Former CMU trustee, husband donate $1 million to benefit Park Library, leadership efforts


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Former CMU Trustee Sarah Opperman speaks to the Board during the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2016, in the President's Conference Room.


A former Central Michigan University trustee and her husband have donated $1 million to benefit the Charles V. Park Library and leadership efforts.

The donation from Sarah Opperman and her husband, Daniel Opperman, was announced Tuesday, Oct. 10, according to CMU News, which is published on the university's website.

According to CMU News, $500,000 of the Oppermans' donation will go toward expanding CMU's leadership experiences. The main office of the Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute is located in Powers Hall.

The other $500,000 will be given to the Park Library. 

“As a trustee, I was impressed with the leadership CMU students demonstrate as a result of their talent, hard work and commitment,” Sarah Opperman told CMU News. “We hope to expand that part of their education and experience. We hope students leave CMU understanding that leadership isn’t a title. It’s a decision, each day and throughout your life, about how you live, about the impact you make and about the stamp you put on the world."

Opperman is a 1981 alumna of CMU. She served on the CMU Board of Trustees for eight years until 2016 — including a two-year stint as chair, according to CMU News. She served as Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy at the Dow Chemical Co. She now works as an outside director at Isabella Bank Corp.  

Her husband, Daniel Opperman, is a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

“Sarah and Dan understand the transformation that happens when CMU students experience the power they have to support each other, their communities and others around the world,” CMU President George Ross told CMU News. “They know — and have demonstrated — that leadership is about using your talents, your relationships and your heart to create good.”

Ross and his wife, Elizabeth, donated $1 million for scholarships in vocal music, accounting and medical school students last month. 

At last month's State of the University Address, Ross announced that CMU received more $1 million gifts in the past year than any in university history.


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Evan Sasiela is the Managing Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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