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Rackham Alum Gives $1 Million to Support Graduate Students

The Rackham Graduate School announces a $1million gift for initiatives identified by the dean that will support graduate students across campus. The gift comes from Rackham alumna Roz Abrams who received her Master’s degree in Speech from U-M in 1971 and considers her years in graduate school as one of the most important aspects of her life and success.

On this generous gift, she comments, “It is the obligation, duty, and honor of all people in this society who do well to give back. If it’s a question of money, that’s the least you can do out of the hope that any of the recipients live great lives and become good American citizens. I can help some people. I’m trying to brace myself because I have a place on the pyramid for others to stand on.”

Abrams has had a distinguished career as a broadcast journalist, working as a reporter and anchor in Lansing, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York City. She was the first African American female journalist to join WABC-TV in New York and the second anchorwoman of color in the New York City market. She retired from journalism in 2010.

Abrams received a New York Association of Black Journalists Award for the special “The Sounds of Harlem" and received the Ed Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. She won a local Emmy Award in 2004 and a Gracie Award in 2006. In 2013, she received the Elinor Guggenheimer Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Women’s Agenda. More information about Roz can be found here.

Carol A. Fierke, the Jerome and Isabella Karle Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and dean of the Rackham Graduate School, commented, “This wonderful gift from Roz Abrams will provide support for graduate students for years to come and have a transformative effect on their lives and careers. The willingness of Roz and other alumni to give back to U-M and help other students move forward in their careers is important for building the future thought leaders in the nation. We are inspired by and grateful for this gift.”

This gift is part of the university’s ongoing $4 billion Victors for Michigan campaign that includes a goal of raising $1 billion for student support. Roz’ gift contributes to the U-M’s goal for student support. For more information about the campaign, visit the Leaders and Best website.

Rackham Graduate School’s primary goal during the Victors for Michigan campaign is to provide funding for students through fellowships, conference travel grants, research awards, or summer stipends. Support from donors also helps provide innovative programs, services, activities and community-building social events that support graduate student achievement and professional development.