Step by step

A model to replicate

Students in the University of Michigan’s Collegiate Recovery Program — a campus support service for students recovering from substance use disorders — will have access to a new scholarship thanks to a $500,000 endowment by the family foundation of James Dondero, co-founder and president of investment firm Highland Capital Management.

The Jake Goldberg Collegiate Recovery Program Scholarship, in memory of 2015 U-M alumnus Jake Goldberg, will provide need-based support for U-M students in recovery. As a tribute to Goldberg, the CRP’s student lounge in the University Health Services building will be named the Jake Goldberg Recovery Lounge.

“We hope this gift will help promote the Collegiate Recovery Program and encourage schools around the country to look to U-M as a model to replicate on their own campuses,” Dondero said. “It is more important than ever that students have the resources and support they need for recovery, without hindering their academic prospects.”

With help from donors like Dondero, U-M students in recovery will now have additional resources to help ease the burden of choosing between their health and pursuing a college degree.

“We at the University of Michigan are committed to fostering an environment that enables all students to do their best work,” said E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life. “Resources such as the Collegiate Recovery Program minimize those external forces that too often threaten to get in the way of the students’ ability to thrive.”

Lasting legacy

Goldberg was part of the first cohort of students in the U-M College Recovery Program, established in 2011. As a mentor and friend to students in the CRP, he helped create a strong and lasting foundation for the program.

After he graduated from U-M’s School of Kinesiology, Jake worked for the Detroit Pistons and stayed connected to the program until his passing in January. Jake’s family and friends also created the Jake Goldberg Memorial Scholarship within the School of Kinesiology to honor his memory and “pay it forward” to future sport management students.

“In the face of the tragic loss of our beloved son, Jake, we find strength in the generosity of our friends, family and Jake’s peers who donated to the CRP, a cause that we believe is critical to supporting students facing the disease of addiction,” said Amy Lazarus and Gene Goldberg, Jake’s parents. “The CRP played a significant role in Jake’s ability to succeed at U-M and fulfill his goal of working in professional sports. We miss Jake every day, but believe he would be pleased that his generosity of spirit lives through gifts to assist CRP students in building their futures.”

This gift helps provide long-term stability to the Collegiate Recovery Program, ensuring that students in recovery will have access to much needed financial support now and in the future.

“Jake’s impact on the early development of our program was vital,” said Matt Statman, manager of the program. “Jake genuinely and intimately understood the challenges that students in recovery face. He also knew firsthand the importance of collegiate recovery programs for overcoming those challenges.

“Jake carried the message of collegiate recovery — that students in recovery are valued, are not alone and can absolutely thrive at the University of Michigan. Jake’s legacy lives on in each and every student who walks through our doors today and tomorrow.”


About the donor
James Dondero is co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar global investment management firm. A dedicated philanthropist, he supports nonprofit organizations around the country, with a particular focus on health care, education, military and veterans’ initiatives, youth and family programs, and major civic institutions in Dallas.


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