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From Genesee to James Madison College

Daniel and Anna Oginsky are helping students from Genesee County attend MSU's James Madison College.

 Daniel Oginsky (’95, James Madison) remembers his apprehension about coming to MSU as a freshman from Genesee County.

   “I was afraid I would not cut it at college and I studied really hard,” he says, “I felt like I really blossomed then, and it was one of the best years of my life.”

   While at MSU Daniel met his wife, Anna Hodges Oginsky (’95, Arts and Letters), also from Genesee County.

   Earlier this year, with the largest cash gift ever given to James Madison College, they created the Oginsky Family and Friends Scholarship Endowment, which is pledged to be at least $200,000 and will support scholarships for students attending Madison – with a preference for those from Genesee County high schools.

   Erica Zentner, a senior in James Madison College from Clarkston, Michigan, recently learned she had been selected for the Burton L. and Rosalie P. Gerber scholarship, a previously funded scholarship that supports a Madison College student with a commitment to public service through a career in U.S. foreign affairs. Paying her own way through college with loans and jobs, Erica can attest to the difference a scholarship makes financially, but also emotionally.

   “Scholarships are immensely appreciated by students,” she says. “MSU is a big place and it can be difficult to stand out. Having scholarships available gives us the opportunity to do that. My scholarship will allow me to work fewer hours and to really focus on my studies.”

   Erica will complete an internship in Washington, D.C. in the fall. She plans to pursue a career in international public service.

   In establishing their scholarship endowment, Daniel said, “I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be at James

Madison College and MSU, and I want to help more kids – especially kids from where I grew up – get the same chance.” Anna adds: “If we can help support students who later could help support their own communities, I feel like we are investing in a bright future for our hometown areas and beyond.”

For more information on making a gift to James Madison College, contact Director of Development Rocky Beckett at or by calling (517) 432-2117.