The University Record, November 12, 1997

School of Information alumni pledge $1.7 million for scholarships

By Jay Jackson
School of Information

The School of Information is moving into the future with a new curriculum, new degrees and specializations, increased enrollment, and the successful completion of the first Campaign for Scholarships.

In little more than one year, the School's Alumni Society raised $1.7 million for scholarships through gifts, pledges and planned gift intentions-nearly triple the $600,000 goal. The campaign marked the 60th anniversary of the Alumni Society and the goal represented $10,000 for each of those 60 years.

"We initially struggled with the goal, as we had no real history of major gift fundraising," says Margo Crist, Alumni Society past president. "However, we all felt a strong sense of urgency to increase student support. When you examine the extraordinary debt incurred by the average graduate student, it is staggering. Debts of $50,000 sound extreme but are rather common when one aggregates undergrad and grad school. To keep the tradition of excellence at our alma mater, the alumni responded with resounding support. Under the leadership of Alumni Society President Jeffrey Horrell, I am confident that we have just hit our stride."

In addition to providing increased support for existing endowments, several new endowments were created, including the Roberta C. Keniston Scholarship, the Karen L. Horny Scholarship, the Dean's Emeriti Scholarships and the Alumni Society Scholarship Endowment. Donors contributing to the campaign also helped the School garner endowment support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for practical engagement experiences for students.

"I am absolutely delighted with the efforts and success of this campaign which was conceived of and completed through the outstanding leadership and generosity of our alumni," says Dean Daniel E. Atkins. "It is a reassuring vote of confidence for the new programs and curriculum. Our School is greatly strengthened by our distinguished alumni group and we welcome their increasingly visible role."

Based on its success, the Alumni Society is considering extending the Campaign for Scholarships through 2000.

Heading a national leadership council for the Campaign for Scholarships were Suzanne O. Frankie (AMLS '59), chair; Jean Tabor (AMLS '81), Alumni Society past president, 1995&endash;96; and Margo Crist (AMLS '69), Alumni Society past president, 1996&endash;97. Frankie is dean of Kresge Library at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; Tabor is director of the Canton (Michigan) Public Library; and Crist is director of libraries at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

For information about the campaign, call Linda Bennett, Development and Alumni Relations, 763-2281 or send e-mail to