WEDNESDAY, July 23 — On Tuesday, the Michigan State University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center announced it had received a $1 million dollar bequest for establishing a new outreach fund. As a bequest, the donation won’t take place immediately, the center’s director, Deanna Hulbert, said the gift’s impact would be instantaneous.
“Any kind of positive acknowledgment for students is affirming,” Hurlbert said. “Students … see a gift like this and they’re like, ‘wow, somebody sees me, they see my life, they see that I have challenges.’ It will maybe sow inspiration for others to donate funds now.”
The donation comes from an MSU alumnus and his partner, who wished to remain anonymous. The money is intended to establish the Support, Outreach, Action and Respect (SOAR) fund.
“We have had conversations with the donors about their vision of service and their legacy and their focus is how to be of service to future generations,” Hurlbert said. “The donors are very much aware the students’ needs are different from when we were kids. The complexity of needs are always increasing. We want to make sure students are safe, that they have a safe climate, solid physical and emotional wellness and we want them to complete their degrees.”
As a bequest, the donation will be inaccessible until the end of the donors’ lives. The majority of the donation will be reinvested to maintain the SOAR endowment while the resource center will be given access to interest accrued each year following.
Objectives of the SOAR fund include supporting, empowering and encouraging LGBT students to succeed; the creation of programs to educate and support; and promoting respect and building self-esteem among LGBT community members.