Site search
Search type


Wayne State celebrates early success of Aim Higher for Students campaign

September 23, 2010

More than 200 Wayne State University donors and students gathered to celebrate the success of the Aim Higher for Students campaign at the university's Welcome Center on Sept. 16, 2010. The campaign has raised more than $11 million in support of scholarships and other direct student aid.

"Higher education is about dreams; and you have helped many, many students toward achieving their dreams," said WSU President Allan Gilmour in his remarks to the crowd.

Kimberly Dickens, a College of Nursing donor and member of its Board of Visitors, attended the event. She said, "I'd forgotten how much optimism a college student can have! Meeting the scholarship recipients last night was energizing and I'm happy to be a part of helping education happen."

Wayne State launched the Aim Higher for Students campaign in January 2009 to raise funds for scholarships and other educational resources with a goal to make college more affordable. Currently, 82 percent of Wayne State's undergraduate students rely on financial assistance to help cover their educational expenses, including work-study, grants, scholarships and loans. Yet even with assistance, the average debt load of a WSU graduate is approximately $20,000, according to the university's Office of Student Financial Aid.

"Private and endowed scholarships are critical to enrolling and retaining students at Wayne State," said Al Hermsen, director, Office of Student Financial Aid. "They help keep college affordable and attract top students. They are also a key part of our plan to keep student loan debt burden to a reasonable level."

Amanda Carnagie is student council president and served as the event's emcee. She said, "The Aim Higher for Students Scholarship Campaign Celebration was a joy to participate in. The room had an energy to it - it was full of donors who are making a difference in students' lives and full of students prepared to make a difference in the world. As a scholarship recipient, I was honored to stand on that stage and express my thankfulness."

The Aim Higher for Students campaign runs through Dec. 31, 2010. For more information about the campaign, or to make a gift, visit

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.