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Nov. 21, 2003  

Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman set example for fund-raising campaign with $500,000 gift to U-M


ANN ARBOR, Mich.—University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and her husband, Kenneth Coleman, have made a significant leadership gift to the University’s upcoming fund-raising campaign.

Their $500,000 gift was announced by U-M alumnus and campaign co-chair Richard Rogel today (Nov. 21) at a meeting for volunteers who will guide the upcoming campaign. The University is scheduled to kick off the largest fund-raising campaign in its history in May 2004.

“This show of generosity by President Coleman and Ken Coleman demonstrates tremendous leadership and foresight on their part,” Rogel said. “Our campaign is about preparing the leaders and best, and the Colemans’ gift supports so many of our aspirations.

“President Coleman often says that her job as president is to ensure that Michigan has a great future, and this magnificent gift underscores her commitment,” he added. Rogel is a 1970 graduate of the U-M Business School, a private investor and the former chairman of the Preferred Provider Organization of Michigan.

U-M Vice President for Development Jerry A. May said the Colemans’ gift is one of the largest ever made by a U-M president during a capital campaign.

“Mary Sue and Ken’s gift will make an enormous difference in the life of the University, and we are deeply grateful for this tangible sign of their dedication,” he said. “Their gift is a visible commitment to many important priorities that the two of them have identified since Mary Sue was named U-M president in 2002.”

Half of the Colemans’ $500,000 gift will go toward creating two endowments to fund graduate student fellowships and undergraduate student scholarships. These will include the Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman Endowed Rackham Graduate Fellowship

Fund, to be launched with $150,000 and administered by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; and the Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, to receive a $100,000 gift and to be administered by the Office of Financial Aid.

Each of the following initiatives also will receive $50,000 from the Colemans’ gift:


• The renovation fund for William Monroe Trotter House, the University’s multicultural student center at 1443 Washtenaw.

• The Leslie Kish International Fellows Fund, to permit international graduate students to attend the Institute for Social Research’s Survey Research Center Summer Institute. Kenneth Coleman is currently engaged in graduate studies at ISR.

• The newly created Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman Endowed Life Sciences Institute Lecture Fund, to be administered by the U-M Life Sciences Institute.

• The U-M Museum of Art, to support the construction of a new museum wing.

An additional $50,000 will go for miscellaneous purposes, to be mutually agreed upon between the Colemans and the University. The complete $500,000 pledge will be paid over five years.

Rogel noted that the Colemans’ gift to the University of Michigan is part of a long history of philanthropy at a variety of universities they have been affiliated with over the years. At the University of Iowa, where Mary Sue Coleman served as president from 1995-2002, the couple’s cumulative gifts to the university totaled nearly $375,000. They also established funds to support scholarships and student travel at the University of Northern Iowa, Grinnell College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Ken and I have given to a number of universities over the years because we believe passionately in higher education and in the opportunities that it provides. Education has the power to change lives in a way few other investments can achieve,” Mary Sue Coleman said. “We have been blessed in our own lives with the gift of a fine education, and we wish to give back to the University so others can enjoy the same transforming experience.”

Contact: Julie Peterson
Phone: (734) 971-0709
E-mail: juliep@umich.edu