Spring Arbor University

Arbor Fund

The Arbor Fund is the foundational way to support Spring Arbor students!

Over 4,000 alumni, parents, friends and corporations give to the Arbor Fund each year, providing scholarships to about 1,500 students annually. Those scholarships help to provide the Spring Arbor experience for students – where they are not only receiving a first-rate education, but are also gaining wisdom to be critical participants in a contemporary world.

Below are some stories that bear witness to God’s goodness and highlight the impact your gifts make on students.

Janet JacksonJanet Jackson | A Different Kind of Politician

In 1996, Janet Jackson graduated from SAU’s Management and Organizational Development degree completion program. Since then she’s made it her life’s mission to leverage the education and experiences she received in order to affect change through her work as an Oakland County Commissioner for Southfield and Farmington Hills, Mich. “This wasn’t just a formal education, it was also preparation for life in the community. Interdependence is the most crucial thing that I can develop as an elected official – just bringing people together for the good of all.”

In her role as a community leader, Janet expresses a passion for combating the local plague of human trafficking. “When we lift up those who are suffering the most, we all benefit. I learned during my college studies that it’s best to work within a group, and to use the different ideas everyone brings. By doing that, we can all become more successful.”

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Annie Norris

Annie Norris | Prepared to Make a Difference

Through the experience Annie gained creating and implementing marketing strategies for Sacred Grounds, the campus coffee shop, she was able to land a marketing internship with Haggerty Insurance, the global leader for collector car and boat insurance. Annie Norris was one of many interns that summer, several of whom came from large, well-known schools. Although she initially felt a sense of insecurity about whether her skillset would allow her to be successful in the business world, she quickly found that not only was she competent as an intern, but she also had the experience and preparation to set her apart from her peers.

“People talk about how Spring Arbor is a bubble and mean it in a negative way. But through my internship, I saw how this ‘bubble’ has prepared me to stand out in the world. It’s taught me how to be different – to be excellent at what I do, to be confident in my abilities and to radiate the love of Christ.”

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Liz DeGraaf

Liz DeGraaf | Growing in Faith

Liz was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. But she really began to take control of her faith during her freshman year at Spring Arbor. During her time as a student, she has been surrounded by people who have mentored and encouraged her.

“I’ve had the privilege of meeting with chaplain Ron Kopicko every week since my freshman year. As a mentor, he is there as a positive voice, to give me advice, and to hold me accountable for my relationship with Christ.”

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Tony Mayotte

Tony Mayotte | Community of Scholars

“I’ve been able to see scholarly people at the top of their fields contributing through research and teaching; but I’ve also been able to see them living out their faith.”

Tony has been able to build strong relationships with faculty through his Spring Arbor experience. Those relationships will not only help him as he navigates a career, but also provide a shining example of what it looks like to follow Christ.

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Clarissa Grimes

Clarissa Grimes | Passion for Justice

At SAU, Clarissa met faculty members and students who not only helped fuel her passion, but came alongside her and provided opportunities for her to serve.

After being accepted into law school at Michigan State University and the University of Toledo, Clarissa opted to defer her enrollment for a year to complete a yearlong internship with International Justice Mission in South Asia where she is applying the concepts she learned at Spring Arbor University.

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Jenna Long

Jenna Long | International Advantage

As a student, Jenna Long has participated in many things on campus – intramurals, floor events, and serving as a cabinet member for the Women in Leadership Conference. But she was most significantly impacted by her overseas internships.

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Laura and Daryn Bronsink

Laura and Daryn Bronsink | Met at SAU

Alumni couple Daryn and Laura share about their SAU experience in a recent interview. Mentoring relationships with faculty and staff, serving as peer advisors, and receiving help and direction for their future are just a few of the topics they discuss as they reflect on their time at Spring Arbor University.

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Troy Tabor

Troy Tabor | Media in Ministry

Working in Cambodia, Troy Tabor needed a flexible program to tailor courses to fit his immediate needs as a media ministries director and a media consultant. “Thanks to the Master of Arts in Communication program, I have built my personal walk with God and my personal and professional skills through other people who have like-minded passions.”

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Morris Hutchins

Morris Hutchins | Culture of Discipleship

A Georgia native, senior Morris Hutchins could have easily stayed on the fringes of the Spring Arbor University community, but he opened his heart and, in turn, God opened the doors that changed his life. He wants to change the lives of men around him much in the same way.

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Jenni Natkin

Jenni Natkin | Called for Uganda

Called at a young age to have an impact on Uganda, as a high school junior looking at colleges, Natkin began sharing her goal with college representatives. She was frustrated as most of the schools attempted to talk her out of fulfilling her God-given purpose. At least that was the case until she met with a Spring Arbor University representative who celebrated her desire to work in Uganda and promised her experience at Spring Arbor would help get her there.

Read More about Jenni Natkin