$3M gift boosts Transfer Bridges to the Humanities@Michigan


LSA has awarded $3 million in funding for its Transfer Bridges to the Humanities@Michigan program.

Housed in LSA, TB2H was established in 2018 in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is designed to help students at Michigan community colleges explore the study of humanities through majors, minors and co-curricular programs as part of the transfer process to the University of Michigan.

The program is currently at three community colleges: Grand Rapids Community College, Schoolcraft College and Henry Ford College, and is part of the overall Transfer Bridges program.

Transfer Bridges is part of LSA’s commitment to support community college students across Michigan throughout their transfer journey with advising, peer mentorship, connection with U-M co-curricular experiences and community building.

Students currently attending the TB2H partner schools can participate in internships with U-M Museum of Art Culture Corps Program and the Program on Intergroup Relations, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, the Detroit River Story Lab and optiMize’s Social Innovation Challenge.

Ilene Forsyth

The funding is part of a larger gift donated by the late LSA professor emerita and alumna Ilene Forsyth. The funds will make it possible for LSA to provide the TB2H experience to even more community college students across the state of Michigan, such as internships, courses and research opportunities.

“It is truly an exciting moment for the college and the Transfer Bridges to the Humanities program,” said LSA dean Anne Curzan. “We are grateful to Ilene and her estate for their continuous support of the arts and humanities. It matters more than ever right now, and her legacy will continue to make a high-impact, inclusive contribution to students across the state of Michigan.”

This year, 326 students from the three partner community colleges participated in TB2H programming. For fall 2024, 73 TB2H students applied and 52 were admitted. The acceptance rate of 71.2% exceeds the acceptance rate for all transfer applicants to U-M.

“Transfer Bridges has been successful in creating an easier, more affordable and accessible pathway for students who may not have thought of the University of Michigan as a realistic option for a bachelor’s degree,” said Tim McKay, associate dean of undergraduate education at LSA. “This additional funding will provide more community college students interested in the humanities the opportunity to attend Michigan, and continue the next step on their educational journey.”

Forsyth, who died in 2022, was a major advocate and supporter of the humanities at LSA, giving several endowments to the college. Over the course of Forsyth’s lifetime and through her estate, she donated nearly $28 million to LSA, including a $6.25 million gift to the History of Art Department in 2021. She was also an avid supporter of the arts across U-M, giving more than $30 million to the university.


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