Putting a High Value on Ethics

Margaret and Shashikant Gupta

Margaret Gupta (M.A. 1981) and her husband Shashikant, founders of Apex CoVantage and the Gupta Family Foundation, have one primary goal for their philanthropic endeavors—to make a positive social impact. In that spirit, the Guptas made their first gift to the Rackham Impact Fund in 2005. “Education is the greatest gift we can give to future generations. It is perhaps the single most important way of improving the world,” Gupta says. “We feel that everyone should have access to a good education and the opportunity to attain the highest level of education they are capable of. So, it is very important to us that students have access to graduate school and Rackham was the perfect place for this gift.”

In 2017, after more than a decade of loyal support to Rackham, they established the Gupta Values Scholarship Fund in order to promote a life-long commitment to the values of integrity, human dignity, and excellence among scholars and prepare them for leadership roles outside of the university. Each year, a cohort of students receives summer funding and travels to Washington DC for an immersive experience with other beneficiaries of the Guptas’ support.

“The Gupta Values Scholarship reassured me of my values and encouraged me to be more confident in my decisions,” said one of the Guptas’ 2020 scholars. “I will keep pursuing my commitments to the fullest extent either as a learner/scholar/artist/designer/writer, or as an individual dedicated to the cultivation of equitable human relationships in all kinds of communities in which I see myself.”

Now, with their most recent $500,000 gift, the Guptas are adding a programmatic focus to their impact at Rackham. The Gupta Ethics Fund will support provocative lectures and discussions around fundamental values in our society. “We feel that such dialog will help young people as they embark on their professional journeys to stay focused on doing the right things for the right reasons.” This gift expands further on the idea that learning continues beyond curriculum requirements. It encourages the idea that excellence among U-M graduate students should be supplemented with an ethical approach and personal values in mind.

Thank you to those who invest in the development of Rackham scholars, both professionally and personally.

Margaret and Shashikant Gupta.