Michigan State University announced its plan for the distribution of the Spartan Strong Fund, which was created following the Feb. 13 shooting on MSU's campus. The $2 million generated by the fund’s 4,200 donors will go to people directly impacted by the event.
The plan prioritizes supporting the families of the three students who died — Arielle Anderson, Brian Fraser and Alexandria Verner — as well as injured students, people who witnessed the violence and professionals who responded to the shooting.
According to University Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen, the fund was developed in response to requests from members of the Spartan community looking for a way to contribute financial resources to assist in the long-term healing of those impacted by the shooting.
After the fund was created, Olsen said, the university appointed a committee of students, staff, faculty and university leaders to determine a plan for fund distribution. The committee then gave their final recommendations to MSU Interim President Teresa Woodruff.
“In the days and weeks following Feb. 13, I have seen our entire community come together and support one another during what has been a difficult time for many,” Woodruff said. “We are forever grateful to the thousands of people who have generously helped put our community on a path to healing through the Spartan Strong Fund.”
The committee determined that $1 million will go to the families of the deceased with remaining needs, as well as the continued undergraduate education of the physically injured students. This money will also provide supportive and financial resources to approximately 50 individuals who were in the two first-floor classrooms in Berkey Hall and the kitchen in the MSU Union.
$500,000 will be used to reimburse or directly pay for the first responders and mental health care services used by students, faculty and staff in the wake of the shooting. The university said they will soon provide information regarding how to seek reimbursement.
A memorial will be made using $300,000 and funds exceeding the $2 million. Though not planned yet, the memorial will be a permanent installation on campus.
“(The memorial will) serve as a place for the community to remember what happened here, but also to honor the legacies of those who were most critically impacted from this tragedy,” Olsen said. “Certainly, we want this to be a meaningful, respectful and collaborative process for developing this memorial, so we're looking forward to working on this project and finding a way to make those plans come to fruition.”
The remaining $200,000 will go to the Office for Resource and Support Coordination to support healing and resiliency programming for students, staff, faculty and first responders. The office was created following the shooting to assist in the allocation of mental health resources in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“The love and generosity of the Spartan community near and far show no boundaries,” Vice President of University Advancement Kim Tobin said. “We hope this additional relief, through the gracious support of our donors, will aid in the recovery process and provide opportunities for our community to continue coming together to honor, remember and heal.”