A call to action: Alumni couple commits $100,000 for scholarships to spark others to give back

Gary Armstrong ’66 B.S., ’68 M.B.A. and Kathy Armstrong ’68 B.S. have long demonstrated their commitment to making a Wayne State University education more accessible to qualified students, regardless of financial means. They have consistently provided funds to support annual scholarships and recently made a substantial contribution to endow the Gary and Kathryn Armstrong Endowed Scholarship in the School of Business Administration.

With their goal of establishing a permanent scholarship fund achieved, the Armstrongs are now hoping to motivate others to do the same. They have committed up to $100,000 in additional funding for their scholarship to encourage fellow alumni to join them in giving back to their alma mater.

For any new endowed fund of $25,000 or more that is established to support scholarships for Wayne State business students, or for a gift of any amount, large or small, to their Armstrong Scholarship, Gary and Kathy will make a new gift, dollar-for-dollar, to the Armstrong Scholarship, up to a total of $100,000.

"Kathy and I feel so fortunate that we had a world-class university like Wayne State so accessible and so affordable," Gary Armstrong says. "We want to help make those same opportunities available to future students, and we want to encourage others to do the same."

Both Detroit natives, Gary and Kathy Armstrong now live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Gary is Blackwell Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Kathy, who majored in biological sciences at Wayne State, is a retired K-12 school teacher.

Kathy points out that neither her career nor Gary’s may have been possible without access to a top-notch college education. "If not for Wayne State, it’s likely that neither of us would have been able to afford college," she says. "Education opened up so many opportunities for us."

During the past two years, the Armstrong Scholarship Fund has provided support for 12 business students, with another six scholars named for the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year. The scholarships have had a meaningful impact on recipients’ lives and studies.

"The scholarship has lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school, learning," says one recipient in a letter thanking the Armstrongs.

Says another recipient, "I know I will be successful next semester because someone helped me get to next semester."

Beneficiaries of Kathy and Gary’s generosity already seem poised to follow their lead. One Armstrong Scholar puts it this way: "I am so thankful that you chose to invest in not only my future, but in my fellow classmates’ futures as well. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their dreams just as you have helped me."

For more information on making a gift to support scholarships or to make a gift of any kind to the WSU School of Business Administration, please contact the Office of Development:

Steve Moore: 313-577-9212 or smoore@wayne.edu

View all news stories