Leaders and Best Nominated for Scholarships

Thirty-four of the most academically accomplished high school seniors from the Shiawassee County region have been nominated for scholarships to the University of Michigan by the Cook Family Foundation.  One of the students will be selected to receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship from Bruce and Jacqueline Cook.

In order to assist them with their college selection, thirty of the nominees recently attended an overnight trip to the University of Michigan where they met with admission officers, took a tour of the campus and stadium, attended a class, and had the opportunity to spend time with students from the Shiawassee County area presently enrolled at the University of Michigan.

“We want to make sure the leaders and the best among local high school students seriously consider the University of Michigan for the next level of education,” said Foundation President Bruce Cook.  “We are committed to the academic success of local students, and are committed to building partnerships with our public schools and our oldest public university.”

Each of the nominees will receive at least a $3,000 scholarship to the University of Michigan from the Cook Family Foundation.  In addition to these nominees, the Cook Family Foundation provides a scholarship to every local student who applies to the University of Michigan, is admitted, and then enrolls.  

If they apply and are admitted to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the following students will be considered for the Bruce and Jacqueline Cook scholarship: from Byron: Zachary Geiser, Olivia Howard, Nathan Srp, and Ian Wilsdon;from Chesaning:  Samuel Forsyth, Nicholas Kasik, Nathan Martin, and Hannah Rolfe; from Corunna:  Ramneet Chauhan, Frederick Heidt, Erin Mandley, Christopher Mars, Michael Miller, and Tyson Moore;from Durand:  Nicholas Mazzara;from Laingsburg:  Brett Baker, Cassidy Ballard, Kaitlyn Carlson, Riley Gugel, Ryan Kingsbury, Matthew Nichols, and Emma Smith; from New Lothrop:  Arthur Devota, Tristan Malone, Joseph Quaderer and Dylan Vincke; from Ovid-Elsie:  Kathryn Beeman and Jericho Herblet; from Owosso:  Jake Bacigal, Abigail Brainerd, Brendan Dewley, Josephine Hufnagel, and Damien Moore; and from Perry: Jason Taft.

Past recipients of the Bruce and Jackie Cook Scholarship have included Elizabeth Hoornstra from Chesaning in 2017, Mitchell Lawrence from Byron in 2016, Nick Miller from Laingsburg in 2015, Nolan Wendling from New Lothrop in 2014, Emily Feuka from Perry in 2013, Sam Whaley from Perry in 2012, Adam Stewart from Laingsburg in 2011, Valerie Foster from Byron in 2010, Adam Dingens from Corunna in 2009, Randy Piper from Owosso in 2008, Dan Frechtling from Perry in 2007 and Kendra Frye of Owosso in 2006.

UM Expands Financial Aid Commitment

We would like to welcome you to the University of MIchigan

The University of Michigan has long done an outstanding job of providing financial aid to students from the Shiawassee region, and the Cook Family Foundation has extended its resources to help.  UM is committed to cover 100 percent of demonstrated financial need of in-state students through use of public grants, private scholarships, and the University’s own significant endowment.  The Cook Family Foundation helps by providing a scholarship to every student from 10 local high schools in the greater Shiawassee County area.

More info here http://goblueguarantee.umich.edu

This year, the University has expanded its financial aid commitment with the Go Blue Guarantee which promises four years of free tuition to students from families earning less than $65,000. Go to www.goblueguarantee.umich.edu for full details and qualifying information.  For students from families with more moderate incomes, the University provides grants, scholarships, and loans.  The Cook Family Foundation provides its scholarships without consideration of family income.  For many local students, UM is often the most affordable option for top quality higher education.

The Cook Family Foundation coordinates with the University of Michigan to ensure that students from the greater Shiawassee County region are able to attend this premier public university.  We work with students, parents, and counselors to help them with the admission process and financial aid.  Here is what some of these students say about us: click here to read testimonials 

If you are a top student, or know one, we would like to introduce you to the opportunities available at the University Michigan.  High school counselors would be happy to make an introduction and tell you more about working with us.  On our website, you can read our scholarship page, and review some Frequently Asked Questions.  At anytime in the process, feel free to give us a call, or send us an email.  Here is our contact info.  Also, follow us on Twitter @GoBlueGoBruce where we post lots of information about the University of Michigan and the admission process.

Nineteen top students from the Shiawassee region were awarded scholarships to the University of Michigan this year.  You can see the list of these new Wolverines, read about some special scholarship winners, and learn about the Shiawassee Scholars program in our most recent newsletter.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list, contact us.


Saginaw Bay Conference, September 27


As part of the Foundation’s extended commitment to the Shiawassee River, we are proud to help sponsor the State of the Bay Conference on September 27.  The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) — of which the Cook Family Foundation is a long-time member — is convening the event.  To register go to www.stateofthebay2017.org

The Shiawassee River forms the southern border of the the Saginaw Bay watershed, the largest watershed in the State of Michigan. It covers 8,700 acres in all or part of 22 counties and is home to 1.4 million people.  The Shiawassee River connects to four other rivers in and around the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge to form the Saginaw River.  The health of the land and the streams and rivers that drain them determine the health of Saginaw Bay, historically important as a fishery and as home to diverse and migrating wildlife.

The State of the Bay Conference brings together people and organizations that work to conserve and restore Saginaw Bay and the lands that make up its watershed.  Attendees will have the chance to learn what communities throughout the watershed are doing to encourage public access, economic development, environmental education and watershed management.  After the conference, there will be an opportunity for a trip on the BaySail’s Appledore schooner.

Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) brings together foundations, governments, businesses, environmental organizations, and other partners to improve the quality of life in the area and develop the region’s identity as a sustainable community. Expertise is shared to develop and fund on-the-ground projects in the areas of agriculture and pollution prevention, wildlife stewardship, water resources, land use, and environmental sustainability.  The Cook Family Foundation is one of WIN’s 11 funding partners and has contributed financial support since 1999.  Review the activities, studies, and recent grants of WIN at their website www.saginawbaywin.org 

Water quality and agricultural run-off has long been a focus of the Cook Family Foundation grants.  In addition to support for Saginaw Bay WIN, grants have been provided to the Friends of the Shiawassee River, Shiawassee Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, and other local partners.  You can read about our most recent work in the Shiawassee River in our 2017 Newsletter (click here).

Saginaw Bay Watershed. No till field and barn. Photo credit: © Michael D-L Jordan

The most significant grants of the Foundation in the last few years have been to The Nature Conservancy to support their innovative work with the agricultural community in parts of Saginaw Bay.  This effort is powered by significant federal funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) authorized in the Farm Bill.  The project has helped farmers put in place conservation practices to reduce soil erosion and polluted run-off.  It brings new technology, in-field scientific assessments, and the opportunity to work with crop advisors and conservation districts.  The Cook Family Foundation has provided funding to conduct research into how agricultural providers and practitioners make decisions; the results will help conservation groups know how best to reach and work with farmers.  You can watch a video and learn more about the project from The Nature Conservancy (click here).

Where and how fast water flows is fundamental knowledge for farmers, developers, and conservationists trying to build a sustainable economy.  The most recent grant commitment from the Cook Family Foundation is to help The Nature Conservancy study how water on the land can be better managed by Drain Commissioners, the masters of water flow in Michigan. The Foundation is helping provide matching funds to a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) that will involve test projects in Saginaw and Monroe Counties.  The goal of the project is to recognize and incentivize the establishment of conservation practices that improve the function or reduce the maintenance cost of publicly managed drain systems.

The Shiawassee River gives its name to the County where the Cook Family Foundation works for change. The River also connects us to Saginaw Bay and the Great Lakes, and it gives us a connection and appreciation of nature. We know that if we protect nature, we have the basis for a sustainable regional economy, and will enhance the quality of life for the residents of our community.  But conservation cannot be a solo act and it takes a larger and long term view.  Our work with Saginaw Bay WIN and The Nature Conservancy give us both partners and perspective.