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D.C. Alumni Club Raises $65,000 for Scholarship Funds

The annual Congressional Breakfast supports LEAD and U-M scholarships.
By Katherine Fiorillo


Read time: 2 minutes

The U-M Club of Washington, D.C. raised $65,000 for scholarship programs that will support future Wolverines during the 72nd annual Congressional Breakfast held on March 15 in the nation’s capital.

Since its establishment in 1887, the U-M Club of Washington, D.C. has provided more than $1 million in scholarships as well as support for volunteer and internship opportunities.

“They are the future,” U-M President Santa Ono said of the scholarship recipients. “They are the future of the University of Michigan, but they are also the future of the fields that they will engage in as they go on and graduate and lead.”

Through the U-M Office of Financial Aid, the club offers the Samuel L. Chappell Family UMDC Scholarship to students from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including a $50,000 need-based scholarship to one student, each year. At any given time, this scholarship supports four U-M students.

“As a first-generation college student, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to attend a top university like Michigan without this scholarship,” said 2020 scholarship recipient Marwa Houalla. “It significantly reduced my financial burden and it allowed me to focus on my studies and extracurricular activities.”

The club also raised $10,000 for their LEAD scholarship fund which is named after U-M Club of Washington, D.C. president Carl Smith Jr. The club was the first to offer a LEAD scholarship with the inaugural scholarship awarded during the spring of 2011. The U-M Club of Washington, D.C. remains one of the few clubs with a LEAD scholarship fund.

The additional $5,000 raised will support students in the public service internship program and the Michigan in Washington program.

“Every year, we are amazed by what our scholars are able to accomplish at the University and after graduation,” said Alana Kuhn, ’07, the president of the U-M Club of Washington, D.C. “Their experiences are possible thanks to your support at this event.”

Approximately 350 alumni, congressional staff, and sponsors attended the Congressional Breakfast — the second-biggest turnout in the program’s history. Other guests included U-M Regent Paul Brown, ’96, MBA’08; former Rep. Ted Deutch, ’88, JD’90, D-Flordia; former Rep. Fred Upton, ’75, R-Michigan; and Rep. Grace Meng, ’97, D-New York. Meng, a former member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, also spoke at the event.

Despite Congress being in recess during this year’s event, the U-M Club of Washington, D.C. still matched last year’s fundraising numbers.

“As someone who has led academic institutions, the gift of an education — an education of the caliber of that provided by the University of Michigan — is the most transformative gift anyone can give,” Ono said.

Katherine Fiorillo is the editor of Michigan Alum. 

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