Miami Dolphins owner donates $50M more to UM

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Stephen M. Ross — a billionaire real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner — is donating another $50 million to the University of Michigan to support student projects and faculty recruitment, university officials announced Wednesday.

The gift brings his total UM giving to $378 million, continuing his title as the single largest donor to the university.

It also pushes UM’s student support portion of the Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign over the $1 billion goal. The campaign, which Ross chairs and is the largest effort in the history of public higher education, has raised $4 billion so far.

“It gives me enormous joy to continue to give back to the University of Michigan, an institution that had such a profound impact on my life,” said Ross, a UM alum and Wayne State University Law School graduate. “I am extremely proud of the physical transformation we have achieved at the business school, creating modern, new facilities and places students ... and future leaders can thrive.

“It has become a world-class center of innovation and a magnet for attracting the best and the brightest students and faculty, and these new initiatives will even further enhance those efforts.”

Ross’s donations to UM include a historic 2004 gift of $100 million to update and endow the business school, which bears his name.

The latest $50 million gift to UM will be earmarked mostly for student career development programs, action-based learning experiences such as new business ventures, and student-run investment funds. It will also support attracting and developing junior faculty, university officials said.

“Stephen M. Ross continues to make a tremendous impact on the University of Michigan. His generosity and outstanding leadership have transformed the learning environment for our students,” said UM President Mark Schlissel.

“With this latest gift, he further advances our mission, pushing us past our ambitious goal of $1 billion for student support in the Victors for Michigan campaign. I am especially grateful to Steve for, once again, demonstrating his confidence in the University of Michigan and ensuring a bright future for our students and faculty.”

Ross’ gift to UM comes on the heels of Detroit’s Homecoming last week, when it was reported that Ross would be partnering with development company The Platform and the Ford Foundation to invest $27.5 million in housing for Detroit’s neighborhoods including Islandview, Brightmoor/Old Redford, Live6, New Center, TechTown, Milwaukee Junction, North End, Eastern Market and Riverfront neighborhoods.