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Foundations for Success Initiative Gains Momentum


Across the Ross School of Business, donor and alumni gifts are providing an undeniable boost to the educational experience through the Foundations for Success fundraising initiative.

Foundations for Success Remains Top Priority

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business has secured more than $58 million (nearly 30 percent) toward its $200 million goal for Foundations for Success, which seeks to increase the amount of funding available for scholarships and student experiences at the school.

This boost in funding is already making an impact. Since Foundations for Success was launched in Fall 2021, alumni and friends have established 39 new scholarships at Michigan Ross, bringing the total to more than 400 donor-funded scholarships at the school. During the 2022-2023 Academic Year, 885 Ross students received more than $12 million in support from these scholarship funds. 

“Every day is a great day when we can open up opportunities to students through scholarships,” said Sharon F. Matusik, Edward J. Frey Dean of Business at Michigan Ross. “Scholarships allow bright and ambitious individuals to receive a world-class education at Ross, and they help prepare them for success in a changing and globally connected world.” 

Dual major and first-generation master’s student Sean-Michael Steel, MBA/MPP, ’24, spoke about what scholarship support means to him: 

“What may feel inconsequential to some students and their families could be insurmountable to others,” he said. “For me, receiving a scholarship was the only way I could afford to be at a school like this, and it will forever change my future and, by extension, the futures of those I hope to serve."

Recent Foundations for Success Gifts

Many generous individuals, families, and foundations have given to the Foundations for Success Initiative over the past year. A selection of those gifts include:

  • Nancy and Kevin Mitchell, MBA ’95, gave $1.3 million to establish the Victors in Business Scholarship Fund to support incoming first-year BBA students, with a preference for students who are in financial need.
  • Amy, BBA ’92 and Evan, BBA ’93 Wildstein gave $1 million to Ross, which will be added to the Wildstein Family Social Venture Program Fund and also establish the Wildstein Family Scholarship Fund, supporting BBA students. 
  • The estate of Beverly J. Lasher recently contributed more than $1 million toward MBA scholarships at Ross. This was part of a planned gift made in memory of Lasher’s parents, which totalled $6.3 million over the past five years. 
  • Lisa A. and John C. Rocchio, BBA ’85, gave $500,000 to establish the RF Scholarship to provide need-based scholarships to out-of-state undergraduates. 
  • Shaily Baranwal, MBA ’07, gave $250,000 to establish the Baranwal Entrepreneurship Scholarship Award for students studying entrepreneurship through the Zell Lurie Institute. 
  • The Brian and Jennifer Hermelin Family Foundation recently made a generous contribution toward scholarships for undergraduate students in need of financial assistance. 

Several other donors made gifts to establish new BBA scholarships. For example, Lindsay and Brian Cooper, BBA ’98, set up the Brian and Lindsay Cooper Family Scholarship, and Shelby and Jason Jarjosa, BBA ’96, MBA ’05, established the Jason and Shelby Jarjosa Scholarship for first-generation BBA students. 

For MBA student support, among other generous contributions, Jeremy and Christine Chase made a gift to establish the Colonel William B.M. Chase ’49 Scholarship; Lawrence and Susan Johnstal, MBA ’86, set up the Shepard & Johnstal Scholarship; and Eileen and Mark Petroff, MBA ’98, established the Mark and Eileen Petroff Veterans Graduate Scholarship Fund for students with military backgrounds.

Michigan Ross is defined by its diverse community of students interested in impact and provides great opportunities to do real work with the guidance of faculty and other mentors. My experiences and relationships built at Ross continue to shape how I lead today.

Sean-Michael Steel, MBA/MPP, ’24

Academic Programs Produce Exceptional Results

Through philanthropy, the real-life impact that donors and alumni make is tangible. As seen in the latest BBA Employment Report, the undergraduate class of 2022 broke records in job acceptance and salary rates, while obtaining internships and jobs with some of the world’s most sought after organizations. Likewise, the MBA class of 2022 also set records for employment rates and salary levels, with 99 percent of graduates receiving job offers three months after graduation. These graduates will become leaders in a number of industries, including consulting, financial services, technology, sustainability, and social innovation.  

Foundations for Success is a high-impact vehicle for alumni to give back and ensure positive outcomes for the next generation. To learn more about Foundations for Success, and to make a gift, please visit our website.

About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a diverse learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to build a better world through business. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improve business and society.

Michigan Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the Bachelor of Business Administration, Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA (Evening, Online, and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Business Analytics, Master of Management, Master of Supply Chain Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.