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President Stanley gives back

President Stanley and his wife Ellen Li have made a $100K gift to support student emergency funds and other areas of immediate need at MSU.

President Stanley portrait

In response to ongoing need of the many Michigan State University students who are still experiencing hardship as the pandemic continues, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. is making an immediate cash gift to the Support Our Spartans (SOS) Fund.

This fund helps address the emergency needs of MSU students by providing relief to those who are facing unanticipated, urgent expenses surrounding events such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage or need for emergency and temporary housing. Throughout the pandemic, students who lost jobs or needed help with day care and health care costs have been using the fund at a higher rate than before COVID-19.

Stanley and his wife, Ellen Li have announced a new gift commitment totaling $100,000 in support of students and campus support at MSU, with $60,000 designated immediately to the SOS fund to provide it with a much-needed boost. The remainder of the gift is directed to support programs within Recreational Sports, Wharton Center, Promise Scholarship and Athletics.

“A focal point of our university strategic plan is student success, and both Ellen and I realize that the pandemic has created financial stress points for some students that could impede their success,” Stanley said. “This fund is one way to help students deal with a financial crisis and allow them to stay focused on their studies at MSU and the successful path they wish to achieve.”

Stanley and Li are members of MSU’s Jonathan L. Snyder Society, which recognizes donors who have committed at least $100,000 to the university. Previous gifts from President Stanley and Dr. Li have also been aimed at helping the students of MSU and have supported recreational sports and fitness services, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, the MSU Promise Endowed Scholarship and general athletics programs.

“I am delighted that President Stanley has stepped forward to set an example and provide critical support for students in need. I applaud his and Ellen’s generosity and leadership,” said Vice President for University Advancement Marti K.S. Heil.

Others can also support this important student support fund by visiting