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Biederman family commits $1 million to NMC

TRAVERSE CITY — The Les and Anne Biederman Foundation and Ross and Brenda Biederman have announced a $1 million gift commitment to Northwestern Michigan College.

The Biederman Foundation’s $500,000 gift, the largest single grant in its history, will support NMC’s Great Lakes Water Studies Institute, helping ensure that students are prepared for future careers in water-related fields, train industry professionals, and cultivate generations of Great Lakes stewards.

The balance of the gift includes $250,000 toward scholarships for accounting, business, nursing, and maritime students from the foundation, and a $250,000 personal gift from Ross and Brenda Biederman to the NMC Annual Fund, providing unrestricted support to meet the college’s greatest needs. The gift was announced Wednesday at the 2017 NMC Fellows dinner, where the Biedermans were presented with NMC’s highest honor, in recognition of their decades of philanthropy and support of the college.

“Making the gift was an easy decision,” said Ross Biederman. “The college is important to our whole community.”

President Timothy J. Nelson said, “The Biedermans have always been supportive of what’s going on here at the college and in the community, especially when it comes to water. We are grateful for this gift and all that it will make possible for NMC and our students.”

The Biederman family’s connection to Northwestern Michigan College dates back to Ross Biederman’s father Les, a leader in the effort to found the college in 1951 until his retirement from the Board of Trustees in 1981.

A 1959 NMC alumnus, Ross Biederman has continued that support both with his wife Brenda and through the family’s namesake foundation. The Biederman family has helped establish a culture of generosity in the Grand Traverse region—particularly in support of natural resources and higher education. The Water Studies portion of the gift combines those passions. In recognition, the Water Studies labs, both inside the Great Lakes Campus and aboard the research vessel Northwestern, will be named for the Biederman Family Foundation.

Release date: June 8, 2017

For more information:

Rebecca Teahen
NMC Foundation
(231) 995-1855


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.
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