Congressional Breakfast Raises $87K for Scholarships

More than 330 people attended the event, setting a new record for the annual Congressional Breakfast.
By Neil Canfield


Read time: 3 minutes
University of Michigan President Santa Ono stands in front of a large group of people who are seated at round tables.
University of Michigan President Santa Ono addresses the record-breaking crowd at the 73rd Congressional Breakfast. Photos by Paul A. Sherman.

More than 330 people came together on March 13 to celebrate the achievements of the University of Michigan community during the 73rd annual U-M Congressional Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

It was the largest gathering in the event’s seven-decade history and raised a record $87,000 for the Samuel L. Chappell Family Scholarship, the U-M Alumni Club of Washington, D.C.’s need-based scholarship program for students from the D.C. area.

U-M President Santa Ono stressed the importance of U-M alumni and supporters in D.C., not only to the strength of the University, but also to the vitality of the nation.

“Because of distinguished and principled alumni-leaders such as President Gerald Ford, we continue to look to Michigan for solutions to the greatest challenges of our time,” Ono said.

He also highlighted distinct areas in which U-M will aspire to affect the nation: climate action, sustainability and economic justice; democracy, civic and global engagement; human health and well-being; and life-changing education.

“Today, more than ever, we need increased connectedness and impact on our state, our nation and our society,” Ono said.

“I have confidence that U-M will achieve even more in the days ahead. In the future, I believe we should be more than the University of Michigan. We should be the University for Michigan. For solutions, let us look to Michigan.”

The breakfast is an annual opportunity for U-M faculty, staff, students, and alumni to connect with key policymakers in D.C., while honoring the many accomplishments of the U-M community.

Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, gave the keynote address, highlighting the importance of U-M’s role in challenging students to better understand each other, and to foster an environment of mutual respect.

Bergman helped to draft a “Commitment to Civility” pledge that seeks to restore collegiality, trust and civility within Congress. He encouraged all in the room to think about how civility can change the political discourse for the better and strengthen our democracy.

Ayanna McConnell, president and CEO of the Alumni Association, highlighted the vast accomplishments of U-M alumni in shaping the world, and challenged the alumni in attendance to reflect on their journey and use the skills and lessons taught at U-M in their lives to support the next generation of Wolverines.

In addition to U-M alumni, friends, and congressional staff, 10 members of Congress attended the event.

Besides Bergman, members of Michigan’s congressional delegation included Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor; Dan Kildee, D-Flint; Lisa McClain, R-Port Huron; Hilary Scholten, D-Grand Rapids; Haley Stevens, D-Troy; Elissa Slotkin, D-Lansing; and Shri Thanedar, D-Detroit. Rep. Grace Meng, D-New York, also attended.

The annual breakfast is sponsored by the U-M Club of Greater Washington. Proceeds from the breakfast help provide scholarship support to D.C.-area students who want to attend U-M.

Become a Member Today!

Your membership dollars allow us to tell stories that celebrate U-M alums’ achievements and their impact in the world. Support this work and get access to all Michigan Alum articles by joining today.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site, you accept our use of cookies.