Erb Foundation grant sends WSU students to Net Impact Conference

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally posted on Today@Wayne

One hundred Wayne Street University students will attend the international Net Impact Conference in Detroit Oct. 24-26 thanks to a grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. The $35,000 one-time grant also provides resources to fund the establishment of a campus-wide chapter of Net Impact, an organization which focuses on inspiring and equipping emerging leaders for a more just and sustainable world.

Led by MBA students at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, along with their faculty advisor, Andrea Tangari, associate professor of marketing, the chapter includes students from multiple schools and disciplines—business, engineering, medicine, social work, arts and sciences, information sciences, and law, among others—with the common goal to use their education and expertise to advance sustainable development in Detroit—and beyond.

“Net Impact provides a platform upon which our students can find common ground and collaborate across multiple disciplines, all of which are important for long-term sustainable development,” said Keith E. Whitfield, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at WSU. “We appreciate this generous contribution which will enable our students to attend the conference, hosted in Detroit, in our chapter’s inaugural year. I know they will contribute much to the proceedings. I also believe they will return to campus with new insights gleaned from their interaction with students and professionals from around the world and be able to apply them to their home communities.”

The new student chapter will join more than 400 chapters of Net Impact globally, along with the newly formed Detroit Professional chapter, founded by Julie Burtch and DeJuan Woods, an association open to professionals across industries.

“Metro Detroit is in a great transformation, including our business ecosystem. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are bringing sustainable business innovation here daily,” said Neil Hawkins, president of the Erb Family Foundation. “Net Impact, both at Wayne State and in a professional chapter, will catalyze and accelerate this transformation. We at Erb Foundation are excited to be part of it!”

Net Impact is led internationally by Peter Lupoff, CEO, and David Stangis, chairman of the board.  Stangis, the former vice president of corporate responsibility and chief sustainability officer of the Campbell Soup Company, is an alumnus of WSU and will receive the First Annual Warrior Corporate Citizen Award on Oct. 23.