The University of Michigan on Thursday announced the creation of the Och Initiative for Women in Finance in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
The initiative is made possible through a significant gift by Jane C. and Daniel S. Och of Scarsdale, New York, through the Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation.
The goal of the Och Initiative for Women in Finance is to increase awareness among undergraduate students about careers for women in finance and increase access to those career paths through mentorships, coursework, action-based learning projects, professional development workshops and co-curricular programming.
The initiative will launch this fall.
Jane Och, who received her undergraduate business degree and a master’s degree in accounting from the Ross School, is a former associate at Goldman Sachs. Daniel Och founded Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC in 1994, one of the world’s largest institutional alternative asset managers. He serves as CEO, executive managing director and chairman.
The couple has been active at U-M as high-level volunteers, serving the Victors for Michigan campaign leadership board. Jane Och also serves on the President’s Advisory Group and the Ross BBA Advisory Committee.
Jane and Dan Och believe in the importance of creating this initiative at the Ross School to encourage women to enter business school and to pursue careers in finance.
“We are very pleased to be supporting such an important initiative and are proud to be affiliated with the Ross School and the University of Michigan,” Jane Och said.
“It is important that future generations of business leaders see themselves reflected in the careers they are considering, whether on Wall Street or Main Street,” said Alison Davis-Blake, the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Ross School.
“Lack of role models in some sectors of the economy is a challenge for students across the country as they make career choices, so we are grateful the Ochs chose to create this initiative here at Ross. It will further our efforts to inspire more young women to consider business school and finance careers as places where they can succeed and make a positive difference.”
The Ochs are also making significant gifts for facilities at the Ross School and in the athletic department, which will include a named space in the Ross School and will contribute toward the continued transformation of the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dan and Jane for their investment in Michigan Athletics. Their support for our vision of providing all 31 of our teams an academic and athletic experience that is truly ‘leaders and best’ is so important and much appreciated,” said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics.
The couple’s previous philanthropy to Michigan includes support for the expansion and renovation of the Ross School, which led to the naming of the school’s Och Fitness Center in 2009. They also contributed vital resources to the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex.
This gift will be counted as a part of the current Victors for Michigan campaign. The campaign, which publicly launched in November 2013, has a goal of raising $4 billion to support three university priorities: student support, engaged learning and bold ideas for the public good.