Skip to Main Content
Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University

W.K. Kellogg Foundation $1 million gift to MSU preserves W.K. Kellogg Manor House and Estate

Kellogg Manor House, photo by Derrick Turner/Communication & Brand Strategy

A $1 million endowment gift to Michigan State University from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation ensures that the Kellogg Manor House and Estate in Hickory Corners, Mich., will be maintained in perpetuity.


The endowment also supports internships for MSU students. Interns will undertake projects to enhance the property and will help develop programs that showcase the history of the estate and the story of W.K. Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

“This gift ensures that the Kellogg Manor House will remain in excellent condition to be enjoyed by future generations,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.  “We are profoundly grateful for the ongoing partnership and generosity of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.” 

“We are glad to provide a way to enhance the educational experiences for students of Michigan State University and Kellogg Biological Station, while at the same time preserving the legacy of the W.K. Kellogg family,” added James McHale, W.K. Kellogg Foundation vice president of program strategy.

The Kellogg Foundation deeded the property to MSU in 1952 for use in conjunction with the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). KBS is MSU’s largest research center, and in addition to the Academic Center, includes the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, Kellogg Experimental Farm, as well as the Manor House and Conference Center at Gull Lake.  KBS faculty develop programs in research, education and outreach focusing on understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes in natural and managed ecosystems and how this can be applied to the conservation of natural resources and sustainable agricultural practices. Local school groups and teachers are frequent visitors to all of the KBS facilities, where lessons in basic science are imparted by highly qualified faculty, graduate students and technical staff.

W.K. Kellogg and his wife, Dr. Carrie Staines Kellogg, built the Manor House in 1925-26 and used it as a summer home until the early 1940s. In 1942, the Kelloggs offered the property for use by the United States military. The U.S. Coast Guard used the estate for induction and training; more than 3,000 active duty personnel passed through during the war. Later the home served as a rehabilitation unit for Percy Jones hospital in Battle Creek. For the next decade, the house accommodated medical personnel and servicemen wounded in World War II.   

In 1999 a $3.5 million grant from the foundation allowed MSU to restore the Manor House and Estate to their original grandeur. The restoration project brought the historical building up to modern code, which involved extensive repair and replacement both inside and out, and refurnished the Manor House with replicas of furniture that matched the originals.  In the ensuing 12 years since the restoration was completed, the Manor House and Estate have become a popular attraction in the Battle Creek-Kalamazoo area. Each year, about 8,000 people visit the Manor House for tours, school outings, lectures by visiting scholars, other special events, business and professional meetings, weddings and celebrations.  

 “The Kellogg Manor House and Estate provide a unique opportunity to fulfill the mission of KBS by providing an entry point for the public to the research and educational programs being done at KBS,” said Kay Gross, KBS director, adding that MSU will work to leverage the foundation’s grant to raise an additional $500,000, bringing the total endowment fund to $1.5 million.