FALL 2015 COMMUNIQU 15 DEVEOLOPMENT Michael and Susan Henderson REMEMBERING STRUGGLES OF THE PAST TO EASE STRUGGLES OF THE FUTURE by Pat Grauer It was January 16 1981. There were six inches of snow in East Lansing and Michael Henderson had driven from Mississippi to interview for admission at the osteopathic college in Michigan. He talked with Admissions Director Frank Bernier and it led to an opportunity of a lifetime. The fact that Henderson so clearly remembers that day is indicative of how important it was to him. He remembers at age 12 shopping with his mom when an inuential schoolteacher Eleanor Redd asked what he wanted to do with his life. He responded that he was considering being an engineer an attorney or a physician. Be a doctor she said rmly and he never looked back. I had a lot of verbal support from home and my family did everything they could he said. But I needed more. He began mowing grass at 13 and worked at the Winn-Dixie from age 14 through college graduation rst at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson Mississippi and then Millsaps College in Jackson. He taught high school Latin for a year and worked as a phlebotomist for two years at his hometown hospital. Although there were only seven osteopathic physicians in Mississippi in 1980 he found one who would mentor him which led to a very rm belief in the concept and practice of osteopathic medicine. He wrote recommendations for him. From that early struggle he and his wife Susan now living in Holt have grown a legacy. A 1986 MSUCOM alumnus he is a successful radiologist Susan is a nurse and their son David Rastall is a sixth-year D.O.-Ph.D. student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program at MSUCOM studying with Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Professor Andrea Amaltano. I know what it is to struggle Henderson said and we believe in giving back and in raising our son to have the same awareness. Their contributions started two decades ago with a series of annual gifts supporting the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and continued with a generous gift through a charitable bequest to fund a future endowed scholarship for disadvantaged osteopathic students. Now the Hendersons have committed to establishing The Michael A. Henderson D.O. and Susan Henderson R.N. Scholarship Fund in 2015 through the immediate gift of property. There is a lot of talent in disadvantaged people noted Henderson and they need to have the opportunity to express it. Susan Henderson emphasized that People born with advantage dont always realize it but others might be born with an albatross around their necks. If mom and dad have money theyve probably got your back. If they dont you need a safety net. The Hendersons gift to the college has made them eligible for the Robert S. Shaw Society which recognizes the generosity of donors who make a commitment of between 500000 or 999999 to MSU or a documented planned gift of at least 1000000. Susan and Michael Hendersons substantial gift will make possible scholarships to help MSUCOM students from disadvantaged backgrounds.