Welcome to the 2018 Rackham Report

As 2018 drew to a close, so did the Victors for Michigan campaign, one of the most successful campaigns in the history of higher education. I am grateful to the generous Rackham donors who took part and provided critical support in a number of areas: for need-based scholarships, for programs and research, for funds that will help both the graduate school and our students meet unexpected challenges. Inside, you can see more details about this remarkable impact, which plays such an important role in sustaining our efforts and driving us forward.

As we turn to the year ahead, I am delighted to have begun working with faculty, students, alumni, and campus partners to shape a renewed vision for Rackham and the graduate-school experience at Michigan. This vision for Rackham’s next five to eight years is informed by our school mission, our assumptions about the future of higher education based on feedback from numerous stakeholders, and our values as an institution. Through clearly defined goals and objectives, my hope is to realize a student-centered experience, one in which doctoral education is adapted to the changing dynamics of research, scholarship, and career pathways, and in which master’s education reflects the needs of students and society with an emphasis on affordability.

I look forward to sharing more about this vision in the year to come. With the commitment illustrated by our campaign’s success and the dedication I witness every day from our talented students and colleagues on campus, I have no doubt that Rackham and the University of Michigan are uniquely positioned to advance graduate education here and beyond.

Michael J. Solomon
Dean, Rackham Graduate School
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs – Graduate Studies

Connect with Rackham

For an inside look at everything from graduate student life to the impact of our students’ research around the world, follow us on social media.


I feel so lucky to have been interviewed by @umichgradschool (where I received my MFA) about schizophrenia, illness, fiction vs nonfiction, & more myumi.ch/a0pMk


Master’s graduates walking across the #hillauditorium stage to be greeted by President Schlissel and Rackham Dean Solomon #rackhamgrad Congratulations to @michiganearth Winter 2018 MS grads Aislinn Deely @arcticaislinn and Gephen Sadove


Congratulations to our newest doctoral candidates! Rackham's Doctoral Candidacy Ceremony is designed to honor and celebrate students who have recently reached the milestone of being awarded candidate status, and to acknowledge this important transition in their academic careers.


We are thrilled to share the news that Interim Dean Michael J. Solomon has been appointed dean of Rackham Graduate School and vice provost for academic affairs–graduate studies! His five-year appointment takes effect July 1.


{ #WhatLiftsYou } my cohort, family and friends who supported me through the last year and half — thank you for helping me become a { master } of Higher Education #MasterShelbz


Join us tonight for Rackham’s inaugural King Talks, as five Rackham students share research and stories echoing the theme of this year’s U-M MLK Symposium, “The Fierce Urgency of Now.” Learn more: myumi.ch/rackhamkingtalks #UMichMLK

Your Impact by the Numbers

During the Victors for Michigan campaign, our sole fundraising priority was graduate student support.

Because of donors like you, the Rackham Graduate School closed the Victors for Michigan campaign with a record-breaking total. That means more resources and student support than ever before. You are a catalyst for change, the force that drives us onward, and for that, we thank you.


Total dollars raised during the Victors for Michigan campaign (2011 to 2018).


Total dollars raised during the previous Michigan Difference campaign (2000 to 2008).


Total number of gifts to Rackham under $100 during campaign.


Total number of unique first time donors to Rackham during campaign.

Victors for Michigan logo

From Research to Job Search

Rackham continues to enhance resources, programming, and funding that contribute to students’ development both academically and professionally. We help students identify and expand transferable skills, envision diverse career paths, and develop effective job-search strategies.

Public Engagement Fellows

Public engagement fellows explored internships in diverse settings, from museums to foundations.

Professional and Personal Development Workshops

Graduate students and postdocs attended Rackham programs and workshops for professional and personal development.

First Candidacy Ceremony

New candidates were honored in Rackham’s doctoral candidacy ceremony.

Professional Development Leaders

Rackham student Professional Development Leaders from across the university worked with Rackham to develop professional development in their own schools and colleges.

Prospective Students Visited

Prospective students visited campus to conduct research with Michigan faculty in the Summer Research Opportunity Program and the Michigan Humanities Emerging Scholars Program.

Global Network of Rackham Alums

Leaders, Researchers, Scientists, Authors, Educators, Policy Makers, Artists, Entrepreneurs, and More!

Total Students
in 2018

Position Type 5 Years After Graduation
(data from 2008–2012 cohorts)

2018 Honor Roll of Donors

We are grateful to everyone on the 2018 Honor Roll of Donors. Rackham donors have given over $30.5 million for student support in the Victors for Michigan campaign.

pages from the Honor Roll of Donors

Rackham Development and Alumni Relations Team

Michele A. Siegal

Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Melissa Herter

Donor Relations Officer

Sarah Phillips

Gift Officer

Andrea (Andy) Steinhoff

Gift Officer

Kyah Dubay

Development Communications Officer

Horace & Mary Rackham

Horace Rackham, an attorney with a Detroit practice, 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.

illustration of Horace and Mary Rackham