With Gratitude for Steve Ross' Historic Gift


Yesterday, I was delighted to be part of a historic gift announcement, when Steve Ross came to Ann Arbor to communicate his intention to give $200 million to the University of Michigan, the largest single donation in the university’s history. With $100 million of his gift dedicated to U-M Ross and $100 million to U-M athletics, we are ready to mark a significant new chapter for the Ross School.

The gift builds on an already tremendous legacy of giving by Steve Ross. In 2004, he gave $100 million to the school, which, at the time, was the largest donation ever to a U.S. business school and to the University of Michigan. The school was renamed the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and we were able to develop the school’s now signature building, which opened in 2009.

Mr. Ross’ latest gift will enable us to realize our vision for the future of the school and firmly establish our position as the leading center of excellence in developing leaders who make a positive difference in the world.

With it, we will transform our facilities into a true business campus – one with innovative space that inspires and empowers faculty and students to maximize their potential as teachers, scholars, and leaders. We will create a warm and collaborative environment that fosters our action-based approach to learning, with capabilities to interact with fellow students, faculty, and business leaders across campus and around the world. We will develop a state-of-the-art career services center with best-in-class space for recruiting activities. We will create outlets for students, faculty, and corporate partners to conduct practice-oriented research on critical topics for global and local firms. And we will infuse classrooms with advanced technology and innovative design to support global connectivity.

In addition, Steve’s gift will pave the way for new scholarship opportunities, attracting top students to Ross and allowing promising leaders to pursue a world-class business education. Additional students who choose to attend Ross because of Steve’s scholarships will add to our already rich extracurricular student life experiences and will strengthen our alumni network.

Steve Ross believes in the power of well-conceived facilities to transform human experience, and he embodies our mission to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world in both his career and philanthropic life. 

Yesterday, we honored Steve with a celebration in the Davidson Winter Garden, and it was truly inspiring to witness the tremendous emotion and pride among students, faculty, and staff for his support of our school. A video of the event’s press conference can be found on the University’s website, and photos from the day are on our Facebook page.

On behalf of the Ross School and the University of Michigan, I extend my deep gratitude to Steve Ross for his incredible generosity. We are truly fortunate to benefit from Steve’s partnership and shared vision to create a business school that shapes both business and society for the future.

In the coming weeks, we will formalize plans and timelines for the projects that this significant gift enables, and I look forward to sharing further details as they become available.

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Alison Davis-Blake