Donors set record for cash gifts to university in FY ’22


Donors gave to the University of Michigan in record fashion during fiscal year 2022, with the university receiving $515 million in total cash gifts, the highest in U-M history and the first time that cash gifts topped $500 million.

In addition to cash gifts — outright gifts and payments — overall fundraising commitments of $742 million were up 70 percent from FY ’21, making for the third best fundraising year in Michigan history.

Todd Baily, associate vice president for development, noted that an increase in the number of donations universitywide made the difference in the 2022 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

Twenty-nine of U-M’s schools, colleges and units received gifts at or above FY ’21 totals, with more than 125 gifts of $1 million or more. That contrasts with previous banner fundraising years, which were boosted by single gifts of more than $100 million. Gifts to support students, such as scholarships, fellowships or success programs, totaled a record-setting $233 million.

“Through a year of tremendous change, our donors responded in a significant way.” Baily said. “Thanks to their generosity, we can ensure greater access to a high-quality Michigan education — and all that goes along with that — to more of our students and continue to pursue solutions to society’s greatest challenges.

“This outpouring of support is heartening as we prepare for our next campaign, now in its planning stages.”

Among those gifts were a $40 million endowment from the Fred and Judy Wilpon Family Foundation for the Kessler Family Scholars program for first-generation college students in LSA.

Founded 13 years ago, Kessler Scholars supports 157 students across all four years of their undergraduate academic career and uses research-based support to raise graduation rates of first-generation students. Announced last October, the new endowment funds the program in perpetuity.

Earlier this year, an $11.5 million gift was made to Michigan Medicine’s Kellogg Eye Center by James Grosfeld, an investor, philanthropist and former chairman and CEO of PulteGroup Inc.

Grosfeld’s gift will establish two endowed professorships focused on researching dry age-related macular degeneration — or AMD — as well as a new facility for working with pluripotent stem cells for use in AMD-related research across disciplines. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in people older than 50.

Other gifts included:

  • $11 million to establish the Tishman Center for Social Justice and the Environment within the School for Environment and Sustainability.
  • $10 million to support construction of a new home for the Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning.
  • $25 million to build the Leinweber Computer Science and Information building to house the College of Engineering’s Computer Science and Engineering Division and the School of Information.

“We are especially grateful to our loyal community of donors who have confidence in the university’s mission and purpose,” said Tom Baird, vice president for development. “Their steady support carries us through challenging times and helps uphold U-M’s position among the top universities in the world.”


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