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April 03, 2008
CONTACT: Pamela Young
pamela.young@emich.edu 734.487.4400

Fifth Third Foundation gives $100,000 grant to Eastern Michigan University

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University received a $100,000 grant from the Charles E. Schell Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee. This grant will start a no-interest student loan program in the College of Business, providing between 16 and 25 students with financial assistance.

The loans will help EMU’s international business students pay for their study abroad experience. Without the loan assistance, the study abroad-experience and, thus the international business degree, would not be affordable for many students.

“The Charles E. Schell grant is critically important to one of our seven strategic initiatives in the College of Business, which is to strengthen our students’ abilities to compete in the global marketplace. Students cannot just read about international business, they have to experience it. The Fifth Third Bank’s support for our students to study abroad will provide that opportunity for them,” said David E. Mielke, dean, College of Business.

“With ever-increasing global competition, it is crucial that these students have the opportunity to travel abroad during the course of their studies to help put in context relationships in international business. To have access to an interest-free loan to enable them to travel abroad helps bring the trip closer to reality,” said Byna Elliott, vice president, Community Development, Fifth Third Bank, and an EMU alumna. Elliott also volunteers as an EMU Foundation trustee.

In affiliation with Fifth Third Bank, the Charles E. Schell Foundation provides “a practical education” to students by selecting colleges and universities to be recipients of grants in four-year cycles. The colleges then lend money interest-free to students. The individual recipients are asked to repay their interest-free loans to create a revolving loan fund at the college to benefit future students.

Fifth Third Bank was the first financial corporation in the United States to establish a charitable foundation and is committed to building a better tomorrow in the communities it serves. The Fifth Third Foundation was created in 1948 with a mission to make strategic grants in the communities where Fifth Third Bank operates. In 2007, the Fifth Third Foundation made 576 grants worth $4.3 million.  

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield, Mich., and led by President David F. Girodat. Fifth Third Bank is metropolitan Detroit’s sixth largest bank and has $6.37 billion in assets, $4.6 billion in deposits, $1.2 billion in custody assets and actively manages $611 million for its personal, corporate and not-for-profit clients.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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