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Ferris State University Launches New Scholarship Fund to Support Students from 11 Greater Thumb Communities

PhotoFerris State University's Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund, an initiative spearheaded by Class of 1983 alumnus Joseph Pistrui. The dollars will benefit students from those communities working toward a Ferris degree.

Ferris State University has announced the launch of the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund, an initiative spearheaded by Class of 1983 alumnus Joseph Pistrui. The fund goal is to raise $100,000 through private donations and matching dollars from The Ferris Foundation. These dollars financially support chosen Ferris students from 11 Michigan greater thumb communities through an annual general scholarship award. The awards, which must offset direct expenses related to attending Ferris, will go to selected first-year FSU students who graduated from one of the 11 qualifying Michigan high schools.

“It was a pleasure to recognize Dr. Pistrui as a Distinguished Alumnus of Ferris State University. He has used this opportunity to give back to his alma mater and region to create the innovative Thumb 11 scholarship,” Ferris President David Eisler said. “His generosity will help create access and opportunity to a Ferris education for years to come.”

Pistrui, a professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and founder of Kinetic Thinking, said, “Attending Ferris State University after graduating from Imlay City High School was a pivotal moment in my life. I have proudly taken my Ferris State experience with me across the globe and lived by the principles of the university wherever I go. I am honored by the opportunity to help other students from these 11 communities advance their education at Ferris.”

A 1979 graduate of Imlay City High School, Pistrui earned a Bachelor of Science in Business-Marketing from Ferris in 1983.

Thumb 11The product of one of the 11 community high schools targeted by the scholarship, Pistrui hopes to create future opportunities for students of similar backgrounds to have more affordable access to a Ferris education. Thumb high schools targeted by the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund are Almont, Brown City, Capac, Dryden, Imlay City, Lapeer, Marlette, Mayville, North Branch, Peck and Yale. Eligible students must be recent graduates from one of these schools and have formal acceptance to attend Ferris. Pistrui is also interested in strengthening the Ferris alumni network among the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund communities.

Additional information about the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund:

  • The Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund will combine private donations with university foundation matching funds to raise $100,000 and grant up to $4,000 to students annually;
  • The Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund will provide financial assistance to first-year university students who graduated from one of 11 community high schools;
  • The first edition of the Thumb 11 Scholarship will be available for the academic year 2023;
  • Anyone who would like to contribute as a private donor to the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund, please visit the scholarship page for more information: www.thumbscholarship.org; and
  • If you are a prospective student/parent interested in applying for the scholarship, please visit this university page for scholarship details; and
  • A Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund Facebook page has been created. Alumni from the area are encouraged to like the page and engage fellow and future Bulldogs.

Contribute to the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund.