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Challenge creates $7 million in new scholarships


The Spartan Scholarship Challenge inspired many donors to help MSU students with new endowed scholarships. In all, 136 scholarship funds were created that will enable nearly 200 freshman students in need to receive scholarship assistance. And because these are endowments, the impact will carry forward with similar awards going out to hundreds of future Spartans in perpetuity.
The challenge program began with an anonymous $10 million gift MSU received in 2009. A portion of that gift was designated as a matching fund to help increase the amount of financial assistance available to incoming students. For every two dollars donors gave to create a newly endowed Spartan Scholarship, one dollar was added to the endowment from the matching fund. In the program, which ran for an 18-month window of opportunity, nearly $5 million was contributed from donors and $2.5 million was added in from the anonymous gift.
“More endowed scholarships will help MSU expand support to deserving students as they prepare for their futures,” said Vice President for University Advancement Bob Groves. “We are profoundly grateful to the anonymous donor and to the dozens of donors who were inspired by their gift. The efforts of these donors has dramatically increased the amount of aid available to MSU students in need.”
While the challenge inspired many individual donors, the match opportunity also hit a chord with several groups of donors, including MSU Alumni Clubs across the nation. Many of the new scholarships are broadly available, while others preference students who come from a geographical region or who are admitted to a particular college.
Endowed funds provide a permanent, stable source of funding for students with financial need in the future. Unlike funds that are expendable, endowed funds have an enduring effect because the total amount of the gift is invested. Each year only a portion of the invested income is spent while the remainder adds to principal growth and preservation.
Plans are being explored for offering a new matching opportunity in the future which would leverage another portion of the anonymous gift to create additional endowed scholarship funds.
As the Spartan Scholarship Challenge closed, a few exciting gifts came in. Those stories are featured below.
To learn more about making a gift for scholarships, contact Director of Development for University Scholarships and Fellowships Jennifer Bertram at (517) 432-7332 or speak with a development officer in your college or unit.