A Community Impact

A Commitment to Excellence

The Honor Roll recognizes the generosity of Rackham alumni and friends who donated in 2022. Each name represents a commitment to excellence in graduate education and a show of support as we continue our efforts as a global leader in research and scholarly training. To each and every person on this list, and many who have given anonymously, thank you.

Photo: Ph.D. Candidate and Karl C.K. Ma Scholar Yihui Sheng poses with Rackham donor Roberta (Bobbi) Gutman at “Exhibits of Excellence: An Interactive Celebration of Donors & Scholars”

Strength in Numbers

2,338 gifts and pledges, from 1,666 donors, totaling $3,213,100 in support of graduate education at the University of Michigan

65% of Gifts Were $100 or Less

65% of gifts were $100 or less, illustrating the comprehensive nature of philanthropy at the University of Michigan.

173 Donors

173 donors joined the Rackham family of support with their first gift in 2022.

585 Donors

585 donors have been giving for a decade or more.

Nearly 500 Donors

Nearly 500 donors made their first gift 25-plus years ago.

9 Donors

Nine donors made their first gift 40-plus years ago.

Giving in GRADitude: An Impact 20 Years in the Making

Drs. Subhachandra Chandra (Ph.D. 2000) and Nandita Dukkipati made their first gift to the Rackham Impact Fund in 2002, a $100 gift they thought of as a “small step” in supporting students to pursue their potential and aspirations “in their graduate work and beyond.”

In 2021, they established the Chandra Family Fellowship Fund, and by the end of 2022–two decades and many “small steps” after their first gift–it has provided critical tuition support to two emerging STEM scholars from underrepresented backgrounds.

Their gratitude for the opportunities they encountered was both the initial and ultimate catalyst for their giving. “We feel compelled to share with the future generations of graduate students the joy that our graduate school experience had gotten us–directly through research, and indirectly through our careers in the ensuing years.

For both Chandra and Nandita, graduate school in the States–at U-M and Stanford, respectively–was one of the most transformative experiences of their lives.“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse ourselves in solving some of the hardest and most interesting problems that matter, in collaboration with world class faculty and fellow students,” they recount. “The years spent in graduate school catapulted us in our careers building systems ranging from the infrastructure powering public clouds to those enabling self-driving vehicles.”

As recipients of financial support throughout their own doctoral journeys, this fund, and the difference it will make to its recipients are personal, and they recognize the financial hardship of international students and those who are underrepresented in their field. “More often than not, underrepresented students need to navigate a number of hidden challenges causing much emotional toil, and with this endowment, we hope that financial toil is not one of them.”

Investments in students from all backgrounds are imperative to a thriving campus and the fields into which U-M graduate scholars enter. Chandra and Nandita are firm believers that future advances in science, technology and medicine must happen with diverse populations’ needs and perspectives in mind, making Rackham a perfect home for their philanthropic goals.

“It’s imperative that there is a diverse representation of students in the fields of STEM, and that this population receives equitable opportunities, and is included in the key decisions impacting the direction of the field.”

We at Rackham are endlessly grateful to have a steadfast community of support that so closely aligns with the values that drive our work, and we extend our deepest gratitude to Chandra and Nandita. Thanks to donors like them, our scholars can strive for goals they’ve dreamt of from an ocean away.

Subhachandra Chandra (Ph.D. 2000) earned his degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. Nandita Dukkipati earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
More often than not, underrepresented students need to navigate a number of hidden challenges causing much emotional toil, and with this endowment, we hope that financial toil is not one of them.
Drs. Subhachandra Chandra and Nandita Dukkipati

Representation Matters: Bringing Firsthand Experience to Political Science

Rackham political science alumna and Barbour Scholarship recipient Mervat Hatem has dedicated her career to understanding the complex political realities that shape the world around us. Through a generous gift to Rackham, she’s working to ensure a new generation of scholars can follow in her footsteps.

Support for students from the Middle East is not something you encounter at very many academic institutions,” she says. “I continue to appreciate the education I received at Michigan, as well as the support of the Barbour Scholarship. I want to make sure that continues to be available to men and women like me. I have spent most of my professional life on the study of gender and politics in this region, and I want to see that work continue.
Mervat Hatem

Rep Rack & Give Back

Since the launch of the Rackham apparel store in April 2022, proud donors and alumni have donated $1,454 to support emergency fund requests through their purchases.

Photo: Rackham students Shana Littleton (left) and Zoe Walker (right) smile at the camera as part of a Students of Color of Rackham photo shoot this fall to help promote the Apparel Store.

A Culture of Philanthropy Since 1935

Horace Rackham was a Detroit lawyer, original shareholder of the Ford Motor Company, and noted philanthropist in the city and surrounding areas. Two years after his death in 1933, in accordance with his will, his wife of 47 years, Mary Rackham (née Horton), committed $2.5 million to build the Rackham Building, and an additional $4 million to establish the endowment. At the time, it was the largest philanthropic gift ever given in support of graduate education.

With the creation of the endowment, the Rackhams aimed to provide fellowship and research support, as well as funds for a building that would bring faculty and graduate students together for intellectual exchange across disciplinary boundaries.

Today, 87 years later, the original endowment continues to support the graduate school with its distributions from its now $174 million market value. Rackham Graduate School is the hub for research-based graduate education at the university.

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