Michigan Ross launches fundraising initiative to support students, announces new $8.5M gifts

November 15, 2021
Contact: Bridget Vis visb@umich.edu,
Jeff Karoub jkaroub@umich.edu

Three new gifts totaling $8.5 million will help launch a new fundraising initiative at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan to increase access to its top-ranked business programs and support students at the school.

With a goal of raising $200 million, the Foundations for Success Fundraising Initiative aims to boost the business school’s ability to recruit exceptional students through scholarships and provide funding for educational and experiential opportunities at Michigan Ross and beyond.

One of the new gifts to the initiative was in the amount of $2.5 million from Ross School Advisory Board member Bill Stein to create the Stein Scholarship Cohort Fund. The Stein Fund will be used to provide scholarships and programming for Ross students with a demonstrated financial need in the Bachelor of Business Administration program.

Fellow board member Jane Okun Bomba, with her husband Gary Bomba, also committed $2 million in need-based scholarship support for students affiliated with the Michigan Ross Business+Impact initiative and/or who are involved in social impact or sustainability.

The third gift is a $4 million endowed estate gift from anonymous donors that will be added to an established scholarship fund.

“Attending the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business changed the trajectory of our lives in ways we never thought possible,” said the anonymous donors. “By contributing to the Foundations for Success Initiative, we hope to give this same opportunity to others.”

Creating educational opportunities that support the school’s mission

As exemplified by these gifts, the Foundations for Success Initiative will help Michigan Ross continue its focus on attracting and supporting a diverse student community and developing business leaders who seek to make a positive difference in the world. Funds raised will also go toward creating more opportunities for action-based learning, leadership development and critical thinking—all signature aspects of a Ross business education.

“I have been a professor at Ross for more than 30 years and am passionate about our mission of building a better world through business,” said Francine Lafontaine, interim dean of Michigan Ross and the William Davidson Professor of Business Administration.

“I believe the most effective way to make real progress toward our mission is to keep opening our doors to promising and ambitious students through the power of scholarships—and to provide them with as many enriching learning experiences as possible while they are here. Among our foremost priorities is mobilizing financial support for students.”

Expanding scholarship opportunities made possible by student-support gifts

The Foundations for Success Initiative will continue to build on the many other significant student-support gifts Michigan Ross received and announced in the past academic year. Among those gifts are:

  • Stephen M. Ross and Jeff Blau committed $6 million to help Michigan Ross further its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by establishing the Blau Initiative for Diversity in Real Estate and Infrastructure, and the Related Scholars Fund.
  • An anonymous donor gave $5 million to create the True Grit Scholarship Fund to provide need-based tuition support for Ross students who demonstrate notable determination to succeed in business and life.
  • The Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts contributed $2.5 million to the John H. and Patricia W. Mitchell Scholarship Fund, which augments another $5 million that the estate gave to Ross in 2019 to create the Mitchell Program for Business Ethics and Communications.
  • Applebaum Family Philanthropy allocated more than $1 million to support the school’s Business+Impact initiative, which focuses on multidisciplinary, action-based learning in social impact, sustainability, poverty alleviation and related policy.

Michigan Ross also recently introduced two merit-based, full-tuition scholarships for Full-Time MBA students: the Dean’s Impact Scholarship and the Dean’s Fellowship. Beyond tuition assistance, Dean’s Impact Scholarship recipients receive a $10,000 annual stipend to support their educational travel, leadership development experiences, and nontuition expenses, while Dean’s Fellows receive exclusive opportunities to meet with the school’s leadership and advisory teams and build unique connections with other fellows and faculty members.

The impact of scholarship opportunities on Michigan Ross students

Gifts made to the Foundations for Success Initiative are already making a positive impact on students’ ability to attend the business school and engage in the opportunities created through the scholarships.

This year, Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA student Kate Salomon was one of the first students selected as a Related Scholar. A first-generation student, Salomon said receiving the scholarship enabled her to attend Ross and pursue her academic goals.

“An MBA seemed like a far-off dream without the support. Being able to devote myself to this experience has given me a drive and enthusiasm to lean in and make the most of these two years,” she said. “I am able to dream big dreams for myself because of [the donor’s] generosity, and I am so thankful to be a Related Scholar.”