Oakland University president gifts $1M for scholarships

Oakland University’s President is on a mission beyond the walls of academia with an emphasis on economics.

Ora Pescovitz, the Oakland University president,, believes you have to educate future leaders who are committed to that development and she wants those students to choose O-U.

That’s why she is providing O-U with a million-dollar gift to support scholarships for high school grads.

"The timing of this gift is intentional, I will say candidly because we are recruiting for next year's students," she said. "We want them to think of Oakland as what I called the University of choice. A place to go when they are really exceptional."

The Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship program will provide will be administered by the university’s Honors College and creates an endowment for scholarships. The first recipients will start school in the fall of next year and need is not a requirement.

"If this is an academically talented student of any financial means, who is also someone who has achieved something beyond the academic domain," she said."So a student who has demonstrated some sort of leadership and has demonstrated an interest in service that means doing something in the community."

Pescovitz believes her financial contribution not only helps the university and students, but ultimately the state of Michigan - because many O-U grads maintain employment in the state.

"This is part of what I call an ecosystem that will ultimately make a difference in the economy and that is really essential," she said. "Not only for their personal growth but for our state’s maturation and growth as well."

This is not the first time O-U's president has provided a financial contribution to the university.

"The last gift that I made which was a quarter-million dollars was for us to focus on diversity in our faculty," Pescovitz said. "We recognize how critical it is, that our faculty look like our students."

Pescovitz hopes her spirit of giving will contribute to her legacy and ultimately inspire others to give back.

"Maybe to be remembered as someone who has inspired other people to do more," she said. "And as someone who has nurtured an environment in which people reach their maximum potential."