New UMSI Horizon Fund supports student experiences

Recent graduates of UMSI are actively engaged with the student and alumni community, from hosting alumni receptions in their city of residence during Alternative Spring Break week, to serving on the Alumni Society Board and Recent Graduate Campaign Council, to providing student support at networking events, to making philanthropic gifts.

This winter the UMSI Recent Graduate Campaign Council created the SI Horizon Fund, which will be used to provide financial support to School of Information students pursuing educational experiences that take place outside of the classroom and enhance their classroom learning. These experiences may include travel, internships and service engagement experiences.

Melissa Cox, MSI ’11, made the initial gift to create this fund, and explains her personal motivations for giving back:

“I give to the SI Horizon Fund because I believe that out-of-the-classroom opportunities are critical to the overall student experience. Taking risks, trying new things, attending conferences, interning and participating in networking opportunities can help connect students with industry leaders and land their dream job–or provide them with the skills necessary to be their own boss. I give because it wasn’t that long ago I was wrestling with questions like ‘can I afford to do this?’ and I want to make sure future students are able to pursue their dreams and take advantage of every opportunity during grad school.”

Fellow Recent Graduate Campaign Council members Henry Chou MSI '03, Megan Galaida MSI '02, Jessica L’Esperance MSI '07, Jon Baugh MSI '05, Sarah Raezler MSI '10, Jeff Woelker MSI '04 and Justin DeLay MSI '12, as well as 1990 PhD alumnus Dr. Kenneth Cory have also contributed to the SI Horizon Fund, helping to create this opportunity for students to fund experiences they may otherwise be unable to afford. 

Melissa’s passion for not only the School of Information, but also the University of Michigan runs deep. She is putting her UMSI degree into practice working for the University of Michigan as the Associate Director of Development Services for Web & Data Integration, Strategic Partners in E-Communications & Solutions. She calls on her fellow alumni to explore the many different opportunities to engage with the UMSI community. 

“I hope that my fellow alumni are inspired to give back in whatever way they can- from hosting students for a group project or ASB, to sharing their insights with a student start-up, or by giving to the SI Horizon Fund.”