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Fauri (MPA '64) invests in his values

May 3, 2023

David Fauri leaves a legacy at the Ford School

By Rebecca Cohen (MPP '09)

"What do you most personally want to influence?" That's what David Fauri (MPA '64), a retired professor of social work and policy at Virginia Commonwealth University, asked himself before deciding to make a generous planned gift to the Ford School.

Fauri is a long-time supporter of the Ford School, having served on the alumni board and the Ford School Committee and actively fundraising to help build Weill Hall. In 2016, he made a gift to establish the David P. Fauri Internship Fund, supporting multiple internships a year. Last fall, he directed his $2 million bequest to establish the David P. Fauri Fund for Academic Excellence. Motivated to see an annual and immediate impact through this Fund, he added a $250,000 pledge, funded primarily through the required minimum distribution from his IRA. Together these gifts will support important initiatives such as new course development, curricular innovations, and recruiting new faculty.

I want to be affiliated with things that are good and with the values that I hold."

David Fauri

"David has made a tremendously generous gift, and we're deeply grateful," says Sue Johnson, the Ford School's chief development officer. By making a current gift in addition to his bequest, Johnson notes, Fauri not only jump-started the future work his bequest funds will accomplish, he made a qualified charitable distribution from his IRA, which will be tax-free for him, to support Ford School priorities he cares about. 

"I want to be affiliated with things that are good and with the values that I hold," Fauri says.

As a student, Fauri was drawn to the Ford School, then known as the Institute of Public Policy Studies, because of its emphasis on good governance. He was influenced by political scientist Arthur Bromage's work on municipal government and recalls seeing Adolf Berle and other New Deal experts speak at Rackham in the 1960s. His experiences at U-M were built on a foundation of social consciousness seeded by his parents. His mother, Iris, was a leader for women's rights in Ann Arbor. His father, Fedele Fauri, was one of the foremost experts on public welfare, serving as social security adviser to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee before leading U-M's School of Social Work as its first dean.

Fauri hopes other Ford School graduates will consider planned giving. "If you feel a responsibility for social change, a bequest can continue to do some good after you are gone. It can leave a legacy. And if you pair it with expendable planned funds, you can watch them have an immediate impact as well."

"Having a career in higher education and in fundraising positions, it comes down to knowing your values I fully expect the Ford School will continue as a national leader in public policy education; it's so dearly needed. Quality happens here. I want to influence society and public institutions with this gift."

"I am incredibly grateful for David's many excellent contributions to the Ford School," says Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes. "His recent giving adds value to support and further academic excellence at the Ford School. He will have a lasting impact on the school's success and the next generation of policy leaders."

Create a Legacy

Interested in using a bequest in your will to support the places that have had a major impact on your life and professional career? You can create a legacy that will impact Fordies for generations to come–with the flexibility to update your wishes as your life changes. If you are interested in planned giving, contact chief development officer Sue Johnson ([email protected]) for more information.

More in State & Hill

Below, find the full, formatted spring 2023 edition of State & HillClick here to return to the spring 2023 S&H homepage.