Welcome to the 2015 Rackham Report

There are numerous opportunities to understand why your support of Rackham helps inspire, define and transform graduate education at the University of Michigan.

We are developing new mechanisms to support graduate students, and this effort is yielding significant results, that have garnered attention from alumni, students, faculty and other University colleagues. Our programs and services attract students into our building, providing connections and core skills that help students develop their fullest potential.

We support students across the entire University, offering funding for conference travel grants, interdisciplinary workshops, summer stipends and annual fellowships for doctoral and Master’s students that help students focus on enhancing their academic performance, finishing more rapidly and advancing their careers. We provide essential services and connections for graduate students to broaden their Michigan experience and maximize their professional skills.

Your contributions are critical to so much that we offer. You help make what we do possible.

Thank you for your continued support of the Rackham Graduate School.

Dean Carol A. Fierke

2015 Honor Roll of Donors

We are grateful to everyone on the 2015 Honor Roll of Donors. Your dedicated giving to Rackham has taken us past the ⅔ point of our $30 million Victors for Michigan campaign goal!

pages from the 2015 Honor Roll of Donors

Rackham Today

We are graduate education at the University of Michigan.

Our students pursue degrees across every school and college at U-M. They are every Ph.D. student and most non-professional Master’s students. The University of Michigan is a powerhouse in graduate education, ranking 2nd in research funding among public universities, with 82% of our Ph.D. students (2011-2015) publishing one or more papers before graduating. We stand among the top ranked for the number of underrepresented minority students in Ph.D. programs.


Doctoral Programs


Master's Programs


Certificate Programs


Programs in the top 10


Ph.D. Students


Master's Students


Students Received Rackham Funding

Percent of Students by Discipline

Rackham Ph.D. Students

98% Received Financial Aid

874 Dissertations Defended

Doctoral Completion Rates

  • Rackham74%

  • National Average54%

International Students

37% of Rackham students are international and represent over 100 countries.

New Roof

Rackham got a facelift. Don’t worry, the iconic green roof will return: the new copper roof will oxidize to a rich patina over the next decade.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Increasing the diversity of graduate students and providing an inclusive environment are key priorities at Rackham.

In 2015, we began a comprehensive community conversation regarding diversity, equity and inclusion which included an exploration of issues, challenges, and short and long term ideas for change.

Doctorates Awarded to Underrepresented Minorities

University of Michigan is a national leader in awarding doctorates for all underrepresented minority groups.


African American


Mixed Race


Asian American




Native American

Underrepresented Minorities

19% of incoming domestic students were underrepresented minorities.

Programs and Services Supporting Diversity

Rackham develops programs and services that strive to make an impact on students and increase diversity in the academy.

Bouchet Honor Society

The Bouchet Society is a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

Rackham Merit Fellowships

The Rackham Merit Fellowship (RMF) Program aims to reduce disparities in graduate education and promote the values of diversity and inclusion by admitting and funding students who represent a broad array of life experiences and perspectives, because this enhances the quality of the intellectual environment for all students.

Affinity Groups

We provide resources, programming, and funding to support Rackham students who identify with a variety of identities including graduate students with disabilities, Veterans, international students, LGBTQ, students of color, first generation graduate students, undocumented students, and students with children.

Faculty Allies for Diversity

Each department identifies a diversity leader among their faculty who collaborates with Rackham’s diversity initiatives on recruitment, admissions, climate, retention, and completion issues.

Brandon Pitts

Bouchet has been a good experience because now I understand that its goals and purposes aren’t exclusive, but rather seek to represent diversity in a number of areas in our personal and professional lives. For me, this has been a very important network to build. It was like taking the core of who I am and putting it into something that’s already built for me.Brandon Pitts, Ph.D. Candidate, Industrial and Operations Engineering

Focus on Professional Development

While many graduate students will pursue academic careers after completing their degrees, more than half will go into a wide variety of other fields.

Rackham supports graduate students as they develop strategies, plans and networks to be successful in their professional development during their time at U-M and as they transition into their careers.

Career Exploration in 2015


Internships and Immersive Experiences


Alumni Engaged in Programs


Students Attended Rackham Events



Initiatives Supporting Professional Development

A cornerstone of Rackham’s professional development area has been to establish ongoing initiatives that provide more depth and breadth for graduate students in three key areas: core skills, job search skills and career development.

What Now?

A two-day seminar for Ph.D. students in the early stages of candidacy to raise awareness of their strengths, skills and career possibilities and create new professional networks, forward motion, and agility in their professional development.


A 10-week intensive communication training and community engagement program to improve the dialogue between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Ph.D. researchers to hone their communication skills with different public audiences.

Bonnie Applebeet

Rackham has been really fabulous. Rackham is not only invested in engaging with grad students but they do it in really smart, easy ways that are useful to me. Things like the What Now? program and the professional development event where we took head shot photos and got graduate student business cards – this is what grad students need. I feel like Rackham is there working to serve us. They are listening.Bonnie Applebeet, Ph.D. Candidate, American Culture

Ph.D. Student Placement

Your Impact

Your support helped Rackham fund 2,215 conference travel grants, 159 summer stipends, and 597 research awards.




Gifts Up To $50


Gifts from Alumni


Planned Estate Gifts

We are grateful to everyone on the 2015 Honor Roll of Donors. Your dedicated giving to Rackham has taken us past the ⅔ point of our $30 million Victors for Michigan campaign goal!

Victors for Michigan logo

Thank you for giving to Rackham

Grateful graduate students on support they receive from donors like you.

I wanted to thank you and let you know that there is no way I would have been able to further my education at U-M without the incredibly generous support of donors like yourself. It is awesome that I can concentrate on school and research and not worry about being able to keep up with bills/food/rent. Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity!Allie Sowa Ph.D. Student, Pharmacy

As I’m sure you remember, grad school can be a stressful time. With funding tight these days, every little bit helps. As a result of your generous contribution, I was able to receive a Pre-candidate Research Grant and attend a short-course at the NIH, which has greatly helped me in my work here. Thank you for your support!Bradley Klemm Ph.D. Student, Biological Chemistry

Your support has enabled many programs that have enriched my experiences as a graduate student. Rackham offers workshops on professional aspects of being a graduate student and future professor, covering topics like giving presentations, the process of writing a dissertation and condensing your topic into an elevator speech. These topics are not addressed in my graduate program and I feel they have helped to round out my training here.Edith Ostapik Ph.D. Student, Economics

Rackham Dean's Campaign Advisors 2015

Babette Benken

Seal Beach, California

Margaret Boryczka

Herndon, Virginia

Caren Deming

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Andrew G. De Rocco

Hartford, Connecticut

Robert S. Grossman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cheryl Hurley

New York, New York

Kevin Hurley

New York, New York

Kate Kush

Boston, Massachusetts

Vivian Sangunett

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rackham Development and Alumni Relations Team

Jill McDonough

Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Anna Mann

Gift Officer

Sheila Waterhouse

Alumni Communications and Annual Giving

Melissa Arnett

Donor Relations Officer

Who was Horace H. Rackham?

An attorney with a Detroit practice, Horace Rackham was an early advisor to Henry Ford. In exchange for legal advice, Ford offered stock options to Horace, who invested in the new automobile venture. The investment made Horace a wealthy man. Upon his death in 1933, Horace’s widow Mary oversaw the fund that was established with proceeds from his estate. In 1935 Mary and the fund made a substantial gift to endow fellowships at the newly named Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and pay for the construction of the building which is now a campus landmark. Neither Horace nor Mary had U-M degrees, but they were committed to advanced education and research. The $4 million gift from the Rackham fund in 1935 has a market value of $126 million today.

At Fall Welcome, students were introduced to Horace and made their mark as the newest members of the Rackham family. See photos of students declaring #IAmRackham.

illustration of Horace H. Rackham