Giving Opportunities

Help Build The Future In Physics

Your generous gifts have a direct impact on the lives of students and faculty members. Through your donation, you are investing in the future of scientific research by helping to sponsor students, fund state-of-the-art equipment, and provide conference travel for our outstanding students and faculty.

Whether big or small, we thank you for your gifts. You help transform students’ lives, attract world-class faculty members, and foster an exceptional educational experience. The Department requires smart classrooms and teaching space to recruit and retain world-class faculty, and areas for teams of multidisciplinary students to collaborate, receive tutoring, and seek academic support.

Donor- and state-matching opportunities are available. Contact Jacek Borysow to explore ways your support can multiply—ensuring your gift has maximum impact.

What Your Gift Could Accomplish

C. John ’64 and Kathryn O. Umbarger created the C. John and Kathryn Umbarger Physics Fund at Michigan Technological University. The annual fund provides financial support to Michigan Tech’s Department of Physics for undergraduate and graduate student projects and research.

Thanks to the generosity of the Umbargers students can apply their learning in the lab, practice skills and acquire knowledge that will help them on their future journey and career. For instance, the fund enables projects like Breanna Patz’s “Ultralight Sunflower Starshade Structural Design – NASA challenge” under the guidance of faculty advisor Dr. Jacek Borysow.

  • Breanna developed a sunshade to help those using ground-based telescopes to get an unobstructed view of exoplanets by blocking out the light of stars.
  • Observers can better see light reflected by planets to discern features like oceans, land masses, and atmosphere.
  • Breanna can apply skills learned doing research like communication, critical thinking, information literacy, and problem-solving to a future career.


Giving Needs

There are a variety of needs in the department. Choose from the following and make your gift today.


The Physics Fund was established in 1967. Alumni and friends are encouraged to support this critical fund. The Physics Fund supports a variety of extracurricular activities in the physics department, including our weekly colloquium series, and faculty and student activities that help to create the positive, creative community environment the department enjoys. 

Give Now to the Physics Fund

Underrepresented Students

Your gift to the Underrepresented Student Fund supports underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in learning physics and performing research. For example, Tech's Women in Physics (WiP) group won their bid to host the 2025 American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (APS CUWiP). Some of this fund covers the cost for female undergraduate students to attend the 2025 CUWiP on January 24-26, 2025. 

Give Now to the Underrepresented Student Fund

Study Away

Your gift to the Study Away Fund supports undergraduate and graduate student visits to research laboratories, conferences, and anywhere physics is learned, practiced, and studied around the world. Students gain invaluable experiences beyond textbooks and Tech's labs and classrooms, enhancing their knowledge, and promoting scholarly creativity. 

Give Now to the Study Away Fund

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research is a pillar of our undergraduate physics programs. Our students gain valuable experience, often before their senior year. Gifts to this fund help to support summer research fellowships, equipment costs, and conference travel for our undergraduate students.

Give Now to the Undergraduate Research Fund

Graduate Research

Generous gifts to this fund have helped us maintain a high level of excellence and productivity in graduate research by supporting continuous summer support, equipment costs, and conference travel for our graduate students.

Give Now to the Graduate Research Fund

Faculty Challenge

Supporting and recognizing faculty members and senior leaders is a priority. These investments help propel cutting-edge research and provide faculty members with the flexibility to pursue new ideas.

Give Now to the Faculty Challenge Fund

Beck Fellowship

Created in honor of Professor Emeritus Donald Beck, the Beck Fellowship supports exceptional students performing high-impact research. A fellow of the American Physical Society and MTU research awardee, Beck received continuous NSF funding for over 30 years. Gifts to the Beck Fellowship continue his legacy of excellence in research.

Give Now to the Beck Fellowship Fund