UM-D receives $12.5 million gift

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The University of Michigan-Dearborn has received its largest bequest in its history.

An endowment gift of about $12.5 million was given from the estate of Arthur Kochoff which will support student access to higher education, according to a UM-D press release.

Kochoff, is an alumni of the university earning three bachelor’s degrees, one in liberal studies, one in international studies and another in Hispanic studies. He also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree in 2009.

Both Kochoff and his wife, Mary, believed in the importance of education and its value. They are also no strangers to giving gifts to the university.

In 2000, they gave their first gift to support the Arthur Kochoff Language Lab in the College Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building.

They also gave $1 million to establish the Mary and Arthur Kochoff Endowed Chancellor’s Scholarship Fund, which awards full tuition to four students with great academic achievement.

Kochoff died in February, but his belief in education will live on through the Kochoff Pathway to Success Scholarship Program.

“As remarkable as the Kochoffs’ philanthropy during their lives has been, their ultimate legacy will continue to be realized for decades to come,” Chancellor Daniel Little said in the release.

The money will be used to support almost 600 students who need financial help. It will go toward recruiting students from community colleges in the area by offering 40 transfer students $5,000 scholarships every year.

Also, the gift will add university-funded opportunity scholarship awards for 225 students who need financial help at $1,000 each. Finally, $50,000 will be awarded to 50 UM-Dearborn graduate students to help financially support them and increase graduate enrollment.

“The endowment will provide a life-changing education to thousands of students over many generations, a fitting legacy to a couple who so dearly loved learning,” Little said in the release.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at