The University of Michigan and its Ross School of Business just received a $50 million gift thanks to Stephen M. Ross, whose lifetime giving to the university now reaches $378 million. Ross, a real estate developer and alumnus, is the single largest donor to U-M, and his most recent donation moved U-M’s Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign—kicked off in fall 2013—past the $1 billion mark for student/alumni support. In all, the campaign has raised $4 billion.
The majority of the most recent $50 million donation will be used to “support career development programs for students, innovative action-based learning experience such as student-run investment funds and new business ventures, and resources for attracting and developing junior faculty,” explains the university press release.
- $16 million will go toward student success to help students develop career and professional skills. “The Student Success initiative will help realize the vision of Michigan Ross as the most powerful career accelerator and best source of leadership talent in business education,” stated the press release.
- $16 million will go toward the Stephen M. Ross Faculty Support Fund to encourage academic innovations, including action-based learning, interdisciplinary education, and leadership development. It will also expand support for junior faculty.
- $8 million will go toward academic programs and learning experiences such as those in asset and investment management.
- $10 million will go toward maintaining and completing the Ross School campus.
As for Ross’ previous donations—$200 million in 2013, $100 million in 2004, and $5 million in 2003—they’ve been used in a variety of ways. His funds have helped the business school with action-based learning programs, and they’ve also changed the aesthetic of the school, adding the terra cotta look to the Ross School campus and the brick of the Stephen M. Ross Athletic campus buildings, which will be completed in 2018.
When talking about his donations, Ross said, “It gives me enormous joy to continue to give back to the University of Michigan, an institution that had such a profound impact on my life. I am extremely proud of the physical transformation we have achieved at the business school, creating modern, new facilities and places students and faculty and future leaders can thrive.”
Stephen Ross is a philanthropist and the chairman and founder of Related Companies, a private real estate developer. His company is best known for developing the Time Warner Center and the 28-acre Hudson Yards development in Manhattan. Related Companies is also one of the national leaders in affordable housing.
In regards to Ross’ latest gift, Scott DeRue, dean of the Ross School, said, “To help us realize our vision, Stephen Ross is once again directing his generosity to our school. Steve’s dedication and his unwavering commitment to excellence have greatly enhanced the reputation of our business school globally, and we are excited for the future of Michigan Ross.”