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Make a Difference Giving To Michigan State University

A Story Worth Repeating

"We both see our philanthropy as a way of saying thank you and giving back for the great gift we received from Michigan State."

Mark and Sandy Ehlert

Mark (’75, Natural Science) and Sandy (’75, Education) Ehlert were students working on campus in Hubbard Hall when they met for the first time.

They married during spring break of their senior year.

He started a career in medical manufacturing. She started a science teaching career.

Today, after retiring from the busy life that took them all over the United States and beyond, the Ehlerts still haven’t forgotten where they got their start—and, though they’ve long since moved on from Hubbard Hall, they’re still working to make MSU a better place.

“We both grew up in blue collar families—Sandy is from Rochester, and I’m from Madison Heights—and we both see our philanthropy as a way of saying thank you and giving back for the great gift we received from Michigan State,” Mark says.

To honor their past, the Ehlerts chose to invest in the future. They created three endowed scholarships, each of which pays tribute to the family and faculty that made the gift of their MSU education possible.

  • The Irish Family Teaching Endowment, which honors the many fellow teachers in Sandy’s family will support students in the College of Education and the College of Natural Science during their year of student teaching.
  • The GRAM Endowed Scholarship, named for the couple’s four grandmothers—Gertrude, Ruth, Anna and Marian—offers four years of support to a student majoring in a STEM discipline.
  • The Frank Peabody Microbiology Student Research Fund, named for the late Dr. Frank Peabody, a faculty member in microbiology who had great influence on Mark’s research work as an undergraduate, will support undergraduate or graduate research.

“We’ve met some of the scholarship students,” Sandy says, “which is always a thrill. It’s nice to hear what they want to do and what they’re studying.”

Mark added, “We see our donations as a way to give the best and brightest a chance to achieve their goals.”

And who knows? Thanks to the Ehlerts, those students may have a “We met in Hubbard Hall…” story of their own to tell one day.

For more information on making a gift to the College of Natural Science, contact Associate Director of Development Karen Wenk at wenk@msu.edu or call (517) 353-5962. For more information on making a gift to the College of Education, contact Senior Director of Development Melissa Phillips Lynch at mlynch42@msu.edu or call (517) 432-1983.

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