. Miki Young continued to lead The Young Engineers, Inc., with her hand-picked management team for more than 30 years. During this time, Eperthener, Finn, and Kruse came to know her as a supporter of early-career professionals, a strong believer in the value of a good education, and a champion of women in the industry.  

The trustees were pleased to establish the Young Memorial Scholarship at Caltech to support undergraduates, with a preference for female engineering students. “Miki wasn’t a show-off, and she never did anything for recognition,” Kruse says. “Of course, we’re different. It makes us feel good to know that she will be remembered for who she was and what she believed in.”