Published: Oct. 18, 2019

Writing the next chapter for Spartans

Contact(s): Kimberly Popiolek College of Arts and Letters office: (517) 432-1561

The College of Arts and Letters has a new endowed faculty position thanks to the generosity of MSU alumna and former Ohio State Senator Karen Gillmor, who has been giving back to Michigan State University for the past decade.

The Karen L. Gillmor, Ph.D. Endowed Professorship in Professional and Public Writing, created in Gillmor’s name, will help recruit and retain outstanding professional and public writing faculty.

“Endowed professorships and chairs are so valuable and important because they do continue, and the money will always be there. The ideas can be built upon and passed to the next generation of professors,” Gillmor said. “I would like this professorship to focus on professional writing because it's so important to one's future. If the words we say and the words we write do not transmit well, they will not propel us forward. We will always need to effectively communicate regardless of what happens in the future or what trends there are.”

At MSU, Gillmor majored in French and elementary education, graduating cum laude in 1969 with a degree from Justin Morrill College. She went on to earn her master's degree and doctorate from The Ohio State University.

“I want to give other children the same opportunity,” Gillmor said. “I want them to have the very best faculty, the very best curriculum that they can have. I feel they get that here at Michigan State.”

This is not the first time Gillmor has donated to MSU. In 2011, she established the Gillmor Family Spartan Scholarship Challenge for Arts and Letters in her family’s honor.

“Our family particularly likes to give to education because we believe that it's the pathway to good futures for young people,” Gillmor said. “And, I want to pay back to Michigan State for what I've received here. If I had been unhappy here, I don't know that I would have gone to grad school. I don't know that I would have had the career I’ve had.”

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