U of M Grad Donates $40M To Help 1st Generation Students
Its pretty impressive to get accepted into the University of Michigan, but to graduate and achieve massive success, then give back $40M...even more impressive.
A U of M grad went on to become a successful New York real estate developer. That success led him to become part owner of Major League Baseballs New York Mets, then eventually became the sole owner of the team for over 30 years.
The grads name is Fred Wilpon who was himself, a first generation college student at U of M. His very first plane ride was his trip to Ann Arbor to attend the university. Its crazy to hear he was so overwhelmed he told his parents he didn't think the school was for him.
According to WOOD, Wilpon sold the Mets in 2020 for nearly $2.5 billion and he's giving back to the university that Wilpon said, "was one of the most meaningful things that ever happened to me in my life."
Wilpon, being a first generation college student understands what its like to struggle with low income and the difficulties students can have trying to get financial aid to attend school. That is why he and his wife Judy worked to create the Kessler Scholars Program in 2008 to award scholarships to more than 400 undergraduate students. Now they are donating an additional $40 million to fund the program for many years to come.
The Wilpon's efforts have shown that their program works. 83% of the students that benefited from their program graduated with a 4 year degree vs other first generation students not in the program graduating at only 75%.
Over the years Wilpon has donated over $75 million to U of M with $61 million going directly to the Kessler program.
WOOD reported Wilpon said, "it's the most rewarding thing I've ever done."
Now that's impressive.