3M has been an active supporter of U-M student and faculty pursuits for decades. Their student support for teams including the Solar Car team and Tauber Institute offers generous learning experiences for U-M students – many of whom ultimately go on to work and/or do internships at the Minnesota-based conglomerate. 3M has also worked closely with U-M on many student projects, which provide solutions to technical and business challenges while giving an insight into potential new recruits.
With this gift, 3M deepens its support of STEM-focused students by providing funding that touches students at three distinct levels during their academic careers. A gift through the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach (CEDO) will support a research program for high school students who are interested in pursuing an Engineering degree. The program consists of Saturday workshops, an 8-week research program on campus, and participation in science fairs for nine high school students. By working closely with U-M’s Wolverine Pathways (a pipeline to higher education program focused on underserved Michigan communities), CEDO can use this gift to seek potential applicants and provide opportunity to students from a lower socioeconomic background.
In addition, 3M will also fund four new $5,000 scholarships at the undergraduate level for students in the College of Engineering. Finally, the funding will also support a $25,000 graduate fellowship within the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program. This pipeline student support donation totals a $125,000 contribution towards the academic advancement of future researchers and engineers.
“At 3M, we believe in the power of possibilities and understand the importance of investing in the next generation of scientists,” said Michael Stroik, director, 3Mgives. “By providing funding to a diverse population of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, we aim to create greater opportunities for students who otherwise might not get the chance to pursue their dreams.”
Adding to the 3M Foundation’s $1.5 million in gifts to date, this project in particular represents 3M’s commitment to access to higher education and a diverse research enterprise. This commitment also mirrors U-M’s priorities and pipeline programs developed in the last few years. Stella Wixom, Executive Director of the Business Engagement Center, says, “Partnerships like this with 3M show reflect the dual priorities of our organizations. This helps us both advance the mission of our institution and the shared goal of access to education and advanced research opportunities.”