The Campaign Issue
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34 M A K I N G A D I F F E R E N C E Faculty/Staff Giving Jo Rumsey in front of the Taj Mahal during a 2009 Alumni Association tour of India. different the place was from here, the better.” Rumsey went on to engage in exploratory global networking for the university, including for the Office of the President. “I was just thrilled to be responsible for exploring how Michigan might engage with its alumni abroad,” she said. She was part of President Mary Sue Coleman’s delegations to China in 2005 and 2010 and to Brazil in 2012. Support that means the world A staff member’s legacy will preserve a cherished family value To say that she now values travel and has seen a lot of the world would be an understatement. “It’s what I like best about living in the world,” Rumsey said. Even with her family’s emphasis on seeing America, though, Rumsey didn’t always have the opportunity to travel beyond national borders. As an undergraduate at U-M, she would have liked to engage with the wider world. But she was the oldest of 10 in a family whose parents aspired to send all to college. And they did—including five to U-M. “We believe so strongly that having this international experience as an undergraduate can have a big influence,” Jo said. “We want middle-class kids, kids like my sisters and brothers and me, to have the ability to do it.” When it was Rumsey’s turn, she borrowed from her parents for tuition, room and board, and books. She was expected to pay it back after graduation, giving her younger siblings the same chance. Along the way, there wasn’t enough for “extras of any sort,” Rumsey said. She credits her U-M career with giving her the tools and opportunity to feed her passion for travel. Rumsey’s 40-year run, which she describes as “extraordinarily fulfilling,” included equal stints at the Office of Student Affairs (now called Student Life) and the Alumni Association, where she staffed numerous faraway alumni travel tours. “I raised my hand every chance I got,” she said. “The further away and more Want to learn more about making a faculty or staff gift? Get started here PHOTO courtesy of jo rumsey Traveling has been a lifelong passion for Jo Rumsey (ABEd ’71, TeachCert ’71, AM ’76), the retired vice president for international relations at U-M’s Alumni Association. While growing up in Saginaw, Mich., she saw much of the United States on family expeditions. Rumsey’s parents were committed to having their 10 children know firsthand the tremendous size and diversity of American cultures and landscapes. Now, through a bequest intention, Rumsey and her husband, retired attorney Ralph S. Rumsey (BBA ’65, MBA ’66, JD ’69), of Gregory, Mich., will be making global engagement attainable for students from families like hers: the ones that, while they might not qualify for financial aid, can’t afford the cost of international travel. The couple has committed $250,000 to support U-M students’ international experiences and $50,000 to support Ralph’s fraternity, Zeta Psi International.