Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, Michigan State University in East Lansing received $232.2 million gifts and pledges from 70,512 donors, of which around 15 percent were new donors to the university.
When compared to the previous fiscal year, the total represents a 20 percent increase in research funding, a 20 percent increase in faculty support, and an 18 percent increase in funding for programs that directly support students.
“I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to every donor in the Spartan community for their generosity and partnership,” says Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., president of MSU. “The sustaining support of our donors is key to student success and to ensuring that MSU continues to educate the next generation, improve the world around us and create a better tomorrow for us all.”
Gifts supported pandemic-related needs such as emergency resources for students with unexpected financial stress and relief projects like sanitizing N95 masks, which supported frontline health care workers early in the pandemic. Approximately 80 percent of all dollars raised came from 265 donors who made gifts of $100,000 or more. Some of the most notable investments included:
- $32 million to athletics from Mat Ishbia, the largest single cash commitment from an individual in MSU history.
- An eight-figure grant from the Gilbert Family Foundation in partnership with the Rock Family of Cos. to support an MSU partnership with Apple to bring the first Apple Developer Academy to North America (downtown Detroit).
- $6.6 million in the form of seven grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the arts and humanities.
In related news, Swiss packaging company Amcor announced a $10.8 million gift to the MSU School of Packaging to establish an endowed faculty position focused on sustainability and support renovations to the schools building. The contribution is largest corporate gift in the School of Packaging’s history, which is housed by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“We are grateful to Amcor for its support and recognition of MSU’s leadership in packaging education,” says Stanley. “Sustainability presents tremendous challenges and opportunities to the packaging industry, and this gift will help equip the MSU School of Packaging to be a vital contributor to those efforts.”
The packaging building renovation is a multimillion-dollar project. It was last updated in 1986, and the upgrade will help MSU remain a leader in the packaging field. Funding for an endowed position provides the resources to advance research, build innovative collaborations, and create opportunities for promising students to gain real-life research experience.
The MSU School of Packaging is the largest packaging program in the country, with nearly 700 undergraduate and graduate students. It is the only school that offers a Ph.D. program in packaging and has 10,000 alumni worldwide.
“This investment in the School of Packaging is not only exciting for Amcor, it’s important to the future of the industry and to responsible packaging in the U.S.,” says Ron Della, CEO of Amcor. “We’re making significant progress in how we design and how we recycle packaging. The students at MSU’s School of Packaging today will be the packaging leaders that will lead this ongoing push for responsible packaging tomorrow.”
Amcor is a global leader in developing and producing packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home- and personal-care, and other products. It employs around 47,000 people in 40 countries.