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Giving Opportunities

The majority of gifts from alumni are dedicated to supporting our students and enhancing our curriculum. The faculty and our students are so grateful for the ongoing, committed support of our alumni to the educational mission of the department and the college. Gifts of all sizes are deeply appreciated. There are a range of ways to support our program, which include:

Annual gifts play a critical role in supporting ongoing activities and programs through our strategic fund, scholarships, helping our students do unpaid internships, or supporting the research of our graduate students.

The department gratefully accepts contributions to:

Strategic Fund

This fund supports a variety of departmental activities including hosting prominent speakers, supporting events sponsored by our student organizations (the Michigan Association for Communication Studies and the Student Media Watchdog Association), recruiting faculty candidates, and other projects and initiatives that support the department's academic mission.

dot.COMM (For Recent Grads)

To our recent alums: Your career may be just starting, but your University of Michigan degree will continue to open doors for you along the way. And it can open doors for others, too, helping them become Victors in a world that needs leaders, thinkers, and communicators like never before. So welcome to Communications Studies’ dot.COMM campaign. The “dot” stands for small and COMM, well, that’s self-explanatory!  We want there to be a fund where no amount is too small and you can feel great about participating in yet another aspect of that great Go Blue spirit. 

Supporting the dot.COMM initiative means you’re giving to a fund for student support, especially the department's internship program, where students who could not otherwise afford to undertake an unpaid internship get a small stipend from the department to help, or the Fund for Academic Excellence, which helps support our COMM GSIs.  Even $5 or $10 gifts will have a powerful impact. We want our department to be a leader (and best!) in showing that recent alums can be involved in giving. 

We are delighted to announce that Ken Davidoff (COMM/English, 1993) has given the first gift to dot.COMM because he believes internships are such an important part of a student’s education. 

Thank you for giving back.  The world needs Victors!

Communication and Media Fund for Academic Excellence

Supports our graduate students in their research and progress through the program. As our alumni know, Graduate Student Instructors play a crucial role in our curriculum, and many of them have become beloved teachers and mentors to our undergraduates. They also work very hard on their own research, which produces the next generation of knowledge about the media and society, and we are so pleased to have their contributions honored by this fund. The fund was made possible by the very generous bequest from the Charles M. Conlon Estate. Mr. Conlon graduated from the journalism program.

Create a Named Summer Internship Stipend Award, Undergraduate

Would support students interested in careers in journalism and related media industries to participate in unpaid summer internships that provide them with real world experience and networking opportunities. Currently some of our students are financially unable to accept these internships because nearly all of them are unpaid. $1000-$2000 a year, or an endowment that would generate this amount annually.

Create a Named Scholarship Award, Undergraduate or Graduate

Would provide an annual award to a needy student to help support his or her education. Current scholarships range from $1000-$5000 a year.

Support Conferences on Issues of National Concern

Would bring in experts from the academy and industry to discuss pressing issues relating to the media, for example:

  • Crisis in the News Media: Analyses and Prescriptions
  • The Mass Media, Public Health and the ongoing Health Care Debate
  • The Media and Civic Engagement: What is the University’s Role?
  • Sports and the Media
  • Privacy and Surveillance in the Digital Age
  • Policies and Media After Citizens United


Major gifts are larger donations, often given for a designated purpose. We are pleased to meet with prospective donors to discuss major gifts that are tailored to their interests and circumstances. Contact our major gift officer, Julia Sohn, via email at

Communication and Media campaign priorities

Endow a Named Visiting Scholars Program

Would allow us to bring a distinguished visiting scholar to teach a mini course or for a seminar on a topic of his/her specialization and would meet with faculty and students to promote cross-fertilization of ideas.

Endow a Named International Scholarly Exchange Program

Would support bringing into our department international communication studies scholars for a semester or year long residence, and/or send our faculty and graduate students to another major international institution to exchange knowledge, develop collaborative research and teaching projects, and expand our global horizons about the uses and impact of communications technologies around the world and in other societies.

Endow a Named Professorship in Communication and Media

Would support the hiring of a top scholar in our field to further enhance the profile, research and teaching of the department.

If you have a specific desire for your gift that does not appear here or if you would like more information, please contact us.