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Delta College Foundation

Program Endowments

Peter and Barbra Boyse

Barbra and Peter Boyse

This endowment was established in 2004 by the Delta College Foundation Board of Directors to fund the Delta College President’s Speaker Series. Dr. Peter D. Boyse served as President of Delta College from 1993 to 2005. The endowment honored Dr. Boyse on the tenth anniversary of his presidency at Delta, and also honored his wife, Barbra, a strong and supportive partner in her husband's work and the success he accomplished.


Peter D. Boyse President's Scholar Program Endowment

In early 2004, Dr. Peter D. Boyse announced his intentions to retire as President of Delta College in 2005. The Delta College Foundation, in conjunction with the College’s Executive Staff members, planned and implemented a fundraising campaign to honor Dr. Boyse’s leadership tenure. Because of his strong belief in addressing the issue of diverse hiring needs, funds were sought and committed to the President’s Scholar Program.

The Foundation raised nearly $1.6 million to start an endowment dedicated to supporting future diversity needs. The initiative was announced as a surprise at Dr. Boyse’s retirement party in June 2005. The College then launched the President’s Scholar Program with its first full-time hire in Fall 2008 to improve and promote a diversified workforce of administration, faculty and staff. The Program, in its first phase, was aimed at increasing the diversity of full time faculty.

Delta College Planetarium Fund

The Delta College Planetarium & Learning Center, located in Bay City, Michigan, was dedicated in 1997. The facility was the result of securing an $8.75 million grant provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to design and build the facility. More than 30,000 people or more visit attend a planetarium show each year. The facility houses a state-of-the-art planetarium/theater complex, with a 50-foot domed screen and seating for 130 visitors, along with a rooftop observatory. The lobby of the Center includes a tile floor that features a display of most of our star constellations. Individuals, companies and families are able to purchase a star and add their name to the constellation, with the dollars contributed supporting the operations of the Planetarium. The Planetarium endowment fund helps to support annual software and maintenance costs.

English Division Guest Lecturer

Held biannually from 1988 to 2006, Delta College’s Young Authors Day event served as a conference for area fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students and impacted over 15,000 participants. The conference brought together many professional authors, illustrators, storytellers, and even musical performers who create and promote literature for children and who share with young writers and readers how they write or find motivation to create. Discontinued after the 2006 event, the remaining funds (contributed by a variety of local donors) was matched by Delta Foundation unrestricted dollars to establish the English Division Guest Lecturer endowment. Distributions from this fund are to be used at the discretion of the English division to allow visits from area speakers.

Global Education Program

Since 1988, private donations have helped to establish the Delta College Global Education Program Endowment. Interest generated from this endowment helps to support Delta College's International and Intercultural Programs, which facilitate faculty, staff and community projects that foster a global perspective, respect diversity, value the environment, and develop skills necessary to work and live in an evolving world community.

Possible Dream Program

Delta College started the Possible Dream Program in 1991 to encourage young, at-risk students to graduate from high school and attend college. We have enjoyed great success over the years in both our fundraising efforts and in helping our area youth. The program began with 45 students and since then has inducted and helped more than 1,700 students from Midland, Saginaw and Bay Counties. Hundreds of students have been given the opportunity to experience educational and cultural activities that their families are unable to provide.

Since 1991, the Delta College Foundation hosted two highly successful annual fundraising events in support of this program. From 1991 to 2000, The Holiday Preview Benefit was hosted and held at the Jacobson store in downtown Saginaw. From 2001 through today, the Foundation organized A Chocolate Affair, an annual event held in November.

Sturm Family Broadcast TV Programming

The Sturm Family established an endowment to support the continuing programming costs of Delta College Public TV. DeVere Sturm was born in Pigeon, Michigan in 1931, to parents of German ancestry. During a visit to Germany in 1963, while visiting relatives in Bavaria, he met Zita Olga Ecker. Soon after this meeting, Zita moved to the United States, and they were married. DeVere and Zita have lived all their married lives on the family farm in Pigeon, which was homesteaded by DeVere's great-grandfather, August Sturm, who had emigrated from Germany. DeVere helped to establish and was the co-owner of a steel foundry, Huron Casting, Inc., to which he devoted most of his professional career. Zita has volunteered countless hours to help local charities such as Meals on Wheels and her church. DeVere and Zita have four children: Eva, Julia, Anne and Benjamin. The Sturm family has maintained a close bond with Germany, and family members return often to visit relatives and to enjoy German culture. Over the years, DeVere and Zita have been very generous to Delta College’s public TV and radio stations and we are pleased to honor the Sturm Family by creating this programming endowment in their name.

Melvin and Hilda Zuehlke

Melvin L. and Hilda J. Zuehlke were caring and generous individuals who believed in supporting their community and church through the giving of time and money. Melvin L. Zuehlke, who passed away in 1998, worked for Eaton Manufacturing Company from 1940 to 1972, rising through the ranks to become general manager, and served as general manager of the United Way from the 1950s through the 1970s. Hilda J. Zuehlke, who passed away in 2001, joined her husband as a volunteer in many community clubs and organizations. The couple established a foundation in their name, to continue giving back to the community where the need was the greatest.

It was the desire of the Melvin L. and Hilda J. Zuehlke Foundation to give Delta College the greatest degree of flexibility possible in selecting recipients for these awards. Sixty percent of the earnings from the endowment will be given out as scholarships. Forty percent will be awarded (and managed through the Delta College Foundation Office) for special needs situations. In both instances, the Melvin L. and Hilda J. Zuehlke Foundation was interested in students who demonstrate determination and resourcefulness to further their education.


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