Rackham Research Endowment
The Agricultural College of the State of Michigan was three years old when Horace H. Rackham was born in Macomb County. He grew up to become a Detroit attorney who, with his partner, drew up incorporation papers in 1903 for his neighbor Henry Ford's new company. Ignoring advice, Rackham bought 50 shares of stock in the fledgling Ford Motor Company, using a truck farm he owned as collateral to borrow money for the purchase.
Ford Motor Company was wildly successful, providing substantial dividends, and in 1913 Rackham quit his law practice. In 1919, Edsel Ford (acting for his father, Henry) purchased Rackham's stock for $12.5 million dollars. At the time of his death in 1933, Rackham's wealth was valued at an estimated $16.5 million.
Meanwhile, the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science was making a name for itself with research advances.
Proposals are solicited every three years as projects are completed. The board reviews proposals and awards funds as seed money to leverage researchers into a position to obtain additional funding. Second- and third-year funding is based on progress of the research and funding available in the endowment. An additional requirement for the third year is evidence of soliciting external support.