Charitable Gift By Michigan Ross Alumni Proves That Sometimes Being Apart – Whether Six Feet or Thousands of Miles – Can Bring Us Closer Together

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Around 100 members from the Chinese Alumni Association at the Ross School of Business helped bring the University of Michigan Health System closer to COVID-19 preparedness with the donation of $42,000 and much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). 

The Ross alumni donation is part of a larger campus-wide fundraiser to supply critical medical equipment to the U-M Health System. Organized by the U-M Association of Chinese Professors, the fundraiser has already proved highly successful, securing $120,000 in monetary gifts as well as significant contributions of PPE. 

Along with hundreds of gloves and sanitizer bottles, PPE supplies donated by Michigan Ross alumni, including those already received and those on their way to Ann Arbor, include: 

  • 26,360 N95 and medical-grade masks
  • 2,000 face shields 
  • 1,000 goggles
  • 191 protective coveralls

The Ross alumni fundraising efforts began when Jingyu “Steven” Wu, MBA ’07, contacted active members of the MBA alumni community in China, including Zhaohui “Jerry” Liu, MBA ’02; Tao “Bill” Ding, MBA ’05; Yingnan “Jane” Chen, MBA ’10; Yuanyuan Fang, MBA ’11; and Yuying “Sunny” Zhang, MBA ’19. Working together, the group raised $43,000 in just three days.

Ken Zhang, BBA `10, U-M Beijing alumni club president, coordinated the donation of 3,000 N95 masks, while Lana Hu, MBA ’01, donated 10,000 of the N95 respirators and 10 powered, air-purifying respirators. 

Giving to help contain the spread of COVID-19 was personal for these Ross alumni, according to Bin Zhao, director of international giving and engagement, Greater China, in U-M’s Office of University Development.

“Ross MBA alumni in China are a tightly knit group. They have lived through the worst of COVID-19 in China, and many have in various ways helped the effort to battle the disease at home,” Zhao said. “When the news of COVID-19 spreading in the U.S. reached them – even before U-M hospitals called upon the community to help – they recognized the severity of the situation and moved quickly to fulfill the need.”

In addition, the alumni’s response to the crisis exemplifies the mission and ideals of Michigan Ross to make a positive impact in the world.

“These financial and PPE donations will not only help alleviate some of the healthcare stress caused by the expected surge of COVID-19 patients in the Ann Arbor community, they will also help save lives,” said Scott DeRue, Edward J. Frey Dean at Michigan Ross. “I applaud the commitment and compassion of our alumni to others. They truly exemplify what it means to be the Leaders and Best.”