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Parrell Gift Will Help Expand Real Estate Student Programming at U-M

Mark and Allison Parrell

The Ross School of Business will be able to provide University of Michigan students with even more exceptional, hands-on real estate educational programming thanks to a $1 million gift to the Weiser Center for Real Estate at Michigan Ross from alumnus Mark J. Parrell, BBA ‘88, President and CEO of Equity Residential, and his wife Allison. The couple hails from the Chicago, Illinois area. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), enrollment in real estate-related educational programs has grown by 20 percent over the past five years, with increasing demand for experience in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). The Parrell gift will help to meet these needs at U-M by enabling the Weiser Center to expand internship funding for students interested in public real estate, create a for-credit course for a student-led REIT investment fund (one of only a few such student-led funds in the country), support a Future of Real Estate case competition centered around REITs, and provide discretionary funding to help further meet student demand for real estate programming across campus.

“The Weiser Center sits at the junction of two of things I am tremendously passionate about — the University of Michigan and real estate,” said Mark J. Parrell, who serves on the Weiser Center for Real Estate Advisory Board at Ross. “I have been very fortunate to enjoy a successful career in real estate, and my education at Michigan gave me the tools to earn that success. 

Allison and I want to ensure that future Michigan students have the resources to support their educational and professional development in the hopes that they can pursue careers that will have a positive impact on the built environment.” 

Weiser Center Faculty Director Bill Bubniak of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Managing Director Jake Albers of Ross express deep appreciation for this transformative gift. They say the support will provide essential resources to help students from across campus become Leaders & Best in the field of public real estate.  

Housed within Michigan Ross, the Weiser Center for Real Estate connects the next generation of real estate professionals with the tools necessary to make a positive and equitable impact on built environments. The Center serves as a hub for all things real estate at U-M, providing students with educational and professional development opportunities, supporting applied research responsive to the needs of industry and policymakers, and serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration at the university and beyond.