An inside look at the bailout of Marygrove College

Last year, when Marygrove College announced that it would become graduate-only, many wondered about the future viability of the college. While that's still somewhat of an open question, it's been stabilized for the near future thanks to a big boost from the Kresge Foundation.

But it's not simply a matter of shoring up Marygrove's finances. A lengthy article in the Detroit News details the restructuring that will take place at the institution "thanks to an ongoing multimillion-dollar rescue by the Kresge Foundation and $10 million in loans and guarantees from the IHM, its founding order," writes Daniel Howes.

Marygrove reached out to Kresge in February 2016, detailing all of its ongoing issues. The school was in a dire financial situation, even after receiving an emergency loan back in 2015, because its undergraduate enrollment fell by 50 percent between 2013 and 2016. 

As a result, they ended their undergraduate program, and cut faculty by 75 percent. 

But there won't be only cuts. Plans are in place to improve programs and services, such as benefits for employees, utilities, and payroll. Academics will receive special attention as well to improve the programs that the college has to offer.

The funds were also used to establish a nonprofit, the Marygrove Conservancy, "that would be responsible for maintaining the campus and relieving the school of a pressing financial burden." The Student Transition Fund also offered $1.2 million to distribute to students to aid in transferring to other colleges or universities.

Marygrove College was a women's-only college when it was first established in 1905. After the Detroit 1967 uprising, education at Marygrove expanded its opportunities to minority women. The college has always been involved in the social change of the community.

Read more articles by Chanel Stitt.

Chanel Stitt is a Model D editorial intern and currently studying journalism at U-M Dearborn.
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