The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business said today (Sept. 4) that its alumnus and namesake Stephen M. Ross pledged another $100 million to the business school. The latest gift, made as part of a new $200 million commitment to the university, brings his total gifts to the business school to $200 million. Michigan named its business school after Ross in 2004 after a $100 million naming gift.
With the $200 million, Ross becomes the second largest donor ever to a U.S. business school (see table of largest donors to business schools). The largest business school gift ever is the $300 million pledge made to the University of Chicago’s business school by alumnus David Booth in 2008.
In a news release announcing the gift, the university said Ross is the third largest donor to a business school. But the school included a $350 million gift by Charles F. Feeney to Cornell University for the construction of a new high-tech graduate school on Roosevelt Island in New York, only a portion of which will be run by Cornell’s business school.
The announcement is a big coup for the Ross School largely because it will immediately use the money to improve its ability to recruit the best and brightest applicants by dangling significantly more scholarship money in front of them. The school also will be able to put a good chunk of the Ross gift into renovations that will substantially enhance the MBA experience. Among the announced projects that will get off the ground thanks to the Ross gift are:
- New spaces for students to study, collaborate and connect with each other, faculty and potential employers.
- A state-of-the-art career services space including an enhanced recruiting center to connect students with the best companies and careers.
- New spaces to support an “admission to alumni” approach to student and career services with dynamic events and opportunities on campus and beyond.
- A space to bring together faculty, students and corporate partners to create practice-oriented research on topics of key importance to local and global firms.
- Classrooms infused with advanced technology and innovative design to support in-person and virtual collaboration and connectivity on a global scale.
- The new and existing facilities will be seamlessly integrated both inside and out to create one campus.
- Scholarships for Ross students.
The school said Ross’ new gift is the largest single donation in U-M history and makes him the biggest donor to his alma mater with lifetime giving of more than $313 million. His earlier $100 million gift to the business school went toward a new building, which was completed in 2009, as well as endowed operations for the business school. U-M Athletics will receive the other $100 million of today’s $200 million gift.
“Stephen Ross provided us with the resources and vision to develop our signature Ross building. His most recent gift will allow us to build on that success and create a true business campus – one that features innovative design and advanced technology to empower students and faculty who share our mission to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world,” said Ross Dean Alison Davis-Blake in a statement.
Ross is chairman and founder of Related Companies, one of the most prominent real estate developers in the world. Related Companies is best known for the development of Time Warner Center in New York and the 26-acre Hudson Yards development currently underway on Manhattan’s west side. Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins.