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The George Heron Emergency Fund for Social Work Students

GH Fund Text

George R. Heron SW

George R. Heron
1938 - 2020

George Heron left a legacy in the Department of Social Work & Youth Services. As an adjunct faculty for many years, George served as a mentor and inspiration to faculty, staff, and students. His passion for social welfare policy, social justice, and social work education was honored in Spring 2020 when he was awarded Adjunct Faculty of the Year by Saginaw Valley State University.

George was a champion of individuals and communities in need.  He served on numerous boards and used his voice to advocate for needed change at the local, state, national, and global levels. George extended help in many ways, including financially. He donated his monetary award for Adjunct Faculty of the Year to the Department of Social Work & Youth Services, telling his son and colleague to use the funds to help social work students in need.

The Department is honoring George’s legacy by establishing the George Heron Emergency Fund for Social Work Students.  Donations to the fund will be used to assist social work students who face hardship. An advisory board will review applications and move quickly to distribute funds when needed by individual students.  The first donation to the fund will be from George himself.

George helped others. He will be remembered and honored by continuing his work to reach out to the community in need and assist in moving individuals forward toward becoming professional social workers and social justice advocates.

Selection Process

The selection process for emergency financial assistance within the social work program at Saginaw Valley State University involves instructors/professors providing necessary information to students facing financial emergencies hindering their participation. Students are required to describe their emergent needs and requested fund amount, with documentation being optional but helpful. Privacy is maintained, and identifying information is blinded for decision-makers. The committee, consisting of the BSW Program Director, SSWO President, a Junior Member, and two MSW students, votes on applications. A 3/5 majority is required for approval. Once approved, the BSW Program Director processes the funds through the SVSU Foundation. While disbursement is swift, it may be contingent on outstanding tuition balances. The program's sustainability depends on exploring additional funding options, such as fundraisers and community donations, aiming to maintain support for students in need each year. For additional assistance, kindly contact us at

Make a Gift

Help us commemorate the 50th anniversary of SVSU's social work program with a gift to help a social work student facing an unexpected financial emergency.

Please click the link below to make a gift.

$50 for the 50th


Contact Us
(989) 964-4626(989) 964-4626

Department Chair

Michael Heron


BA 245