Oakland University in Rochester today announced it will receive a $1 million gift to support scholarships for academically exceptional high school graduates from Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, the university’s president.
The gift will be administered by OU’s Honors College, with the goal of fostering scholarly work and leadership skills of the next generation of leaders.
“We are committed to improving the quality of life in the region, and an essential part of that is to cultivate students’ potential and leadership abilities that will have a transformative impact on our communities,” says Pescovitz. “Oakland’s mission is built on the vital connection between students’ success and community success.”
The newly named Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship programs will provide direct scholarship support for students entering/enrolling beginning next fall and creates an endowment for scholarships in perpetuity. To qualify, students must demonstrate intellectual vision and creativity, problem solving skills, and a commitment to improving their communities.
The scholarships are designed to attract high-achieving students and support Pescovitz’s vision of making OU the “university of choice.”
“With the anticipation of returning to campus for a new school year, and especially after the challenges our students overcame during last year’s pandemic pivot, we thought it was an exciting and appropriate time to announce this latest investment in our students,” says Pescovitz.
Honors College enrolment at OU has been steadily increasing in recent years. The college graduated a record 164 students this past year, with 83 earning their degrees as Presidential Scholars. That is 40 more graduates than any other year in the institution’s history and four times the number of graduates from nine years ago.
“This magnificent new scholarship has the potential to change the world for the better through students right here on our campus,” says Graeme Harper, dean of OU’s Honors College. “It’s going to support high-achieving students who commit not only to their own success, but to the success of others and our community.”
Earlier this year, Pescovitz created two endowments with gifts and commitments of $500,000, and another in 2020 with a gift of $25,000. The endowments include The Malouf, Pescovitz, Ruchim Family Endowment for Global Student Experiences; The Rabbi Richard G. and Bella Hirsch Faculty Endowment for Racial and Social Justice Endowment; and the Bella Rozencweig Hirsch Endowment for Biomedical Ethics.
Her recent donation brings her cumulative lifetime philanthropic giving to the university to $1.78 million during her tenure as president. The benefits of those gifts have been spread to 51 different areas across the university.
“Once again, President Pescovitz has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to student success with another remarkable gift to Oakland University,” says Mike Westfall, vice president of university advancement.