Distinguished Staff Scholarship

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The University has a scholarship fund which we believe retirees, or soon to be retirees, might be interested in using. The Distinguished Staff Scholarship provides support for undergraduates from the Ann Arbor campus who demonstrate financial need and high academic achievement. You can honor a retiree with a donation in their name in support of students.

Distinguished Staff Scholarship Fund

As staff are retiring, colleagues often want to solicit funds from friends, family and U-M staff/faculty to purchase a gift to honor the retiree. It is often difficult to find an appropriate gift. When this happened in 2000 in the Admissions office, they approached the Financial Aid Office about setting up a scholarship in honor of a retiree, but the amount collected would only be enough for a small one-time award.

From this discussion the idea of a Distinguished Staff Scholarship arose and an account was established. Staff from any department can honor their retiree with a contribution to this scholarship fund. The retiree’s name is then placed on the list of ‘distinguished staff’. Each year, students who are selected to receive the scholarship are given the list of those distinguished staff who have been honored for their service through gifts to this scholarship fund. This allows the retiree’s name to remain on the list in perpetuity and have the opportunity to meet their scholarship recipients each year at the annual scholarship luncheon.

An endowment for this scholarship was eventually established. Income from the endowment provides funds for scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled in any school/college on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus who demonstrate financial need and high academic achievement. No application is necessary to qualify for this scholarship. The Office of Financial Aid identifies a roster of students with need and high merit and selects several deserving candidates for the award each year. This year the Distinguished Staff Scholarship was awarded to five students.

Retirees who are honored with the Distinguished Staff Scholarship receive an annual report showing the impact of this scholarship fund.  The report shares information about each recipient of the scholarship. Retired honorees are also invited to a scholarship luncheon event held each spring and where they have the opportunity to meet the student recipients of the scholarship.

Questions? Contact the Office of Financial Aid at financial.aid@umich.edu or 734-763-6600.  Al Hermsen is familiar with this scholarship, and you can also contact him at ahermsen@umich.edu.