Student Success

Legacy of Love

The Michael Alan Gerus Memorial Scholarship in Computer Science

The Gerus' sitting on a bench

Annette and Steve Gerus have honored their son Michael’s memory through support of OU students pursuing studies in computer science.

College of Engineering and Computer Sciences

icon of a calendarDecember 5, 2019

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Michael Gerus had a lifelong passion for computers.

According to his parents, Annette and Steve Gerus, Michael was an outgoing, fun-loving, practical joker. He loved to travel and enjoyed gourmet foods. He shared his life with a wide circle of friends.

Remembering her son, Annette says, “Even at a young age, he had a natural talent for figuring out computer systems. He was in the gifted and talented program in elementary school in West Bloomfield schools. He had a very inquisitive mind and a self-taught ability to use computers.”

This aptitude for understanding computer systems led Michael to pursue a degree in management information systems at Oakland University.

“Michael looked forward to going to classes, learning from his professors and making friends,” says Annette. “He was so proud to earn his degree from OU.”

Sadly, Michael’s promising future was cut short when he passed away at the age of 28. Remembered as a strong, adventurous spirit and friend to all, Michael’s headstone reads “He lived life large.”

“He lived to the fullest and made every second count,” says Annette. “Michael’s friends still celebrate his birth- day and remember all the good times they had together. He just made such an impression on everyone.”

To honor Michael’s memory, his love of computer science and his generosity, the Gerus’ established the Michael Alan Gerus Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Computer Science.

Eligible applicants must have a declared major in computer science, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, demonstrate financial need and be a resident of Michigan. The family will match any donations that are given toward the scholarship so it can grow and be awarded to more students in the future.

“We wanted to establish a legacy in his name so that he will always be remembered,” says Annette. “My husband and I were both public school teachers, and we believe strongly in education being the future for our children — for all children. It just seemed like a very fitting tribute to honor him. He loved helping other people. He was a very giving person.”

The scholarship was first awarded in fall 2018 and is renewable through four consecutive years. When the recipient is announced, they receive Michael’s biography and meet his parents. Annette says, “It is important to develop a relationship with the students who receive the scholarship.”

“We want these students to know Michael through us,” says Annette. “We want them to see that anyone can make a difference. It is our hope that these scholarship recipients will be successful and will one day pay it forward to someone else. Michael would be so proud to know we are supporting students at OU.”

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