University of Michigan-Flint

University of Michigan-Flint News

“Imagine” becomes almost $40 million reality

  • December 5th, 2008 By: UM-Flint News

The Skinny

The University Of Michigan-Flint is proud to announce the successful completion of a three and a half year long public phase of its Capital Campaign “Imagine: The University of Michigan-Flint Difference.” Despite challenging economic times, the goal was not only reached, but was exceeded by nearly 10 million dollars.


The University Of Michigan-Flint is proud to announce the successful completion of a three and a half year long public phase of its Capital Campaign, “Imagine: The University of Michigan-Flint Difference”.

In April of 2005, a goal of $30 million dollars was set for the first major campaign in the university’s more than 50 year history. Despite challenging economic times, the goal was not only reached, but was exceeded by nearly 10 million dollars. During the silent phase of the campaign that kicked off in 2001, $18 million of the goal was raised.

“This significant achievement is a testament to the value the University of Michigan-Flint,” said Provost Jack Kay, who is currently serving as acting vice chancellor for institutional advancement. “Alumni, friends, faculty and staff each contributed to the future of the campus through their generous individual support.”‘

The purpose of the capital campaign was to raise money for a variety of university-wide initiatives, including the top priority of the campaign which was the creation of new scholarships. Since the inception of the campaign, nearly 100 new scholarships have been established at the University of Michigan-Flint.

“Scholarship support is essential to providing accessibility to the world-class education available at the University of Michigan-Flint,” said Chancellor Ruth J. Person. “I am grateful to the many people who support the campus. These gifts will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many students for years to come.”

Major gifts to the campaign came from a variety of sources. It was a $1.75 million gift from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation that made the construction of the first residence hall possible. Through an estate gift, Dr. Dorothea E. Wyatt, who was a founding faculty member, the first endowed professorship was created at the University of Michigan-Flint. In fact, 24 bequest intentions have been made during the “Imagine” campaign. Cumulatively, these bequest intentions represent over $4 million in support of the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Michigan-Flint. Other program areas also benefitted from the campaign. Through a $500,000 pledged gift from The Ben E. Bryer Foundation, a research fund for medical and biomedical issues was established. The Reading Center at the University of Michigan-Flint created the first Reading Center Fund with the support of donors Len (B.A. ’62) and Sharon Thomas. The fund is used for programming and operational needs for the center, including the purchase of educational supplies and children’s literature. Harry Piper (B.A.’53, JD ’56 AA) wanted to surprise his wife Wanda (B.A.’68 AA) with something special. His generous gift allowed for the establishment of the Wanda Piper Curriculum Laboratory in the School of Education and Human Services. The Piper Curriculum lab offers students studying in the fields of education and human services the opportunity to work in an environment that is conducive to those specific academic pursuits. Barry (B.B.A. ’74) and Denise Trantham made a generous $25,000 gift to establish the Barry and Denise Trantham Challenge Program Fund that supports the Challenge Program by providing additional resources, materials, books, and special speakers for the student participants.

“Philanthropic activity is integral to the University of Michigan-Flint,” stated Provost Kay. “Gifts from our donors have the power to transform the campus. Philanthropy gives students the opportunity to study around the world. It enables the campus to create new academic program. It helps to fund faculty research that lead to exciting new discoveries. It enriches the entire academic experience.”

The university recognizes the extraordinary leadership of the campaign co-chairs throughout the historical fundraising event. Regent Olivia P. Maynard (M.S.W. AA ’71), David (B.S.’73) and Francine Zick, Harry and Wanda Piper, Dr. Gregg (B.S. ’77, M.D. ’81 AA) and Karen Pane, Michael and Gloria Rachor, Bill (BBA ’57, MBA ’65 AA) and Kitty (ABED ‘ 58 AA) Moeller, and Ghassan and Manal Saab are all co-chairs of the Capital Campaign.

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