The MSU Council of Graduate Students (COGS) created a $125,000 endowment to support fellowships for graduate students at Michigan State.

MSU competes with top-notch research universities across the nation, including MIT, Stanford and Harvard, for the best graduate students. Recognizing that fellowship endowments give MSU an edge in recruiting, the Council of Graduate Students (COGS) recently passed a referendum to establish a $125,000 endowment to benefit graduate and professional students in any discipline.

Stefan Fletcher, a law student in MSU’s College of Law and the current president of COGS, along with last year’s executive board officers, worked diligently to ensure that the COGS membership understood the importance of private support and the purpose of graduate student-focused endowments that provide fellowship awards. COGS is an authorized student government body on campus representing all of MSU’s graduate/professional students.

“I think when COGS members voted unanimously to approve the funding for this endowment, they saw the importance of continual support of their fellow graduate and professional students,” Fletcher said. “I hope this initial gift encourages other proponents of graduate education and leadership to support the significant contributions graduate students make during their time at MSU.”

Endowed fellowships not only help MSU attract and retain the best and most creative graduate students, but also reward and recognize graduate students for scholarship and leadership in their respective academic disciplines, noted Dean of the Graduate School Karen Klomparens.

“This endowment is a terrific example of graduate students wisely investing some of their resources to continue to support future graduate students,” Klomparens said. “I’m proud of this COGS effort!”

Fletcher says current COGS Executive Board members are committed to working with the University Scholarship and Fellowship Development staff to help raise awareness and funds to grow the COGS endowment fund.

For more information on making a gift to the Graduate School at MSU, contact Assistant Director of Development for University Scholarships and Fellowships Maura Benton at (517) 353-0007, or by e-mail at

This article was originally published by University Advancement on November 17, 2010.

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