Couch Pit University Fraternity is a registered non-profit organization founded in 1992. The membership of CPU is made up of premier papermakers nominated and elected by their peers. The membership includes papermakers both active and retired, and those who have moved into the supplier field. These papermakers represent nearly every paper company in the United States and many supplier firms.
CPU was founded by Gene Shurling and Carl Michael Landegger to capture the collective talents of its membership and focus on key issues confronting Pulp and Paper Industry. Ideas and opinions are formulated through group interaction and this leads to a better understanding of papermaking issues and creates an awareness of potential solutions. Perpetuating the “art” of papermaking allows an avenue for our membership to continue to make contributions to the industry on an ongoing basis even after retirement.
Qualifications to enable someone to become a member of CPU are designed to allow the selection of the best in the industry. Every member must be sponsored by their peers in the industry and have 25 years of experience, be at least 50 years of age, attained a career position of Paper Machine Superintendent or higher and be of good moral character and respected among his peers. An alternate way is to be elected as the PIMA Superintendent of the Year and this brings membership in CPU along with it.
The member of Couch Pit University Fraternity give back something to the industry they love. At present our members contribute through discussion groups, roundtables and scholarship support. In addition they learn and share experiences – findings that prove beneficial to their employers and the industry. In all this we try to facilitate the use of our experience to educate and improve the skills of students and younger paper industry professionals.
The governing body of CPU is the Executive Committee. It is composed of a President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President and a Secretary/Treasurer. All people serving are elected by the membership from the members into the committee and serve 2 years in each office. This body carries out the wishes of the membership between annual member meetings.
In 1998 CPU formed a partnership with PIMA. Although it operates and governs itself separately CPU contributes expertise to PIMA in the area of papermaking and PIMA contributes to the success of CPU as a vehicle that allows our member to give back to the industry.