Related Chairman Donates $50 Million to Univ. of Michigan

Stephen Ross, Chairman of the Related Companies, has donated an additional $50 million to his alma mater — the University of Michigan. Ross has made total lifetime contributions of $378 million to the school.

The majority of the 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.

Ross is a philanthropist and chairman and founder of Related Companies, one of the world’s top private real estate developers. Related Companies is best known for the development of Time Warner Center in New York City and the 28-acre Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s West Side. He is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins.

Ross earned his Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan Business School in 1962. He then went on to earn a law degree from Wayne State University and a Master of Law degree in taxation from New York University.

Ross has been the single largest donor to the University of Michigan. He also chairs U-M’s Victors for Michigan Campaign, which kicked off in fall 2013. The campaign has raised more than $4 billion to date and, with this Ross gift, the campaign has surpassed its aggressive $1 billion goal for student support.

His previous donations have not only helped the business school become one of the best in the world, but his support has physically transformed the landscape of the university—adding the signature terra cotta look of the Ross School campus, designed to foster collaboration and action-based learning in business education, as well as the sturdy brick of the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus buildings, a home for all U-M student-athletes, set for completion in 2018.

“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,” Ross said. “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 new $50 million gift to the University of Michigan creates:

● 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.