The University of Michigan School of Social Work recently received a generous gift from William (Bill) Cabin, MSW ’04, and Susan Havens-Lang. The couple established two new funds: the Bill Cabin ‘04 MSW Fieldwork Support Fund and the Bill Cabin Donor Match Fund to support Master of Social Work students in their field placements, with a preference for students who have the greatest financial need.
The Bill Cabin ‘04 MSW Fieldwork Support Fund is an expendable fund that will provide financial support to MSW students in field placements. Meanwhile, the Bill Cabin Donor Match Fund will support matching initiatives to help the School raise additional funds for field-related initiatives.
When asked why they chose to establish these funds, Cabin said, “I am passionate about teaching and social justice, and our motivation in establishing these funds is to assist students with the greatest financial need with the costs of the required fieldwork and to show appreciation to the School of Social Work for my experience there.” Havens-Lang explained, "I have always had a soft spot for the University of Michigan. When we were discussing the impact we wanted to have through our philanthropy, I wanted to make sure we named this gift in Bill's honor. He gets excited about supporting students at U-M School of Social Work. It felt like the right thing at the right time. The School has impacted his life and this was a wonderful way for us to give back.”
The couple’s previous giving includes two named, endowed funds. The Cabin-Havens Grant Fund provides field stipends to support MSW students with significant financial need and field placements in southeast Michigan, while the Havens-Cabin Student JCLP Centennial Support Fund provides support to MSW students who have significant financial need and are enrolled in the Jewish Communal Leadership Program. Both funds are named in honor of Bill’s father, Saul Cabin, and Susan’s father, Vern Havens. Both fathers were born poor but believed in the importance of a strong work ethic and treating people fairly.
Cabin earned his MSW degree in 2004. He described the school as "pivotal in turning his life around," as it allowed him to enter academia as a means to teach, do research and earn a living, all at the same time. Havens-Lang had a long, successful career as a nurse and nursing executive for home care agencies, which is how the couple met over 30 years ago. Cabin and Havens-Lang have three adult children, and three young grandchildren. The family shares a love for Michigan Football and Hockey.
Cabin teaches social work in BSW and MSW programs in New York City. He has published and presented on home care, hospice, elderly depression, Alzheimer’s disease intervention effectiveness and inequality topics. Cabin previously served as an executive-level manager for New York State, various non-profits, and for over twenty years as a home care and hospice manager and consultant. In addition to his MSW, he also holds a JD and a PhD.
“The new gift from Bill Cabin and Susan Havens-Lang is an inspiring gesture that will help support future generations of social workers who are committed to creating positive change in their communities,” said School of Social Work Dean Beth Angell. “I am deeply grateful for their generosity and dedication to advancing social justice for our School.”