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Real estate tycoon Ross donates $200M to University of Michigan

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:24 a.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — New York real estate magnate and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is donating $200 million to the University of Michigan for its business school and athletics programs, the largest single donation to the school and among the largest single gifts in higher education history, officials announced Wednesday.

The money will be split between the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and University of Michigan Athletics, and raises Ross' total giving to his alma mater to more than $313 million, the school said in a statement. The Athletic Campus is expected to be named the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus.

“Stephen Ross' vision has always been about the ability of facilities to transform the human experience,” school President Mary Sue Coleman said in the statement. “He understands the power of well-conceived spaces, and his generosity will benefit generations of Michigan students, faculty and coaches.

“This historic gift is not only an investment in the University of Michigan, but also in our state. Steve Ross believes deeply in our collective future as national and global leaders.”

Earlier this year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $350 million to Johns Hopkins University, and in July the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust gave a $250 million donation to Centre College in Kentucky.

In Michigan, specific projects will be announced in the coming months, the school said. In addition, scholarships will be available to Ross students.

The Ross School of Business proposes to create new spaces for students to study, collaborate and connect with each other, faculty and potential employers. Classrooms will include advanced technology to support in-person and virtual collaboration.

With the additional funding, University of Michigan Athletics plans to improve its campus to help athletes succeed on the playing field and in the classroom, improve its facilities and build sites to be a destination for local, state, national and international competitions.

Ross earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Michigan Business School in 1962, a law degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and a master of law degree in taxation from New York University.

“The University of Michigan had a profound impact on my life and I have received enormous satisfaction from being able to give back to the institution that played such a critical role in my success,” Ross said.

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