Daniel W. Gruber Memorial Scholarship

Daniel W. Gruber Memorial Scholarship

Daniel earned his driver’s license soon after he turned 16 and his love of cars blossomed. He wanted to learn all about cars and how to fix them.

In his last two years of high school, he attended Eastside Technical and enrolled in the automotive program. He applied for the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) program in his senior year and was accepted. Along with his high school curriculum, he started in a mentoring program at a local dealership where a master technician was his mentor. He took on all kinds of repairs and enjoyed troubleshooting electrical problems.

While at Eastside Technical, Daniel and two other students created a driving simulator and entered it into the Skills USA contest. His team ended up winning the local and district award. That allowed them to continue to the state competition where they finished second. Daniel was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society in May 2005.

He was accepted at Universal Technical Institute in 2005. In August, he moved to Glendale Heights with three other students from Eastside Technical to begin training. Daniel was enrolled in the automotive and diesel programs, as well as the Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) program. Daniel won several “Student of the Course” awards, and was Student of the Year in August 2007 when he graduated. He also was presented with the Perfect Attendance Award. Daniel finished at UTI with a 3.78 GPA and was inducted into the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society.

Daniel had several jobs in the area while attending UTI. His favorite was as a dealership parts runner in Schaumburg, IL.

His ambition was to work for BMW. Upon his graduation, he worked for a BMW dealership in Lexington, KY. He then worked at a service shop that worked on all kinds of cars because he wanted to learn more about other makes and models. After a couple of years, he moved on to a different shop that specialized in mufflers and exhaust so he could learn more about welding. No matter what job he had, Daniel was always dedicated to doing things right and often stayed late to help a customer.

Daniel was ASE Certified in A1-Engine Repair, A4-Suspension and Steering, A5-Brake Systems, A6-Electrical Systems, A7-Heating and Air Conditioning Systems, A8-Engine Performance. He also earned EPA 608 and 609 certifications and was a BMW North American Level 4 Certified BMW Technician.

Daniel’s life was ended one evening in August 2012 when, on his way home, his truck went off the road. Trying to get back onto the newly resurfaced road, he over corrected and the truck sped across the pavement, hitting a tree. His truck burst into flames, burning Daniel along with his truck. This was the same truck that he had at UTI and drove back and forth to and from home while attending school. Although this truck had 285,000 miles, Daniel kept it running in top performance.

We know that Daniel would want this scholarship to go to the person with the same love of cars that he had. He is missed greatly by his friends and family.


Annually, one deserving high school student who is enrolled to attend UTI or NASCAR (sorry MMI students are not eligible) will receive this $1,000 tuition scholarship in memory of Daniel W. Gruber. This tuition scholarship award will assist in funding a portion their education. Preference is given to a student from Kentucky, but not necessary to be chosen.

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