Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coleman, Gov. Snyder address D.C. alumni breakfast

President Mary Sue Coleman told a Washington, D.C., audience that the university is working hard to maintain its excellence while also keeping college affordable.

In remarks Wednesday to the annual U-M Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill, Coleman said 70 percent of U-M undergraduates who are Michigan residents receive financial aid, along with half of out-of-state students.

  Gov. Rick Snyder addresses the annual U-M Congressional Breakfast, telling the audience that Michigan's economy is on the mend but that much work is left to do. (Photo by Dean Evangelista, Freed Photography)

"Today, for many Michigan students, it costs less to attend U-M than it did four years ago," Coleman said. "We have continually made this commitment to be affordable at the same time we have reduced our spending and enhanced revenues."

In a similar vein, Coleman urged Congress and the president to find an alternative to the across-the-board federal budget sequestration now in place, saying budget cuts need to be "strategic, not indiscriminate."

In his keynote remarks, Gov. Rick Snyder called U-M one of the state's strongest assets, and focused on the recent improvements to the state's economy.

"Government doesn't create jobs — it creates an environment where jobs can flourish," Snyder said.

He also referenced recent squabbling between political parties in Washington and urged both sides to find ways to solve problems. And he called on attendees to "be ambassadors" for the state of Michigan in telling the story of the progress made on the economy.

The breakfast annually brings together more than 300 alumni, congressional leaders and staff, the Michigan corporate community and others to help raise scholarship funds for the U-M Alumni Club of Greater Washington. Eleven of the 16 members of the Michigan delegation attended the breakfast, along with two other House members who are U-M alumni.