School Celebrates Construction Project, MAP 25th Anniversary
Michigan Ross kicked off homecoming weekend in October with the unveiling of its new Jeff T. Blau Hall and renovated Kresge Hall. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by several hundred guests including the school's namesake, Stephen M. Ross, BBA ’62/LDHon 2011; Jeff T. Blau, BBA ’90; Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean and Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business; former deans Joe White, Bob Dolan, and Alison Davis-Blake; University Regent Andrew Richner; and University President Mark Schlissel.
The 104,000-square-foot academic building is named after Blau, the CEO of Related Companies. Related, recently recognized by Fast Company on its “Most Innovative” list for 2017, is one of the largest private real estate development firms in the country. Blau Hall consists of six floors and nine classrooms, as well as a career services center and office space for various staff departments including operations, finance, development, diversity and inclusion, and human resources. Jeff and Lisa Blau had the whole family in attendance for the ceremony, with their children in tow to help cut the ribbon.
“The construction project completes a vision of a unified business school complex,” said Blau. “The new buildings keep Michigan Ross at the cutting edge of technology and provide inspiring new spaces to study and work. Most important, however, the spaces are specifically designed to encourage collaboration, creativity, and innovation among our students and our staff — and in doing that, they help keep our school among the very best in the world.”
The new building was funded, in part, by Blau’s $10 million gift to the business school, as well as Stephen Ross’ $100 million gift. To date, Ross has donated more than $313 million to the business school and University of Michigan Athletics, making him the largest single donor in the university’s history. Ross sees the new building as a vessel for preparing the next generation of business movers and shakers.
“I believe it is critical to support the education of tomorrow’s business leaders,” said Ross. “And I take special pride in supporting business education at the University of Michigan, where I had a life-changing experience that built the foundation of my career and business.”
The event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Michigan Ross’ Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP), the school’s signature program for MBA students. The student-driven, experiential learning program is designed for students to tackle complex business issues at various companies around the world. Since 1992, more than 10,500 students have completed more than 2,000 projects in 92 countries worldwide.
“It is through the generosity of people like Steve Ross and Jeff Blau that we are able to bring our mission to life and create a world-class environment for our students, faculty, and staff,” said DeRue. “I am deeply grateful for their generosity and support of our mission, the university, and our community.”