"Women in Philanthropy" group at EMU announces $41,000 in grants and awards to benefit students at Eastern

by Geoff Larcom, Published November 11, 2010

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Women in Philanthropy, a recently-founded group at Eastern Michigan University, today announced $41,000 in grants and awards designed to benefit students at the University.

The grants represent the first-ever monies committed by the group, made up of 41 members of the EMU campus community.

"Through our support of these ten projects from across the university, we hope to make an impact on a variety of educational processes for our students in the coming year," said Donna Schmitt-Oliver, an emeritus professor and co-president of the group.

The proposals came from EMU faculty members and university-sponsored student groups, and are all focused on special learning experiences.

The projects and proposals being funded, along with amount and sponsors, include:

  • "Hevruta Discussions and the American Government Classroom," Prof. Jeffrey Bernstein, $2,130.
  • "Scholarship Funding for 'Representing the Holocaust,' a Study Abroad," Prof. Martin Shichtman and Prof. Carla Damiano, $5,000.
  • "Let's Watch: Playing with and Learning through Our Stories," Prof. Anita Rich, $5,000.
  • "Bridges to Understanding," Disability Empowerment Advocacy League, $3,170.
  • "Open Book Catalog and Intensive Summer Workshop at EMU Parsons Center," Prof. Leslie Atzmon and Prof. Ryan Molloy, $5,000.
  • "Creating a World of Active Citizens: Alternative Spring Break," VISION, $5,000.
  • "Honors Diversity Ambassadors," Prof. Rebecca Sipe, $5,000.
  • "Building a Summer Research Experience in the Chemistry Department," Prof. Maria Milletti and Prof. Harriet Lindsay, $5,000.
  • "Engaging Communities through Student-Led Philanthropy," Prof. Claudia Petrescu, $5,000.
  • "Women in Music Lecture Series," Tau Beta Sigma, $700.

The 41 members of the group each had a voice in determining the outlay of the funds, which are administered through the EMU Foundation, Schmitt-Oliver said.

The group reviewed 28 proposals from faculty, staff, students and student organizations totaling $115,000. The group had $41,000 available to award this year.

"We have chosen to distribute every penny of it," said Jaclynn Tracy, co-president of the group and a professor and head of the department of leadership and counseling in the College of Education. "This is great for the first round of awards."

The group hosted its inaugural membership dinner and breakfast presentation November 16 and 17. The keynote speaker was Tracy Gary, author of Inspired Philanthropy and Executive Director of Inspired Legacies. Gary was the beneficiary of extensive family wealth. Along with the wealth was a value system instilled from an early age focusing on the power and obligation of giving back. Gary is a leader in developing women's foundations, and has personally raised $750 million for philanthropic work, with a lifetime goal of $1 billion. She is one of the founders of WomenMovingMillions.net, which works to transform the world and people's lives through women's philanthropy.

Each member of group is asked to make a gift of $1,000 per year for a minimum of three years to the Women in Philanthropy at EMU fund. The group seeks to strengthen ties between women and EMU, to increase gifts by women to EMU, to educate about the power of personal and collective philanthropy, and to distribute financial awards to the University community.

This week's awards are part of EMU's overall, $50 million fundraising campaign, called "INVEST. INSPIRE. The Campaign for Eastern Michigan University." Last April, the group presented a check of $100,000 to the campaign at its official kickoff event. The campaign, the largest comprehensive campaign in Eastern's history, has raised $36.5 million.

For more information on Women in Philanthropy or about the campaign, see the WIP-EMU website or call 734-484-1322.






Geoff Larcom



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