LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — With the outlook for career fields related to the environment becoming more and more relevant, MSU alumni Gary and Sue Farha have focused their recent gift in just that area.

The Farhas donated $1.1 million to Michigan State University’s Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program in the College of Natural Science. RISE is an interdisciplinary living-learning program that gives students the skills and knowledge to become the next generation of sustainability leaders.

The two 1982 Broad College of Business alumni gave their gifts in the form of two funds. The first is a $1 million endowment for the Farha Family “Go Green” Scholarship in the RISE program. The second gift is a $100,000 expendable fund, the Farha Family “Go Green” Student Travel Fund.

“We also wanted to find a way to get students exposed to ‘real life’ situations,” said Gary Farha. “The expendable fund can be used to send students to conferences, where they can be exposed to professionals who work in the areas of sustainability and begin networking. We hope this creates excitement for them to get involved in the field after they graduate.”

Farha said his experiences with MSU and his career in the energy industry have inspired him. “It’s interesting how you can start out with a kernel of an idea,” Gary Farha said. “If you get someone to believe in it — in my case, that was MSU initially — it can lead to some exciting and life-changing ways to have an impact on clients, colleagues and the environment.”