Dow and U-M launch innovative program to develop sustainability leaders

March 12, 2012
Laura Lessnau,
Greg Baldwin, Dow Chemical Company, Phone: (989) 636-0626, E-mail:

DETROIT—Dow Chemical Co. and the University of Michigan will bring together 300 students from all areas of study to help solve some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges in a new and unprecedented fellowship program announced today.

University of Michigan Planet BlueAndrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow, and U-M President Mary Sue Coleman told a Detroit Economic Club audience that Dow will provide a gift of $10 million over six years to support the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at U-M. Business, environmental, civic and academic leaders and media attended the event at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

This real-world, multidisciplinary program will leverage U-M’s nearly $1.25 billion research portfolio to engage in and help solve some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges, while driving innovation in Michigan and around the globe.

The unique structure of the program will bring together a select group of the most promising students and potential future leaders, from natural and social sciences, engineering, business, law, public health, public policy, architecture, urban planning and other disciplines. These graduate and postdoctoral scholars will learn together how to integrate the power of their respective disciplines to help solve sustainability challenges, including energy, climate change, water, food, housing, transportation and health. The program will cultivate nearly 300 leaders in global sustainability.

“At Dow, we know that the most successful partnerships are formed when there is a foundational belief that business interests and public interests should be aligned in order to create long-terms solutions for the greater good of humanity,” Liveris said. “Our collaborative partnership pushes aside the standard thinking and supports unique models that will give rise to the next generation of innovators in Michigan and across the world.”

“Through this gift, we have the chance to ramp up our efforts in preparing future leaders in sustainability—in all areas of study, attacking all aspects of this complex issue,” Coleman said. “The uniqueness of this program is that it is not rooted in any one discipline or any single unit of the university—it is as broad and comprehensive as the subject matter itself. And that is, frankly, the only way to solve problems as pervasive as those we face in sustainability.”

The program includes fellowships for master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral students and a supporting lecture series focused on sharing sustainability research and best practices. Under the program, teams composed of fellows at various levels from different disciplines would also compete for awards supporting high-impact sustainability solutions that address a sustainability challenge.

More information, including video of the webcast, will be available at and

About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

About the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a global leader in sustainability, health, law and public policy, the arts and humanities, science and technology, and many other academic disciplines. The university, which has 19 schools and colleges, has more than $1 billion in annual research expenditures. U-M, which has long been engaged in many aspects of sustainability, is coordinating and focusing its expertise and resources to spur progress and establish leadership in this critical arena. The university’s goal is to inspire students to acquire the knowledge and insight that will empower them to address the many complexities of sustainability in their chosen careers. For more information, visit