Gifts from friends of the University have created programs, funded scholarships and built new facilities. These success stories demonstrate the dramatic impact a significant gift can have on students and the University as well as the region and the greater world.
As part of a long and distinguished history of generosity to Saginaw Valley State University, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation has established the Gerstacker Fellowship Program to elevate the quality of education for the people of Michigan.
The goal of the Gerstacker Fellowship at SVSU is to create a strong and well-informed leadership cadre of teachers and school administrators who will have the skills to shepherd educational reform in their classrooms, buildings and districts.
"The Gerstacker Foundation has emphasized education in their very generous giving and for years, SVSU has also emphasized the importance of educating educators. So the Foundation's funding of this program for teachers and administrators was a natural fit."
- Carolyn Wierda, Co-Director, Gerstacker Fellowship Program
A 12-month program, the Fellowship is designed to teach the various skill sets that make for effective leaders. The leadership development sessions deal with organizational development, communication and how change can be best implemented. Ethics are also addressed, as are global leadership models since it is critical to gain insights of how a variety cultures innovate and deliver more effective education to their citizens. As part of the program, the fellows take an international trip in June, this year to Finland. In previous years the fellows have visited Japan, Taiwan, and China.
The generosity of the Gerstacker Foundation to fund this initiative has had a strong impact on education in Michigan, enabling many districts to improve their schools and develop exchange programs of their own, exposing their students to a much broader worldview.