SPRING, 2014


FEATURE // SPRING 2014

Victors For Michigan: Victory For Ross Campaign Off To A Strong Start

A new capital campaign aims to ensure that Michigan Ross can continue to fulfill its unique mission while remaining one of the world’s best business schools.

That requires state-of-the-art facilities, first-class programming, top-flight faculty, and the best and brightest students.

The $400 million "Victors for Michigan: Victory for Ross" campaign — part of a $4 billion University of Michigan effort — formally began in the fall with a kickoff dinner. A previously announced $200 million gift to the university from Stephen M. Ross, BBA ’62 — with $100 million dedicated to the business school — gave the campaign a head start and went a long way toward covering the drive’s $135 million target for facilities. However, that still leaves a lot of critical work to do.

"Our campaign goal is to ensure that the school has the financial resources needed to preserve and improve upon the great tradition at Ross."

— Eddie Sartin, Chief Development Officer, Michigan Ross

THE ROSS CAMPAIGN IS NOW EMPHASIZING THREE AREAS:

1. STUDENT SUPPORT — ensuring that qualified students have the financial resources to attend the school, a major focus at Ross and throughout the university

2. PROGRAM SUPPORT — advancing the Ross mission by enhancing and expanding opportunities in areas like action-based learning and study abroad

3. FACULTY SUPPORT — continuing to attract and retain educators who provide leadership in their fields, and who make a lifelong positive impact on their students

"We've got to continue to innovate our programs, further develop our faculty, and provide the resources to make Ross attainable for students who may not otherwise be able to afford it," Sartin says.

The campaign is off to a strong start, Sartin says, and he expects the school to announce between $15 million and $20 million in additional large gifts by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2014.

One such gift is $1 million from the Desai Family Foundation, earmarked to develop a business accelerator in Southeast Michigan. The donors hope it will involve the new digital economy as well as the Michigan automotive/manufacturing sector, explains Bharat Desai, MBA '81.

The family felt inspired to make the gift because they like to support causes that will have solid and widespread positive impact, and they saw a chance to do so at a "truly outstanding institution," Desai says. The accelerator — a joint venture of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship — will offer infrastructure, mentoring, and financial support to qualified start-up companies. That support will help the companies become established and start growing on their own.

Desai knows something about succeeding as a startup; he co-founded and still serves as chairman of Syntel Inc., which has grown into a major worldwide IT services company. Combined with the world-class resources and reputation of the University of Michigan, Desai envisions the accelerator becoming a place that will attract interest from around the globe. "This is a terrific opportunity for us to kick-start some great ideas for the state of Michigan", he says.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Victors for Michigan: Victory for Ross may contact Sartin at esartin@umich.edu or 734-647-4950.


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