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

Have internship? Will travel!

Detroit residents and business owners William Haupricht and Kerry Ann Rockquemore funded an endowment that enables MSU students to experience international internships.

“The thing about MSU people, when they see a problem, they work to make a difference.”

So says Kerry Ann Rockquemore (’94, Social Science).  She and her husband William Haupricht (’94, Business; ’94, Arts and Letters) embody it.

They met as Spartan Football Cheerleaders.  And their passion for the hardworking spirit of MSU hasn’t waned.  Together, they created an endowed scholarship to help MSU students complete international internships.  It was something that had an impact on their own lives and they say it only took focusing their giving in one direction to impact the lives of others in the same way.

“We were already giving a little bit to about 30 different places,” Kerry Ann explains.  “When we focused in on this one endowment we were able to see in a really direct way how giving matters.  It was all about giving to others, but we didn’t realize how much we’d get back.”

Last summer, their endowment helped one student to go to Paris, France, to study French and work for a global organization.  This summer, a second student will be traveling and working in Ghana.

Kerry Ann and William say it feels great to see the impact of their gift.

Both launched successful businesses in Chicago but relocated to an up-and-coming area of downtown Detroit.

William, on the heels of an international internship experience he completed as an MSU student, went into automotive consulting.  He saw a need in the industry for global strategies to be developed and built his own firm around it.  His international experience, he says, was key to focusing his interest in this area and put him on the path to developing the right skill set.

Kerry Ann, after starting down a path toward becoming a kindergarten teacher, realized through an MSU research assistantship position that she could be a professor.  She completed master’s and doctoral degrees at Notre Dame and served on the faculty of the University of Illinois for 12 years.  She saw the path to tenure was unnecessarily difficult and, further, that women and minorities were the least likely to be mentored.  Her business provides training and support for tenure track faculty across the nation.

They are proud to be part of the revitalization of Detroit not only as business owners, but also as residents.

“Getting to a point where both of us can give back,” says William, “has been very powerful.”

Go to MSU Alumni Association Livestream to see a short video interview with William and Kerry Ann.