A Michigan couple is contributing millions in support of their commitment to change lives through education.
Bob and Ellen Thompson believe in education’s ability to make a significant difference in someone's life. Their latest gift of $52 million is to support Thompson Working Families Scholarships (TWFS) at institutions like Grand Valley that partner with the Thompson Foundation. The Thompsons already have contributed $33 million to TWFS and the additional $52 million means more than 5,200 students will receive support.
The Thompsons have partnered with Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State and Michigan Technological universities and the Thompsons' alma mater, Bowling Green State University, in Ohio, according to John Cleary, CEO of the Thompson Foundation. Each partner university provides matching funds.
Since 2011, more than 1,050 GVSU students have received funding from the TWFS. In 2020, the Thompsons added an additional $19 million to this program. This is the largest private scholarship program at Grand Valley.