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Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University

A balance of hard work + support, nets impacts

$1 million gift creates opportunity in business, research and art

Scott and Pat Eston (both ’78, Business) made a $1 million multi-year pledge that is set to open doors of opportunity and enrichment across campus and beyond.

Specifically, their generosity will support the Financial Markets Institute (FMI), undergraduate scholarships and research in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems, areas of greatest need in the Broad College of Business, and the overall research mission of MSU as well as an endowment pledge to the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

FMI is an intense academic and professional preparation program inaugurated in 2006 to assist highly motivated students hoping to launch financial services careers. FMI senior Matthew (Matt) Tinnon, of Boulder, Colorado, can attest to the difference the program’s experiential learning approach has made in preparing him for his career in investment banking.

“The FMI has given me a different perspective. It’s hard to get admitted and once you’re there, it takes a real commitment and work ethic to do well,” Matt says.

Scott and Pat previously supported FMI with scholarship funding. They point to the hardworking humbleness they see in students like Matt as among the many reasons they are proud to be associated with MSU. 

“When the program receives donations from people like the Estons, it reminds me of the responsibility that I have in representing the program and improving it too,” says Matt.

Scott is a former chief operating officer at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo and Co., a privately held global investment management firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Previous to that, he was a partner at Coopers & Lybrand, L.L.P.

“MSU gave me a great foundation. I came out of MSU really knowing what I needed to about accounting and auditing,” says Scott.

Pat’s career focused on IT management with real estate investment managers.

The Estons’ gift will help enable cutting-edge research by faculty and doctoral students in the accounting and information systems department, such as access to rare and unique datasets on phenomena such as crowd-sourcing, audit quality and health care quality.

“The ability to do cutting-edge research will help us recruit highly capable doctoral students and faculty in a competitive marketplace for academic talent,” says Vallabh Sambamurthy, Eli Broad professor and chair, Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

Additionally, a new Eston Family Student Scholarship will support student scientific research projects and be administered by MSU’s Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Stephen Hsu.

 The Estons’ commitment to MSU extends to service as well. Scott has lent his expertise to the Broad College Alumni Advisory Board and now to the MSU Foundation Board and its investment committee.

 “Pat and I are thrilled that our support will make a difference in creating opportunities for more Spartans to go on to do great things,” Scott says.

For more information on making a gift to the Broad College of Business, contact Associate Director of Development Malissa Burke at or call (517) 432-7446.

Author: Lois Furry