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Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad have given Michigan State University a $25 million challenge grant to broaden the scope of the Eli Broad College of Business, officials announced Friday.

The gift brings the Detroit Public Schools alumni's total giving to MSU to nearly $100 million.

MSU plans to leverage the Broads' $25 million gift to raise another $80 million through matching gifts from other donors, for a total investment of $105 million, to expand the Broad MBA and graduate programs — both renamed in his honor in 1991 when the couple donated $20 million.

"Eli and Edythe Broad's commitment to Michigan State University is extraordinary and will have a lasting impact," said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. "This latest gift entrusts us with significant resources to build and grow the quality and reputation of the Eli Broad College of Business, which will help ensure our students and faculty have the tools to make a difference in business and society."

The gift comes the same day that MSU launched the public phase of its $1.5 billion campaign, the university's first major fundraiser since 2002.

The gift will jump-start "Empower Extraordinary, the Campaign for Michigan State University."

One goal of the fundraising is to construct a $60 million graduate pavilion to house the MBA and professional graduate programs of the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. The facility would include collaborative learning spaces and cutting-edge technology for groundbreaking education initiatives, said Sanjay Gupta, acting dean and Russell E. Palmer Endowed Professor in Accounting.

Officials say focus groups and feedback from students who chose to attend other business schools have suggested that state-of-the-art facilities are alluring to top students.

"The investment of the Broad challenge gift and the additional gifts it will leverage are crucial for the continued improvement of the college in a very competitive environment," Gupta said. "More importantly, it will allow us to aggressively innovate and evolve our graduate programs."

The college intends to invest $25 million of the funds raised into scholarship endowments for recruiting students with unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds.

The Broads have continued to add to their $20 million gift, which at the time was the largest gift to a public university business school. The couple aided in the development of urban school teachers with a 2003 gift that established a partnership between MSU and Detroit Public Schools in 2003. More recently, the Broads' commitment to MSU led to the building of a renowned art museum on campus.

"We are pleased to deepen our support of MSU's business college and, by offering a challenge grant," Eli Broad said, "we hope others will step up and recognize the opportunity to educate the next generation of business leaders at a world-class university."

KKozlowski@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2024

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