Ferris launches scholarship fund to support Michigan communities


BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University has announced the launch of the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund, an initiative led by 1983 class alumnus Joseph Pistrui.

The fund’s goal is to raise $ 100,000 through private donations and matching dollars from the Ferris Foundation. These dollars financially support selected Ferris students in 11 Michigan communities through an annual general scholarship.

The prizes, which are to offset direct expenses associated with attending Ferris, will go to selected first-year FSU students and graduates of one of Michigan’s 11 qualified high schools.


Ferris president David Eisler said Pistrui has had an impact on the university.

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

Pistrui, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and founder of Kinetic Thinking, said his experience at Ferris was life changing.

“Going to Ferris State University after I graduated from Imlay City High School was a pivotal moment in my life,” said Pistrui. I am honored to have the opportunity to help other students from these 11 communities to advance their studies at Ferris.

Graduated from Imlay City High School in 1979, Pistrui received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce-Marketing from Ferris in 1983.

Coming from one of 11 community high schools targeted by the scholarship, Pistrui hopes to create future opportunities for students from 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 of one of these schools and have formal acceptance to attend Ferris. Pistrui also wants to strengthen the network of Ferris alumni 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 matching funds from university foundations to raise $ 100,000 and award up to $ 4,000 to students each year.

• The Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund will provide financial assistance to first-year university students who have graduated from one of 11 community high schools.

• The first edition of the Thumb 11 scholarship will be available for the 2023 academic year.

• Anyone wishing to contribute as a private donor to the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund, visit the scholarships page for more information: www.thumbscholarship.org.

• If you are a prospective student / parent interested in applying for the scholarship, visit this university page for details: https://www.ferris.edu/admissions/financialaid/index.html.


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