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Stephen M. Ross
  Stephen M. Ross

Ross School Benefactor Stephen M. Ross, BBA '62, to Speak at Commencement

3/24/2009 --

"There is no feeling like the one you get from giving back," says real estate developer.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Stephen M. Ross, BBA '62, chairman, CEO, and founder of The Related Companies, will present the keynote speech at the Ross School of Business Spring Commencement May 1.

Ross, for whom the business school is named, formed Related in 1972 to develop, finance, and manage government-assisted rental apartments. Today, the company includes more than 2,000 professionals who oversee a real estate portfolio valued in excess of $15 billion.

Ross began his career in Detroit, working for the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand as a tax attorney. He later moved to New York, where he specialized in real estate and corporate finance at two investment banking firms immediately prior to founding Related. In addition to his BBA, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School. He then received a Master of Laws in taxation from New York University School of Law.

Ross is chairman of the board of trustees of Centerline Holding Company, the parent company of Centerline Capital Group; chairman of the board of directors of Equinox Fitness Clubs; and chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city's leading real estate trade association. As a member of the board of trustees of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, he was involved in the planning of a major renovation of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building and other new museums. He is a trustee of Lincoln Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Urban Land Institute, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Levin Institute, the National Building Museum, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Over the years, Ross has received numerous honors for his business, civic, and philanthropic activities.

Graduating Student Speakers 2009
In addition to the keynote presentation by Ross, speakers representing the graduating classes will be featured as part of the commencement program.

Lauren Perrotta: Undergraduate Student Speaker
While at Ross, Perrotta most enjoyed her classes in accounting, finance, and management and organizations. After serving one year on the executive board of Michigan Business Women, she was voted co-president for the 2008-2009 academic year. Originally from New Jersey, Perrotta leaves Ross to join investment bank Credit Suisse in its New York office.

Justin Adams: Graduate Student Speaker
A graduate of the University of Michigan's electrical engineering program, Adams returned to campus to earn his MBA with a focus on finance and entrepreneurship. Prior to attending Ross, he worked for General Motors, where he designed emissions reduction software that made "check engine" lights illuminate in vehicles across the world. He is a co-leader of the Wolverine Venture Fund, and a founding member of its Cleantech team. After graduation, Adams will begin his venture capital career with EDF Ventures.

Leadership Award Winners 2009
Winners of the Frank S. Moran Leadership Award also will speak at the 2009 ceremony.

Emily Weslosky: BBA Frank S. Moran Leadership Award
Weslosky has been an active member of the Ross Community, especially through her commitment to the BBA Student Government Association as social chair. Outside of Ross, she is a four-year volunteer for the University of Michigan Dance Marathon organization. Upon graduation, Weslosky will move to New York to begin her career at Deutsche Bank in the private wealth management division.

Tamara Jones: MBA/MAcc Frank S. Moran Leadership Award
Before applying to business school, Jones served in several positions of increasing responsibility with the Boys & Girls Club. In pursuing her graduate studies at Ross, Jones remained focused on the field of nonprofit management, taking leadership roles in Ross Net Impact and the Community Consulting Club, and serving as president of the student advisory board of the Nonprofit and Public Management Center. Additionally, she directed the Global Urban Symposium, a conference highlighting the role that the private, public, and nonprofit sectors play in addressing the challenges facing cities around the world. She also has served as a board fellow for the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division.

Visit the commencement website for updates and more information.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847,