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A Great Hole in the Ground: Truly a Real Estate Developer's Dream

10/16/2006 --

Ross School alumni and friends celebrate groundbreaking and thank donor whose inspiration and support will make new facility a reality.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—On a bright fall football Saturday, friends and alumni of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business gathered near the construction site at the corner of Tappan and Monroe streets to celebrate the groundbreaking for the school's new building. In the background, construction noise from the busy site punctuated the celebration speeches.

Noting that it was not a typical groundbreaking ceremony because construction on the 270,000-square-foot building began earlier this fall, Dean Robert J. Dolan described the Oct. 7 event as "a celebration of great things that have gotten us to this point and of the great things we know are to come in the fall of 2008 when we open our great new building."

Dolan, who was joined by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, Provost Teresa Sullivan and Regent Katherine E. White, thanked friends from the University, alumni, donors, the architects, the project and construction managers, and finally, Stephen M. Ross, BBA '62, for his inspiration and financial support.

Acknowledging Ross' pivotal role in the building project, Coleman said, "We are here because of Steve Ross, his love of the University of Michigan and his purposeful vision of a great business school made even greater. I want to thank Steve again for his historic contribution and the fact that he really pushed us to do this monumental project. We're a better business school because of your leadership and your inspiration."

Coleman praised the project, noting that it reflects the Ross School's core strategy by providing state-of-the-art classrooms and breakout study rooms for action-based learning as well as an environment that supports a cohesive faculty community.

"There's nothing like being in Ann Arbor for a Michigan football weekend. Can it get any better than this?" asked Ross, a prominent New York real estate developer. "An undefeated football team going for six in a row, a business school ranked No. 1 by The Wall Street Journal, a great hole in the ground — truly a real estate developer's dream.

"Two years ago, I made the best investment of my life. The best thing about the experience I had as a student was it helped me develop the confidence and values that are so critical in my career. It's a thrill for me to think that I can make a difference, a Michigan Difference, helping to support the programs I know will instill the values of this great institution for generations to come."

Ross thanked Coleman and Dolan for their help and support in making his vision for the best business school facility in the world a reality.

While introducing Bill Pedersen from the architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, Dolan said the firm was selected based on its philosophy that the "building design would be driven by three things: the site, the program it will accommodate and the client's wishes." Pedersen noted that the final drawings for the new facilities, only completed the prior evening, were totally influenced by the school's educational philosophy.

The Friars, a U-M student a cappella singing group, entertained with "Sweet Home Ann Arbor" (an adapted version of the tune "Sweet Home Alabama"), which pepped up the crowd for the U-M's win over Michigan State University in football later that afternoon.

To learn more about the new Ross School facilities, please visit the Community Creation site.

For more information, contact:
Adrienne Losh
Phone: (734) 615-5068