The University of Michigan’s Stephen M Ross School of Business has $50 million new reasons to celebrate with today’s announcement that real estate developer and namesake alumnus Stephen Ross will make yet another major contribution to the school. The $50 million pledge brings the philanthropist’s total giving to nearly $400 million, and makes him by far the most prolific donor to the university.
According to a statement announcing the news, the bulk of this new gift will support career development programs for students, innovative action-based learning experiences such as student-run investment funds and new business ventures, and resources for attracting and developing junior faculty.
“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,” says Mr. Ross in the statement. “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.
“It has become a world-class center of innovation and a magnet for attracting the best and the brightest students and faculty, and these new initiatives will even further enhance those efforts.”
The Michigan Ross School reveals that the new gift will create:
- A $16 million Student Success initiative that will help students develop career and professional skills, build a robust network of advisers and career advocates, personalize their learning journey, and access internships and career opportunities with leading companies around the globe. 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.
- A $16 million Stephen M. Ross Faculty Support Fund for faculty who develop academic innovations that advance the school’s commitment to action-based learning, interdisciplinary education and leadership development. The fund also will support expanded mentoring and coaching for junior faculty, prestigious junior faculty professorships and additional research support—all of which will help Michigan Ross attract and retain rising stars in business education.
- An $8 million Stephen M. Ross Student Investment Fund for academic programs and learning experiences in asset and investment management, including venture capital, private equity, commercial real estate and publicly traded securities. The fund will enable Michigan Ross to continue developing the world’s most innovative portfolio of student-run investment funds and build academic programs that accelerate student learning and career placement.
- The rest, $10 million, goes toward completing and maintaining the Ross School campus.
“Now that we have a state-of-the-art, inspiring space for faculty, staff and students, our focus is on attracting great talent and creating the most action-based, transformative student experiences in business education,” says Ross School Dean Scott DeRue. “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.”
Mr. Ross signed the Giving Pledge in 2013, committing to give at least half of his wealth to charity. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan Business School in 1962. He went on to earn a law degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and a master of law degree in taxation from New York University.
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