Parents and Families

Many Voices - Our Michigan

On behalf of Student Life and the Student Body of the University of Michigan, we are proud to announce the launch of a student-initiated project to create the Leadership Engagement Scholarship. The scholarship was created by students for students, with the intended goal of creating opportunities for all, while expecting engagement from all.

The scholarship, the first of its kind at the University of Michigan, seeks to remove the cost barriers to extracurricular involvement that many students face by providing financial awards to a cohort of emerging and established leaders with demonstrated need.  The vision of those who created this fund was to realize a campus community in which all students regardless of their income level are able to participate in the rich extracurricular life of Michigan.

Broad in nature, this fund supports student leadership in any and every avenue of campus life, such as Greek Life, student government, club sports, and the performing arts sector. The scholarship is administered by Student Life. Each class of student award recipients will form a Leadership Cohort, and will later be expected to pay it forward through a commitment to serving as "graduated mentors" to younger students, as well as through sustained engagement with the U-M community.

The scholarship is likewise connected — in vision, purpose, and goals — to President Schlissel’s and the University’s larger Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan. It will function as a "tool of equity" by helping to better level the playing field for lower-income students in the extracurricular world.

It is important to recognize that on-campus student leadership elevates students' future prospects. Such involvement provides a natural networking base and the opportunity to enhance resumes, both of which often prove to be invaluable as students look for jobs and internships. As such, students who are financially constrained from joining and leading an organization might very well be disadvantaged as they enter the internship and job market.

Students also learn critical skills through organizational leadership, which in turn enriches their Michigan education. By expanding involvement opportunities for students, the Leadership Engagement Scholarship will yield positive and tangible benefits inside and outside of the classroom - both in the short- and long-term period.

This January, the University of Michigan will begin to celebrate its Bicentennial. The Leadership Engagement Scholarship is a noble embrace of our nearly two centuries worth of tradition -- a tradition that was made possible by previous generations of students who drove discovery, shaped innovation, and called on "this Michigan of Ours" to be more just, diverse, sustainable, and affordable for all. In providing the resources for more students to become involved on campus, the Leadership Engagement Scholarship embraces this tradition.

Our ultimate goal is to raise enough money to provide scholarship awards to roughly 7-10 students/year. To ensure that this scholarship is fully funded, and to achieve our goal of taking applications for Fall 2017, we are relying on the generous support and philanthropy of students, parents, and families alike. Contributions and donations of all amounts would greatly advance our efforts. Please take a few moments to learn more about the Leadership Engagement Scholarship and how to contribute! If you have any questions, you can email: And, as always, thank you for all the support, love, guidance, and kindness that you provide your students.

Forever Go Blue,

E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life

David Schafer
Student Body President, Central Student Government


To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.