Paul Sanford, ExxonMobil’s Refining and Supply Controller, got to come home last month. A U-M alum (BBA ‘81), Paul returns to campus regularly for MBA recruiting and family visits (both of his parents and two of his siblings are U-M alums.  Both siblings live in the Ann Arbor area), but this time his visit to campus was work related.

Paul met with Stella Wixom, Executive Director of the Business Engagement Center (BEC), to present ExxonMobil’s matching gift check to the University of Michigan for $274,433.  This gift comprises ExxonMobil Foundation’s generous 3:1 match of contributions from ExxonMobil employees, retirees, directors, and surviving spouses to U-M in 2016.

Through it’s Educational Matching Gift Program, ExxonMobil aims to better math and science education in the U.S. by encouraging giving to institutions of higher learning across the country.  In 2016, eligible individuals donated $17.5 million to 863 colleges and universities, as well as to the United Negro College Fund, the American Indian College Fund, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.  The ExxonMobil Foundation matched these gifts (up to $7,500 per donor) with unrestricted educational grants of $32.6 million.

“ExxonMobil’s commitment through their 3:1 matching program shows their dedication to helping build a diverse, highly prepared workforce. They help set the bar for how corporations can foster stronger connections between their organizations and higher education,” shares Stella.

ExxonMobil and U-M enjoy strong philanthropic and recruitment ties.  ExxonMobil currently employs 215 U-M alumni, with degrees from 15 different schools and colleges.  The majority are graduates from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and the College of Engineering, with others coming from areas as varied as the School of Social Work, the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the School of Natural Resources and Environment.  ExxonMobil has given over $10.4 million to U-M through donations, scholarships, and research funding to date.

“It’s my pleasure to represent the ExxonMobil Foundation Educational Matching Gifts Program by delivering this year’s matching gift check,” Paul stated.  “The program multiplies the impact of direct contributions and tends to result in employee, retiree, director and surviving spouse contributions year after year.  It’s great to support our alma mater.  It’s even better when that support is increased threefold!”