University of Michigan Business School
The Michigan Difference. Leadership Through Action.

About the Donor

Stephen M. Ross

New York City-based real estate developer Stephen M. Ross, BBA ’62, is founder, chairman and CEO of The Related Companies, L.P. The developer of numerous high-profile projects in New York City and around the nation, The Related Companies is best known for its historic 2.8 million-square-foot $1.7 billion Time Warner Center, which has transformed Columbus Circle into one of New York’s premier destinations.

Ross, co-chair of the University of Michigan’s $2.5 billion fundraising campaign, currently serves on President Mary Sue Coleman’s Advisory Group and the Director’s Cabinet in the University’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Ross earned his degree in accounting from the University of Michigan Business School, a law degree from Wayne State University in 1965 and a master of law degree in taxation from New York University in 1966. He began his career as a tax attorney at Coopers & Lybrand in Detroit, where he was born, and went on to become assistant vice president in the real estate subsidiary of Laird Inc. and in the corporate finance department of Bear, Stearns & Co., both in New York City.

Ross participates in many civic activities. He is on the executive committee of NYC2012, New York’s initiative to bring the summer Olympic Games to New York City eight years from now. As a trustee of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Ross is involved in the planning for a major renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright iconic building and other new museums. He is a member of the executive committee and board of directors of the Real Estate Board of New York, a trustee of the National Building Museum and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and longtime supporter of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of New York.

Among the many awards Ross has received are the Jack D. Weiler Award from the UJA of New York in 2003 and the New York Building Congress 80th Anniversary Leadership Award in 2001. He was named the 2001 honoree for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s annual Promise Ball, and earlier that year he received the Henry Pearce Award from the Jewish Association of Services for the Aged. Ross was named Owner & Developer of the Year by New York Construction News in 2000. In 1999, he was honored by the Lincoln Center Real Estate and Construction Council and received the “What New York Needs” award presented by The Doe Fund Inc. Ross received the Tree of Life Award in 1998 in recognition of outstanding community involvement and devotion to peace and the security of human life.

Ross is the nephew of industrialist and philanthropist Max M. Fisher of Detroit, who attended Ohio State University and contributed $20 million to OSU’s College of Business building campaign in 1993. In recognition of his gift, the college was designated the Max M. Fisher College of Business. Ross and his wife Kara, an entrepreneur and jewelry designer, reside in New York with their four daughters.