Published: July 22, 2014

LGBT programs and services to expand with $1 million gift

Contact(s): Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu, Deanna Hurlbert LBGT Resource Center office: (517) 353-9520 hurlber3@msu.edu, Denise Maybank Student Affairs office: (517) 355-7535 maybank@msu.edu

Michigan State University’s Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender Resource Center has been named the beneficiary of a $1 million bequest from the estates of an MSU alumnus and his partner, who wish to remain anonymous, which will be used to improve and develop new programs and resources.

“We are pleased to partner with alumni and donors who understand the value of our work in making certain MSU is one of the best living and learning environments in the world,” said Denise Maybank, vice president for student affairs. “These funds will have a significant impact on our ability to empower students by fostering intellectual, personal and professional growth throughout their engagement at MSU, while advancing the dialogue regarding the intersections of identity.”

The gift will establish the Support, Outreach, Action and Respect Fund, which has four key objectives focusing on MSU students:

  • Support and empower LGBT students to succeed.
  • Provide programs, education and support to LGBT students.
  • Take actions that benefit MSU’s LGBT community.
  • Assist LGBT students as they identify ways to build self-esteem and promote respect within the campus community.

MSU’s LBGT Resource Center leads and collaborates on university-wide initiatives that prepare all students to succeed through educational programs on sexuality and gender identity. The center also provides individual support services and leadership and community development initiatives for LGBT and ally students. Signature programs include New2U, a six-week program to help first-year students adjust to college, and the Lavender Reception and Mosaic Awards, to recognize graduating students and outstanding achievement in leadership and service.

“It is gifts of this nature that will allow MSU to keep up with the increasingly complex needs of our students and to honor our institutional commitment to providing a world-class learning environment,” said Deanna Hurlbert, director of the LBGT Resource Center.

MSU’s Office of Investments and Financial Management will manage the SOAR endowment. Different from other gifts, the total amount of the endowment is invested and a portion of the income will be available for spending each year, while the remainder will be reinvested to grow the fund and safeguard against inflation and to ensure support for the LBGT Resource Center will continue in perpetuity.

Deanna Hurlbert, director of MSU's Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender Resource Center. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

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Richard Lunt, assistant professor in MSU's College of Engineering, is the recipient of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award in Environmental Chemistry. The highly competitive $120,000 grant adds a postdoctoral researcher to Lunt’s research team for two years.
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