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Letter from the Dean


Greetings Michigan Ross community! In what has truly been a historic year, with many ups and downs and challenges that continue, I hope that you and your loved ones are well. Every year in Dividend magazine, we publish inspiring stories about members of our Ross community. We share stories of alumni who are leading successful careers and making a positive impact in business and society. We celebrate thought leaders who are reimagining how business operates and shaping the most important conversations. And we profile students who are the next generation of leaders committed to building a better world through business.

In this issue, we’re delivering Dividend to you in a new, digital format featuring remarkable alumni who persevered through some of the toughest moments of this year. You’ll read about lessons they learned at Ross, which helped them prepare to effectively lead through this global health crisis and the social and political challenges of 2020. We will also share insights from Ross faculty about leading in times of change.

We hope you enjoy reading this digital issue and invite you to stay connected to Michigan Ross throughout the year via our monthly Dividend email newsletter. It’s a great way to engage with other alumni and keep up with what’s going on at Ross. 

Before we turn the page to a new year, I want to acknowledge members of our community who stepped up to support our students this year. For example, to those alumni who participated in Virtual Commencement 2020, I cannot thank you enough for the special messages you shared to honor and uplift our graduates. I am also deeply grateful to our alumni who dedicated their time to mentor and open up career opportunities for our students. This includes C-suite executives who participated in the High Stakes Leadership course, where MBAs receive timely and valuable guidance about leading in a crisis from some of our most seasoned and successful Ross alumni. Thanks to you, our Ross students have continued to thrive during what has been an extraordinarily difficult year. You helped us launch new programs such as the new Michigan Ross Business Consultant Corps, which helped students secure summer internships when other opportunities were impacted by the pandemic. 

Additionally, I am deeply grateful to all of our Ross alumni and friends who made generous donations in support of new and existing programs, faculty, and student scholarships. We could not do it without you! Examples include our new Weiser Center for Real Estate, and the new Blau Initiative for Diversity in Real Estate and Infrastructure and Related Scholars Program, which will help attract, recruit, and develop students from underrepresented backgrounds in real estate and investing. Your support also helped us expand our Carson Scholars Program, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and enables students to learn about the intersection of business and policy. And in yet another example, we hope to appoint a new faculty member in the coming year made possible through the Newton Family Professorship of Business Administration. In addition, the Newton Faculty Development Initiative will fund valuable support for high-performing faculty at Ross. 

These gifts — and the many others like them, no matter what size — allow us to build and deliver world-class academic and co-curricular opportunities for students. Furthermore, your generosity enables us to ensure a Michigan Ross education remains accessible to all students no matter their financial situation, and supports our Michigan Ross commitment to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community of students, faculty, and staff. We look forward to keeping you informed about our progress and welcome your participation in upcoming events, including our 2021 Business and Society series.

On behalf of all of us at Michigan Ross, I wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season and all the best in the new year!


Always and forever, Go Blue!

Scott DeRue
Edward J. Frey Dean of Business
Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business

In this series