$1.3 Million Bequest to MCA

July 30, 2014

$1.3 Million Bequest Creates Ervin J. Rose Scholarship at Michigan Colleges Alliance

SOUTHFIELD, MI – The estate of Ervin J. Rose, a retired machinist who lived humbly in Warren, MI, has established an endowed scholarship fund of more than $1.35 million that will support students attending one of the 15 independent colleges and universities in the state that are part of the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA). The Rose estate was recently settled in July, 2014.

“We are thrilled that Mr. Rose chose to leave his considerable estate to us and our group of excellent colleges and universities”, said Dr. Robert Bartlett, President of MCA. “His great faith and character, generous gift and extraordinary philanthropic legacy will be well preserved at MCA.”

Ervin J. Rose wished to establish an endowed fund that would provide young men and women with financial help to attend college and obtain their degrees. Those close to Ervin said he hoped to financially support others so they could seek careers that were intellectually inspiring to them.

The Ervin Rose Scholarship Fund award will be made by individual MCA campuses to current students. Recipient criteria includes: full-time undergraduate student status, substantial financial need, outstanding academic achievement and citizenship attributes, and Michigan residency. As a group, the 15 MCA colleges and universities represent more than 40,000 students, collectively the state’s “third largest university”.

At his funeral service in October, 2011, Ervin Rose was remembered by his pastor, the Reverend Laurence M. Wood of Emmanuel Bethel Church in Royal Oak, “as a quiet, private and polite man, who was frugal yet extremely kind and caring”. “He was generous with his time, not only with his church but in his relationship with others, helping with whatever needed to be done and caring for his brother and fellow church members.” Pastor Wood also described Ervin as “an avid reader who loved to learn, often reflecting back on his Bible readings or other texts”.

Born on December 15, 1920 in Royal Oak, MI, he was the youngest of three sons born to a German immigrant, Otto and his wife, Rickie. Ervin graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1939 and the following year, began work with Ex-Cell-O Corporation as a grinder in the Oakman Boulevard factory in Detroit. He worked there until his retirement in 1981. He was married to Agnes Hannah Jackson for 30 years until her death in 1996.

Kalamazoo Promise - More Opportunities for Scholars

June 13, 2014

The Kalamazoo Promise and the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA) are pleased to announce their
partnership on behalf of Kalamazoo Promise eligible students. Beginning in fall of 2015, students may
use their Kalamazoo Promise scholarship to attend any one of the MCA liberal arts colleges and
universities in Michigan.

In each case, tuition and fees will be fully and jointly funded by The Kalamazoo Promise and the MCA
member institution. The Kalamazoo Promise will fund at the level of the undergraduate average tuition
and fees for the College of Literature, Science and Arts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The MCA member institution will cover any difference between that amount and the amount of its
yearly tuition and fees.

Janice M. Brown, board member for The Kalamazoo Promise, said: “This opportunity for Promise
Scholars is a true measure of access and equity. The addition of these 15 institutions will increase the
number of Promise eligible schools to 58 schools throughout Michigan.”

“The existing Promise institutions, led by Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley
Community College (who now serve over 60 percent of Promise Scholars) have done a tremendous
job in welcoming, supporting and providing programs at considerable effort and cost.” Brown added,
“These colleges serve as a wonderful model of how to support The Kalamazoo Promise student, and
the strategies they have developed are benefitting all of their students.”

Bob Bartlett, CEO of the Michigan Colleges Alliance, said: “This partnership truly is a winning
proposition for all. Promise Scholars will benefit from increased college choice throughout the state,
and MCA colleges and universities will be enriched by having these deserving students on their
campuses. We are grateful to The Kalamazoo Promise for creating this opportunity.”

MCA member institutions include Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Andrews University,
Aquinas College, Calvin College, Hillsdale College, University of Detroit Mercy, Hope College,
Kalamazoo College, Madonna University, Marygrove College, Olivet College, Siena Heights
University, and Spring Arbor University.

University of Detroit Mercy Joins MCA

June 13, 2014

University of Detroit Mercy Becomes Member of Collective, Michigan Colleges Alliance

SOUTHFIELD, MI – University of Detroit Mercy will become the 15th campus member of the longstanding private college collaborative, Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA). Founded in 1949, MCA is recognized nationally for its collective programming to support Michigan independent higher education in areas such as student access, enrollment, scholarships and career opportunities including partnerships with key employers across the state. As a group, the 15 college and university members represent more than 40,000 students, collectively the state’s “third largest university”.

“We are proud to welcome University of Detroit Mercy to our Alliance, the first new campus added to our group in more than 40 years” according to Robert P. Bartlett, President of MCA. ‘This will expand our SE Michigan and Detroit area network to three campuses – including the largest private Catholic university in the state. The timing is perfect with the recent Kalamazoo Promise announcement this week expanding the Promise Scholarship award to include more excellent college options for Detroit students.”

University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) is Michigan’s largest, private Catholic University with more than 100 academic majors and programs. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy, the University has campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., President of University of Detroit Mercy said, "We are honored to join the Michigan College Alliance (MCA) and collaborate even closer with many of our private colleges and universities in the state. Our membership in MCA will help us to achieve an important institutional goal of keeping more outstanding Michigan students in the state for their college education."

UDM is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the largest of 17 Mercy institutions of higher education in the US. For the 13th consecutive year, University of Detroit Mercy is listed in the top tier of Midwest universities in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Colleges.”

Roundtable on Talent Brings Together Colleges and Business Leaders

June 5, 2014

Roundtable on Talent Brings Together Independent College Presidents with Business Leaders Michigan Colleges Alliance Hosts Initiative June 30 – July 1, 2014

SOUTHFIELD, MI – Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA), an alliance of fifteen independent colleges and universities across the state, will host a Roundtable on Talent later this month with its college presidents and a group of more than 40 business leaders.  This is the second year that MCA will bring together talent acquisition executives with campus leaders to focus on sharing best practices in higher education and corporate partnerships for talent development and retention.

Andy Chan, a nationally acclaimed innovator in college career education and corporate-higher education relations will join the program to provide the framework for the conversations and lead the Roundtable.  A Stanford MBA who has held executive positions at The Learning Company, Clorox, and Bain & Company, Chan now serves as Vice President for Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University.  Matt Wise, CEO of HelloWorld, Inc. (formerly ePrize) will be the keynote speaker Monday evening.

The initiative provides a forum for MCA campuses to better understand employer needs of recent college graduates, build relationships between Michigan employers and MCA institutions, and consider new approaches to prepare students and address those needs.
Founded in 1949, MCA is recognized nationally for its collective programming to support Michigan independent higher education in areas such as student access, enrollment, scholarships and career opportunities including partnerships with key employers across the state.  As a group, the 15 college and university campuses represent more than 40,000 students, collectively, the state’s “third largest university”.  The Roundtable outcomes will further the enhancement of MCA campuses and programs in connecting students to engagement and career opportunities with employers in Michigan.

The event, sponsored by the Grand Hotel, Office Depot|Max, e-Procurement Services, Cooper Standard, EMPOWER Student Information System, Rockford Construction, Towers Watson, Warner, Norcross & Judd, Crowne Plaza West, Enterprise, Izzy+, La-Z-Boy, Meijer and Dominos, begins Monday evening June 30th with a reception and dinner program at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The Roundtable will be held Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

HelloWorld Awards Scholarships

May 13, 2014

HelloWorld Awards Aspiring Computer Scientists Inaugural Technology Scholarship With Hopes of Keeping Young Talent in Metro-Detroit

PLEASANT RIDGE, MI--(Marketwired - Apr 7, 2014) -  HelloWorld, a leading digital, mobile and social engagement platform, today announced the recipients of its HelloWorld Technology Scholarship, which celebrates the achievements of budding Computer Science students. The two winners of the inaugural award are Andy Peterson, of Hudsonville, MI, and Samuel Delamarter, of Eaton Rapids, MI.

In partnership with the Michigan Colleges Alliance, the HelloWorld Technology Scholarship provides financial assistance to college students while connecting them to potential internship and employment opportunities. A total of two $5,000 scholarships were awarded for the 2014 - 2015 academic year.

Scholarship recipients were chosen in a two-step process. In November 2013, full-time Computer Science and Computer Information Systems students were invited to complete an application and essay outlining their personal and academic background. To be considered, students were required to have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average or higher. The four finalists were then invited for an in-person interview with the HelloWorld talent team.

"As digital technology continues to evolve rapidly, it's important to show today's students there are companies right here in Michigan seeking young talent," said HelloWorld CEO Matt Wise. "We believe in the future of technology in Detroit. It's important to give outstanding students extra reasons to stay in the area as their career develops, as their ideas will inspire the next generation of technology."

Andy Peterson is a junior at Calvin College, majoring in Computer Science. A part-time developer at CQL, Andy was drawn to Calvin because of its computer science program. During his junior year of high school, he helped started a robotics program, which later took part in the First Tech Challenge. Andy is now president of the Residence Hall Executive Team, a mentor for the First Tech Challenge and Te-Create and is on the Dean's List.

Samuel Delamarter attends Aquinas College, where he is double majoring in Computer Information Systems & Mathematics. Samuel works as a specialized technology assistant at Aquinas Information Technology and Services and sports a 3.8 GPA. After graduating, Samuel is contemplating receiving a Masters degree, running his own business or becoming a teacher.

About HelloWorld, Inc. (formerly ePrize)
HelloWorld provides brands with a rich consumer engagement platform. The company blends creative, technology and legal services to allow marketers to create a multifaceted dialogue with consumers across the web, social and mobile channels and at live events. Combining 15 years of R&D, as well as five acquisitions over the past three years, HelloWorld's technology solutions allow brand marketers, franchisees and CMOs to create personal customer connections through a massive, scalable approach -- all unified on a single platform. HelloWorld has created promotional campaigns, CRM programs and loyalty solutions in 44 countries for Fortune 500 brands and world-class agencies, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, The Gap, Live Nation, Yahoo!, and Procter & Gamble. Formerly known as ePrize, the company is headquartered in Detroit, with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, and Seattle. For more information, visit their press page on or text CRM to 30364 for mobile demos and alerts.

New Professional Ethics Program Honors Armstrong Family

November 20, 2013

SOUTHFIELD, MI – The collective legacies of David and Gus Armstrong’s life-long commitments to personal and business ethics recently was honored and duly recognized by the Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF), an alliance of 14 independent colleges and universities in Michigan. During a meeting on the campus of Hope College, the MCF Board of Trustees affirmed the naming of a professional ethics certification program after David and Gus Armstrong.

The new initiative was nearly two years in the making, involving MCF faculty and other national leaders in the field. It is designed to reflect Armstrong International’s continued exemplary way of conducting business on a global scale with ethics at the forefront. MCF executive board member and trustee David Casterline, who serves as Corporate Director of Communications at Armstrong International, spearheaded the effort and chairs the MCF “Professional Ethics Advisory Board.”

“Armstrong International’s core values, along with both David and Gus Armstrong’s teachings, have been driving forces in the program, which seeks to emulate enormous contributions of these leaders in the field of business ethics,” noted Robert P. Bartlett, President of the MCF. “David Casterline’s close direction in this effort has been indispensable. His dedication and counsel has kept the program true to its purpose.”

The program trains undergraduate students in ethical analysis and judgment both in the classroom and through practical case projects with Michigan employers. The Merrill “Gus” and David M. Armstrong Certification in Professional Ethics includes plans for expanding to a Center of activities focused on issues of workplace ethics and other central themes of Armstrong International’s unique corporate culture. The larger vision calls for the development of corporate training programs, along with MCF faculty driven research and consulting engagements on the topic.

“The late David Armstrong’s core values, extensive published works, and ethical corporate management philosophy grounded at the very core of Armstrong International’s operations were the driving forces in this venture and “litmus tests” of its authenticity,” emphasized Bartlett. “David and his father Gus were the inspiration of the program’s creation, so it is right to dedicate this program in their names.”

David Armstrong had often traveled the globe and was known internationally as a motivational speaker, business ethics expert and well published author of five books. His unique leadership style included penning corporate tales and honoring employees with good deeds through storytelling in the workplace. He appeared frequently as a guest on TV and nationally syndicated radio talk shows to share his philosophy and management experience on ethical business practices.

As the former CEO and President of the long-standing successful business, David Armstrong practiced his family’s ethical management philosophies internally with employees, as well as with the customers of this privately-held, 113-year-old company. Armstrong provides intelligent system solutions that improve utility performance, lower energy consumption, and reduce environmental emissions while providing an “enjoyable experience.” David’s last book was entitled, “Hanging by a Thread: The Erosion of the Golden Rule in America.” He died unexpectedly in 2010 at the age of 52.

Gus Armstrong spearheaded international growth for Armstrong International and has made numerous contributions to the company through his untiring efforts and dedication over many years, leading the organization through countless positive examples he set forth tied directly to ethics in the workplace. Gus remains active in the company as Chairman of the Board.

Casterline, who worked closely with David Armstrong for many years, is extremely proud to see the ethics certification program evolve and carry the namesake of both Gus and David Armstrong. He stressed this is a well-deserved honor for both men. “Gus and David Armstrong each truly exemplify what ethics should stand for in the business world today,” cited Casterline. “We live in a world that has become filled with headlines of people and companies that are perhaps not so ethical. David and Gus have always believed in setting good examples and simply doing the right thing. These are two outstanding and caring men who always exhibited a keen sense for treating others in the same manner in which they desired to be treated. David commonly gave Gus much credit when it came to his successful leadership style. He learned a great deal from his father over the years. I have learned a great deal of good from Gus and David Armstrong in my 20 years with the company to date.”

MCF Board Chair, Lizabeth Ardisana, CEO of ASG Renaissance said, “Professional Ethics is now a permanent and flourishing fixture in MCF’s offerings to students. It seems only fitting to recognize the lives and personal values of David and Gus Armstrong – not to mention the entire Armstrong family – who have played an integral role in inspiring and enabling this effort.”


New Talent Roundtable Discussion with College Presidents and Industry Leaders

June 26, 2013

SOUTHFIELD, MIMichigan Colleges Foundation (MCF), an alliance of fourteen independent colleges and universities across the state, will host a Roundtable on Talent later this month with its college presidents and a group of 40 business HR leaders.  The event is a “first” for MCF and will bring together talent acquisition executives with campus leaders to better understand employer skill needs of recent college graduates, build relationships between Michigan employers and MCF institutions, and consider new approaches to prepare students and address those needs.  

Representatives from both large and small firms across a variety of sectors will attend the meeting between leading producers and consumers of Michigan college educated talent.  Best practices will be shared and new initiatives considered for internships, co-op programs, and other strategies to prepare emerging graduates to succeed in today’s workforce.  Principals at Traverse Management will facilitate.

Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF), collectively representing the state’s third largest university has conducted millennial and employer research and developed unique programs to engage and retain talent for the state.  Recent MCF research on employer expectations and work readiness of college graduates in Michigan will provide background for the discussions.  The Roundtable outcomes will further the enhancement of current MCF programs connecting students to careers with employers in Michigan. 

The event, sponsored by the Grand Hotel, PVS Chemicals, Towers Watson, Warner, Norcross & Judd, and Dominos, begins Sunday evening June 30th with a reception and dinner program at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  The Roundtable will be held Monday, July 1, 2013. 



Detroit Career Opportunities for MCF

February 1, 2013

Colleges Collaborate on Detroit Career Opportunities for Students

14 Independent Colleges Partner with ePrize, DTE Energy, Henry Ford Health System, Quicken, Comerica and Compuware to highlight intern and career options in Detroit

SOUTHFIELD, MI – Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF), an alliance of fourteen independent colleges and universities located throughout Michigan, is partnering with major Detroit employers to showcase the city and intern or career opportunities available to students. The program on Friday, February 1st is part of MCF’s Think Michigan Campaign to help attract and retain college graduates to Michigan. More than 160 students from across MCF campuses (from West Michigan to SE Michigan) have registered and are provided charter transportation to attend the event tomorrow.

Starting at ePrize headquarters and ending at Detroit’s Hard Rock Café, the day-long event will feature presentations by company executives and talent recruiters.  Students have an opportunity to network with all participating company recruiters, enjoy dinner together and present their resumes.

Friday, February 1, 2013 

1:00 pm – 3:20 pm at ePrize headquarters (Photo and interview opportunities)
4:00 pm – 6:30 pm at Hard Rock Café (Photo and interview opportunities)

ePrize, 1 Eprize Drive,
Pleasant Ridge, MI 48069

Hard Rock Café, 45 Monroe St.
Detroit, MI 48226 (refreshments served) 


The Think Michigan initiative is a result of a commissioned study two years ago by MCF in partnership with Next Generation Consulting, a leader in the field of millennial market research and talent retention. The survey indicated that successfully keeping this young talent in SE Michigan will depend upon the ability of businesses and learning institutions to partner together to promote to these students specific quality of life amenities such as good-paying jobs, affordable housing, and easy commutes, the authors of the survey conclude.  Recent employer research conducted by MCF and sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund on college graduate preparedness (Talent Assessment Project, TAP) further supported the need for new job seekers to have meaningful internship experience. 

“Connecting students in personal and meaningful ways to Michigan’s future before they graduate and plan their lives elsewhere is a critical component to this area’s economic growth. I am appreciative of our corporate partners who recognize how important it is to get out in front of this talent with their internship and career opportunities at this fair,” said MCF President Dr. Robert Bartlett.

MCF is also partnering with organizations working in the state on talent retention and development. For more information about MCF, visit To inquire about funding or partnership opportunities with MCF or the Think Michigan campaign, call Karen Mulligan at 248-356-3114.

About Michigan Colleges Foundation

Michigan Colleges Foundation strengthens the shared capacity of 14 leading independent colleges and universities grounded in a liberal arts and sciences tradition to recruit students, support them financially, and connect them to Michigan career opportunities. MCF institutions collectively represent the third largest university in the state, and include: Adrian College; Albion College; Alma College; Andrews University; Aquinas College; Calvin College; Hillsdale College; Hope College; Kalamazoo College; Madonna University; Marygrove College; Olivet College; Siena Heights University; and Spring Arbor University. 


MCF Talent Assessment Project Survey

January 3, 2013 - Internships and field projects are the most important experience students can have in preparing for the workforce.

That’s the message from Michigan’s biggest companies, according to a recently completed study by the Michigan Colleges Foundation to identify the qualities and skills employers are looking for in recent college graduates.  To read more from MLive, Click Here.

Detroit HS Students Research Belle Isle Environment

October 11, 2012

Students from four Detroit high schools and college faculty and students will be on Belle Isle to conduct environmental research as part of a year-long collaborative program of the Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF) and Belle Isle Conservancy coined the Third 90 Network. 

The Third 90 Network is an innovative, experiential learning program designed to spark interest in science and the environment and broaden college aspirations for participants through hands-on, environmental research or restoration projects. Included in the program are visits to MCF member college campuses to conduct laboratory science and college tours. First piloted at UPA Detroit, MCF has expanded the initiative to three other Detroit high schools including: University Prep Science and Math School, the Henry Ford Academy at the School for Creative Studies and Cornerstone Leadership & Business High School. Participating MCF college students and science faculty are from Albion College, Madonna University, Marygrove College and Siena Heights University.

Working with high schools committed to 90 percent graduation and college entry rates, the Third 90 program seeks a 90 percent goal for college completion among its participants. MCF has expanded the Third 90 throughout Michigan to include urban schools in Grand Rapids and Three Rivers. Private donors and corporate foundation commitments from DTE Energy, Masco, Ford Motor Company, Fifth Third Bank, the Wege Foundation, Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and others helped implement and expand the program. 

The launch meeting on Saturday, October 13 will include an introduction to Belle Isle by city park manager Keith Flournoy, and project teams will begin their water quality research & testing activities.