Rudy Redmond

Manager,KCP Initiative

(517) 373-9700

From: The Imagine Fund [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 11:50 AM
To: Redmond, Rudy (DELEG)
Subject: The Imagine Fund


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The Imagine Fund

Advancing Diversity in Higher Education


 Dear Friend of the Imagine Fund,

Welcome to The Imagine Fund! You are receiving this email from a close friend of IFund who would like to introduce you to our state-wide organization.

As a scholarship granting non-profit, our mission is to ensure access and increase equal opportunity in higher education.  The Imagine Fund promotes attainment of a college degree through scholarship awards to students, particularly Black and Latino, who are academically qualified and economically challenged and who attend Michigan's public universities.

We invite you to learn more about us and to support our cause.  Perhaps these statistics will peak your interest in The Imagine Fund...


Did you know?


Only 24% of Michigan residents 25 years and over have completed a bachelor's degree or higher(Lumina Foundation).


Michigan seeks to increase its college going rate from 34% to 60% by 2025 (Lumina Foundation).


Only 13% of Black and 13% of Latinos overall have a bachelor' s degrees (U.S. Census Bureau 2000).

Comparing the graduation rates from

Michigan's 15 public universities, underrepresented

minorities experience a 20 percent lower rate than Whites

(The Education Trust, College Results

Online 2010 - Comparison chart by race and

gender of Michigan15 public universities).


One barrier to attaining a college degree is affordability.  As a statewide organization, our unique niche is providing scholarships to students who are academically qualified but have been traditionally disenfranchised...and are even more so due to passage of Proposal 2006-2.  We are confident that IFund scholarships will change the lives of the student recipients and move our entire state forward, one college graduate at a time.


We will continue sharing important pieces of information about higher education in Michigan, particularly with a diversity lens. So, please subscribe to our communiques and forward this first issue to your family, friends and colleagues to help spread the word about The Imagine Fund, as we launch our first major scholarship fund raising drive.  Also, we'd be glad to hear from you at [log in to unmask].


Nanette Lee Reynolds, Ed.D.
President & Co-Founder



Cause for concern?

The enrollment of minority students at Michigan's public universities has already seen a documented decline since passage of Proposal 2. 

(National Center for Educational Statistics - IPEDS site 2003-2008)


  Thank you to our


 W.K. Kellogg Foundation

which has lent generous financial support from IFund's launch to implementation of the scholarship process during spring 2010

DTE Energy Foundation


Battle Creek Community  Foundation

which both shared our early vision and supported our pioneering organization




AT&T (Michigan)

Capitol National Bank 
Health Alliance Plan

Public Policy Associates Inc.

Steelcase Inc.

The Remington Group

and individual supporters



IFund Scholarship Program:
A Snapshot


During this past spring, The Imagine Fund piloted its scholarship process and has made several awards for the 2010-11 academic year.  You will meet the recipients in our next newsletter!  Acknowledgement is due to the Detroit Health Alliance Plan, Mark & Elizabeth Murray, Laura Trudeau, and David C. Hollister for supporting IFund with these first awards.   IFund Signature Scholarships average $5,000 and are "last dollar" awards for students to leverage other available resources and to preclude them from incurring private loan debt.


Steelcase, Inc., an international furniture corporation headquartered in Grand Rapids, has established IFund's first endowed scholarship.  The Steelcase Scholars award will begin the next academic year.  Steelcase is committed to cultural acceptance; and donates time, talent and treasure to programs which specifically focus on things the corporation values most -- including education, community and economic development.


Pictured (L to R) are Willard K. Walker, IFund Board Chair, Brian Cloyd, Steelcase Vice President of Global and Community Relations, and Nanette Reynolds, IFund President & Co-founder signing the scholarship agreement.  




The Imagine Fund invites you to join our cause - advancing diversity in Michigan higher education. Donations can be made to:

The Imagine Fundlogo
222 North Chestnut Street, Suite 200
 Lansing, MI  48933
or contact us at [log in to unmask]

[log in to unmask]ℑ_url=ACCOUNT.IMAGE.5&return=&cancel_return=&item_name=Donation&amount=0&shipping=0&currency_code=USD&item_number=&cmd=_xclick" target="_blank" shape=rect>Make a Donation


We would be pleased to discuss our other options with you, including hosting a "house party fundraiser" for The Imagine Fund Signature Scholarship or establishing a personal or corporate named or endowed scholarship, which IFund will administer.  We ask only that your criteria be aligned with the IFund focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The Imagine Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  All donations are tax deductible as allowable by law and at least 80 percent of all on-line donations go directly to The Imagine Fund Signature Scholarships.


Benefits to Michigan

A gift to The Imagine Fund's Signature Scholarships will:

  • Translate into a better quality of life for the college graduate and his/her family
  • Ensure an educated, competitive and diverse workforce for our state
  • Facilitate expanded inclusion and diversity on our Michigan college campuses
  • Help move the Michigan economy forward



IFund Board Profile  


Paula D. Cunningham is President & CEO of Capitol National Bank, having served previously as President of Lansing Community College from 2000-2006.  She served on the Lt. Governor's Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth ("Cherry Commission"), whose report to the governor in December 2004 challenged our state to double the number of postsecondary degree holders in Michigan within 10 years.  As part of this goal, Ms. Cunningham feels that IFund will raise awareness so that "young folks of all colors will understand that they have access and opportunities to receive a college education."


She believes, further, that lack of access to resources is the greatest obstacle facing minority students today, in realizing their dream of a college degree.  This includes financial resources, mentoring, knowing how to navigate the system and lack of being able to "IMAGINE" what they can be.  Ms. Cunningham is gratified that there was an immediate response to Proposal 2, and that she served as the organization's first board chair.  Formation of The Imagine Fund was affirmation for her that "people in Michigan have not lost their sense of educational social justice"; and she feels confident that IFund can be a part of statewide efforts at expanding college access and success."  



About Us


IFund Board of Directors:

Kenneth Cole - Lansing                                  
Paula D. Cunningham* - Lansing
Brenda L. Hunt - Battle Creek                       
Cirilo Martinez*, JD - Kalamazoo
Richard D. McLellan, JD - East Lansing     
Willard K. Walker* - Lansing
Orian Worden*, PhD - Detroit


Honorary Advisor:  Mark A. Murray - Grand Rapids


Former Board Members:
C. Patrick Babcock* - Lansing
David C. Hollister* - Lansing

* Founding Board Members

President and Co-Founder
:  Nanette Lee Reynolds, Ed.D.

Volunteer Coordinator & Newsletter Editor:  Liliana Hoyos Stoneback 


IFund in the News...

Click here to read the Lansing State Journal article about Dr. Reynolds and The Imagine Fund.


Mission Statement
The Imagine Fund exists to ensure access and expand equal opportunity to higher education for students based on their race, color, sex, ethnicity, national origin and/or other cultural characteristic.


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The Imagine Fund | 222 North Chestnut | Suite 200 | Lansing | MI | 48933