ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - Outgoing University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and her husband are donating $1 million for scholarships at the Ann Arbor-based school.
The university announced Tuesday that the gift from Mary Sue and Kenneth M. Coleman will fund undergraduate and graduate students in international study, internships, service work and other opportunities.
The school said the gift is part of the Victors for Michigan campaign that starts Nov. 8.
With her husband, Coleman has been the most philanthropic president in U-M history, school officials said. This gift brings their total giving to $1.79 million during her 11-year tenure as president. She’s retiring next July.
Mary Sue Coleman said her three-months of study in Europe as an undergraduate changed her outlook about herself and what she wanted to do with her life.
“What intrigues us so much about education today is the rich variety of international experiences with which students may engage. We want to help students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience what we did as students,” she said in a statement. “It may be a semester abroad, international service projects, internships or situations we’ve yet to imagine.”
Kenneth Coleman is a political scientist and traveled to Latin America as a graduate student.
“There is no better way to understand the universality of human experience, as well as the diversity thereof, than by experience abroad, which should be an important part of both undergraduate and graduate educational experiences,” he said in a statement.
The school said from fall 2011 through 2012, more than 2,240 U-M students studied or interned abroad for academic credit. Undergraduate student Antonio Barron said the financial support he received from already-established Mary Sue Coleman and Kenneth M. Coleman Student Global Experience Fund allowed him to have “a life-changing experience abroad.”
“But it really meant more than that to me,” he said in a statement. “I believe that the underlying encouragement that comes with financial awards is often overlooked. I realized that I am not alone in my efforts to achieve my academic goals, which has given me an even greater motivation to succeed.”
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