In 2004, financial services provider TIAA-CREF first sponsored the professional-development conference of the University of Michigan’s Women of Color Task Force, an organization housed and supported by the Center for the Education of Women (CEW). What began as a $7,500 sponsorship has now led the company to be the Premier Sponsor for a series of four events celebrating 50th anniversary of CEW. The Center opened 50 years ago as a new unit dedicated to assisting women in continuing their education and investigating career possibilities, while helping U-M recognize the value of non-traditional students. In the past few years, TIAA-CREF partnered with CEW to pilot women-centered financial programming. Working together, CEW and TIAA-CREF discovered shared values and goals that led to the 50th Anniversary Premier Sponsorship. “CEW’s commitment to educating and empowering women to achieve career and economic success goes hand-in-hand with our own dedication to helping women become financially secure,” said Maria Schneider, TIAA-CREF relationship manager. “We share a dedication to giving back to the community and providing women with the tools and resources they need to plan for a strong future for themselves and their families. The 50th anniversary events exemplify the CEW’s leadership throughout the university, local and state communities, and we are honored to support these noteworthy events.” Throughout 2014, CEW is celebrating this milestone with events that reflect its top priorities as it looks to the future: scholarships and other support for non-traditional students at Michigan; research and advocacy efforts to better women’s lives; and community impact through counseling and services. “We feel that financial services firms have a unique opportunity – and a responsibility – to empower women for a secure financial future,” continued Schneider. “Supporting the CEW helps to expand our vision to more women and recognizes the outstanding work that the Center has done over the past 50 years. We have put this belief into action by developing a full suite of programs and workshops designed to help women gain confidence and build the financial well-being that serve them throughout their lives and we are proud to offer these opportunities to the University of Michigan community.” CEW helps adult women succeed by awarding more than $300,000 annually in U-M scholarships and fellowships; counseling nearly 1,000 individuals toward educational and career achievement; and catalyzing policy change to advance equity on campus and throughout Michigan. As the Premier Anniversary Sponsor, TIAA-CREF has helped ensure that thousands of women at U-M and in the larger community will have access to the highest level of academic opportunity, programming, networking and leadership development. “When a sponsorship starts with shared values, everything else falls into place,” said Dr. Gloria Thomas, CEW director. “Because of TIAA-CREF’s generous support, CEW can celebrate in ways that advance our mission, and be even stronger and more ambitious as we begin our next half-decade.” “TIAA-CREF has been serving the University of Michigan for some 95 years and we’re delighted to be engaged in this program. It will be exciting to witness the on-going results of the great work of the CEW,” said Schneider. For a full listing of the CEW’s programs and events, please visit its website at www.cew.umich.edu.