Hope for the future

May 31, 2022

Weills’ new gift will fund another three graduate fellowships

A new $5 million gift from Joan and Sanford “Sandy” I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation provides endowed support for three graduate fellowships in perpetuity. The gift brings to six the number of fellows at the Ford School funded by the Weills.

The Weill Scholars are part of the Ford School’s partnership with the Rackham Graduate School to support Rackham Master’s Awards (RMAs). Ford-RMAs are one of the Ford School’s and the University of Michigan’s highest honors, given to graduate students underrepresented in the public policy field, with outstanding qualifications and tremendous promise for future contributions.

I’m incredibly grateful for Joan and Sandy’s continued support of the Ford School and our students. Their gifts make a tremendous impact on expanding opportunities for students who are committed to reducing social, educational, and economic disparities in public policy.

Dean Michael S. Barr

“We have been very impressed with our Ford School student fellows,” the Weills said in a joint statement. “We applaud their hard work and their dedication to public service, and we are thrilled to expand these opportunities to even more talented Ford School students. They give us great hope for the future.”

Headshots of Paolo Mutia, Anna Nguyen, Sharon Ceron Espinosa, Maximilian (Max) Hill, Fanta Condé, and Heather Berg
Top row (L-R): Paolo Mutia, Anna Nguyen, Sharon Ceron Espinosa; Bottom row (L-R): Maximilian (Max) Hill, Fanta Condé, and Heather Berg

Current Weill Scholars are interested in environmental policy, health policy, housing, and public education. They include: Maximilian (Max) Hill (MPP '22), Fanta Condé (MPP ’22), Anna D. Nguyen (MPP/SI ’24), and (second row) Paolo Mutia (MPP/SI ’23). The Weills also fund an additional Ford School–Rackham Master’s Award that includes a fellowship with the Ford School’s Youth Policy Lab. The inaugural 2020 Weill Fellow was Heather Berg (MPP/MBA ’23), followed by 2021 fellow Sharon Ceron Espinosa (MPP ’23).

More generous support for students

A $10 million gift made in 2021 from Hal and Carol Kohn and the Kohn Charitable Trust includes funding for two Ford School-Rackham Master’s Awards. The gift established the Kohn Collaborative for Social Policy. In addition to the Kohn Scholars, the collaborative supports 5 professors, along with seed grants and the dissemination, networking, and advocacy work required to produce lasting policy impact. (See story in Fall 2021 S&H.)

Adarsh and Ranvir Trehan renewed their support of the Ford School’s Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, with a $210,000 gift to help students learn as they assist small businesses and promote economic and community development.

A recent $150,000 gift from Dennis (MPP ’82) and Nancy Meany will support five paid graduate internships with a focus on sustainability, renewable energy, and climate change, over the next three years. The Meanys have given over $500,000 over the past several years in support of the Ford School’s sustainability programs and research.

Peter (MPP ’82) and Julie Borish pledged an additional $100,000 to the Borish PhD Fellowship fund to support first year doctoral students in public policy and economics.

A $100,000 gift from Lynn and Stuart White supports the endowed Gerald R. Ford Presidential Fellowship, given to the most exceptional Ford School applicants committed to a career in public service. The Whites have given more than $400,000 toward the fellowship since 2018.

The Alvin M. Bentley Foundation recently renewed its generous support for graduate student internships, with a focus on students working in Washington, DC.

Kate and Larry Weston added a generous gift to the endowed Margaret E. Weston Fund for Education Policy, established in memory of their daughter, Maggie Weston (BA ’04, MPP ’08). The fund provides need-based support for students pursuing domestic internships in education policy, as well as tuition support for Teach for America alumni.


More in State & Hill

Below, find the full, formatted spring 2022 edition of State & HillClick here to return to the Spring 2022 S&H homepage.