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Changing the future

Dear Friends,

We all have been affected by the recent financial crisis in one way or another. Retirement, college savings accounts and stock portfolios have seen huge losses in earnings. Our economic mainstay, our automotive companies, are shedding thousands of jobs, impacting families throughout our state. Even in these very tough times, you have continued to support Oakland University. It is reassuring to know that we can count on your generosity and commitment to giving back; to preserving the quality of the education we deliver for more than 18,000 students each year. 

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Stanos establish endowed scholarship fund
Miron and Haija Stano believe education is the key to success – both for individuals and for the community. To illustrate their commitment to this belief, they have established the Miron and Haija Stano Endowed Scholarship Fund through a $100,000 donation to Oakland University’s School of Nursing and The Honors College. The funds will provide scholarship awards to full-time undergraduate students in The Honors College or School of Nursing who have demonstrated leadership or community involvement and have a record of outstanding academic achievement.
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Business school challenge gift paves way for the future
In a tremendous display of support for the mission of Oakland University’s School of Business Administration, Hugh and Nancy Elliott, longtime OU supporters, and Craig and Ann Stinson (SBA ’84) have joined together to give the SBA $500,000 through a challenge match that began November 1, 2008, and runs through October 31, 2009.
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Matching grant supports critical preservation needs at Meadow Brook Hall

Matilda R. Wilson, founder of Oakland University, had an affinity for historical preservation. A $3.3 million matching grant from the Matilda R. Wilson Fund will reflect her vision and passion for the home and university she created, ensuring that Meadow Brook Hall will remain an architectural, cultural and historic landmark for Oakland University and the community.

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French donation prepares students for PR careers
Preparation, preparation, preparation. Richard French (CAS ’84) believes that when it comes to career advice – those words are key. In order to encourage OU students to prepare fully for their careers, he has created the Richard D. French Public Relations Tuition Award in the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication and Journalism. The $25,000 commitment will benefit students who are working toward a minor in public relations and pursuing internships prior to graduation.
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An obligation to give back

Dr. James Huebner and his wife, Ruth, hold a true love for Oakland University and the nursing education it provides. These past donors to OU’s School of Nursing have once again stepped up with additional gifts in 2008 – for a compelling reason. “It takes your breath away to hear the debt that today’s students incur,” said Dr. Huebner. “We feel we have an obligation to give back.”

Through a $75,000 gift the couple established three endowed funds in 2006 to award nursing scholarships for students. The first two endowments honor Dr. Huebner’s mother, Anna Huebner, and Ruth Huebner’s parents, William and Matilda Dahlberg. The third fund is named after the donors, the Dr. James and Mrs. Ruth Huebner Award.

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“Green” career beginnings…Alumnus committed to keeping OU strong

Marc Dutton (SBA ’71) credits his career success to Oakland University for two reasons – an exemplary education and a chance meeting. 

Dutton, who owns Marc Dutton Irrigation, a full-service lawn sprinkler system company based in Waterford, Michigan, said the initial motivation to enter the lawn service business came from his roommate at OU. “My roommate’s family owned a lawn sprinkler business and I just happened to go to work for them one summer,” he said. “I was hooked. My whole career revolves around that beginning.”

So, when Dutton reached out to Oakland University’s Golf and Learning Center Director Bill Rogers, inquiring about ways to assist the OU facility, Dutton said it was “a perfect fit” that his $50,000 donation support renovations to the golf course.

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SON among two schools in Michigan to receive national grant award
Oakland University’s School of Nursing (SON) is aggressively fighting the state’s nursing shortage. The school is among the first institutions in the nation and one of only two schools in Michigan to receive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. The $150,000 grant award will benefit 15 Oakland students who wish to pursue a career in nursing through the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Five awards in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to five students in fall 2008, winter 2009 and spring 2009 semesters.

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Autoworkers turn to nursing for fresh start

The more Rebecca Howard thinks about it, nursing is a natural career choice for her. “I took care of my grandparents when they were ill,” the Augusta Township resident says. “I love helping kids. I guess I have that tendency to take care of people.”

Until recently, however, nursing was off Howard’s radar. She spent the last eight years as a Ford Motor Company line worker. But when Ford offered to buy out her contract last year, Howard decided to use the money to pursue Oakland University’s Displaced Auto Workers for Nursing program (DAWN).

The program, supported through a $65,000 gift from Henry Ford Health System, gives former autoworkers the opportunity to earn a nursing degree in two years while working with Oakland’s School of Nursing faculty at Henry Ford Hospital.

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Smith equates success with ability to give back

J.B. Smith does not look at his success as how much money he has in the bank. Instead, he believes true success is how much of his resources and time he can give back to the community. Smith’s most recent gift to Oakland University was a $35,000 donation to the Athletics Department in honor of Head Basketball Coach Greg Kampe’s 25 years of coaching at OU.  The gift will support the Athletics Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Smith, chairman of ISEKURITY, an identity theft protection company in Auburn Hills, says his donation also is in honor of the positive effect Kampe has on the athletes.

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Faculty-funded SBA scholarship makes huge impact

Just prior to completing a 10-year stint at Oakland University teaching Introduction to Managerial Finance in the School of Business Administration, Jon Hartman, and his wife, Gwen, have done their part to give back. When Jon left OU at the end of the term in December, he left behind an endowed Accounting and Finance Department Enrichment Fund.

The fund is designed to support research, encourage creativity in recruiting faculty and provide enrichment for the department. “Life has been pretty good for me and my wife, and I just want to pay it back,” said the retired Kmart finance executive and consultant.

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