Ferris launches scholarship fund to support Michigan communities

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University has announced the launch of the Thumb 11 Scholarship Fund, an initiative spearheaded by 1983 class alumnus Joseph Bistroy.

The fund’s goal is to raise $100,000 through private donations and matching dollars from the Ferris Foundation. These dollars financially support selected Ferris students from 11 Michigan Big Thumb communities through an annual public scholarship award.

The awards, which must offset direct expenses related to attending Ferris, will go to selected first-year Florida State University students who have graduated from one of 11 eligible Michigan high schools.


Ferris president David Isler said Bistroy was an influence at the university.

“I had the pleasure of recognizing Dr. Bestroy as an outstanding alumnus of Ferris State University. He used this opportunity to give back to his university and region to create the innovative Thumb 11 scholarship,” said Isler. “His generosity will help provide access and the opportunity to educate Ferris for years to come.”

Pistrui, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, and founder of Kinetic Thinking, said his experience at Ferris changed his life.

Bistroy said, “Joining Ferris State University after graduating from Imlay City High School was a pivotal moment in my life. I have proudly taken my Ferris State experience with me around the world and lived up to the principles of the university wherever I went. I am honored to have had the opportunity to help other students from this The 11 communities are developing their education in Ferris.”

Bistroy graduated from Imlay City High School in 1979, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from Ferris in 1983.

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