WSU gets $2.5M from Lear Corp. for business school

The Detroit News

Wayne State University has received a $2.5 million multi-year pledge from Lear Corp. toward the school’s new Mike Ilitch School of Business, the school announced Thursday.

WSU is naming the new business school auditorium the Lear Auditorium and said in a news release the facility will feature “advanced technologies to support live streaming and interactive learning.”

The auditorium will include seating for more than 260 and vehicle loading and staging capacity for automotive events.

The university broke ground in July on the $50 million business school, which is being funded mostly by a $40 million donation from Detroit business moguls Mike and Marian Ilitch. It’s being constructed at the corner of Woodward and Temple, two blocks north of the $627 million Little Caesars Arena the Ilitches are building for the Detroit Red Wings.

“The new Mike Ilitch School of Business is a tremendous new development in Detroit’s business community,” Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson said, “and Lear’s investment will allow us to create a world-class business school auditorium that will witness the achievements of generations of the city’s business students and corporate leaders.”

Lear previously has given more than $600,000 to Wayne State through initiatives aimed at helping university business students.

“A guiding principle at Lear is the belief that our region’s companies, governments, nonprofits and educational institutions are interconnected,” said Matt Simoncini, president and CEO of Lear Corp. and a 1985 WSU graduate. “This gift is an investment in our future business leaders, the city of Detroit and the Metro region.”

Simoncini is president of the Wayne State University Foundation Board, a member of the Pivotal Moments campaign steering committee, and a former member of the Mike Ilitch School of Business Board of Visitors.

“Lear has shown continued dedication to Wayne State and Detroit, and this gift is another example of that commitment,” business school Dean Robert Forsythe said. “To educate the next generation of business leaders, we need strong partnerships with companies like Lear who exemplify innovation, community engagement and long-term success.”