Ross School announces $200M fundraising goal, $8.5M in gifts

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The Stephen M. Ross School of Business is launching a new fundraising initiative called Foundations for Success, with the goal of raising $200 million to increase access to its top-ranked business programs and support students at the school.

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The initiative aims to boost the business school’s ability to recruit exceptional students through scholarships and provide funding for educational and experiential opportunities at the Ross School and beyond.

The school also is announcing three new gifts totaling $8.5 million.

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

Fellow advisory board member and alumna Jane Okun Bomba and her husband, Gary Bomba, also committed $2 million in need-based scholarship support for students affiliated with the Ross Business+Impact initiative 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.

As exemplified by these gifts, the Foundations for Success Initiative will help the Ross School 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 Ross dean, William Davidson Professor of Business Administration, and professor of business economics in the Ross School; and professor of economics in LSA.

“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.” 

The Foundations for Success Initiative will continue to build on the many other significant student-support gifts to Ross in the past academic year. They include:

  • Alumni Stephen M. Ross and Jeff Blau gave $6 million to help the school further its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through 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.

The Ross School also recently introduced two merit-based, full-tuition scholarships for full-time MBA students: the Dean’s Impact Scholarship and the Dean’s Fellowship.

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, 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.”

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