University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods Completes $50M Campaign

The University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, has announced the completion of its $50-million Sure Foundations campaign. In total, $51 million was raised during the eight years of the fundraising effort.
University Liggett School
University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods has completed its $50-million Sure Foundations campaign. // Photo courtesy of University Liggett School

The University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, has announced the completion of its $50-million Sure Foundations campaign. In total, $51 million was raised during the eight years of the fundraising effort.

The campaign funds will be used to for several capital projects, including the construction of new athletic fields and facilities; adding to the school’s endowment to support students, faculty, and scholarships; and to enhance operations.

“Every dollar raised for this campaign goes toward fulfilling our mission to effect profound growth and understanding in our students,” says Bart Bronk, head of school at ULS. “The impact of this campaign on our school and our students will be remarkable, both in the present and the future.”

Major initiatives of the campaign include:

  • Scholarships: Donors supported numerous existing scholarships and also established scholarships in their name. The Liggett Merit Scholarship, the school’s only merit-based scholarship, has offered more than 80 students full or partial tuition for all four years of upper school.
  • Endowment: Donors further secured the school’s future with an initiative to build the endowment, a financial tool that ensures future economic stability for ULS. Academic programming and professional development, critical to attracting and retaining faculty, are funded by the endowment. The Clyde and Helen Wu Family Fund issued a $500,000 match challenge, which ultimately raised a combined $1 million for the campaign’s “Faculty of Excellence” initiative.
  • Improved capacity: Donors supported an expansion of ULS outdoor athletic facilities, enabling the largest simultaneous, contiguous installation of turf fields of any high school in the country, the school reports. Adjacent to the fields is the John and Marlene Boll Campus Center, a 30,200 state-of-the-art square foot community gathering space. This building was made possible with the $4.25 million lead campaign gift, which was also the single largest donation in the history of ULS, from John and Marlene Boll.

“Gifts come in many shapes, sizes and forms,” says John Boll, a grandfather to six ULS graduates. “The only true gifts are those that go on long after they are given. … We now leave a legacy to ensure that a superior educational institution will continue to champion the finest qualities of achievement, of excellence in sport, of character and of creativity.”

The Fruehauf Gymnasium, named for Dick and Janet Fruehauf, who sent their five of their children to Liggett, is one the Boll Campus Center’s main attractions. “We wanted to acknowledge the immense value that this school has played in our lives,” says Dick. “It’s an absolutely wonderful school.”

Moving forward, as a result of the $51 million raised through this campaign, University Liggett School will be able to:

  • Ensure that students and members of the University Liggett School community have access to state-of-the-art athletic fields, facilities, and classroom space.
  • Retain top faculty, give students access to the most advanced technology, maintain enrollment, and endow the Liggett Merit Scholars program in perpetuity.
  • Enhance academic and extracurricular programs, faculty enrichment, and other vital school operations.

In total, 2,722 people from 46 states and 5 countries donated to the Sure Foundations campaign.

University Liggett School is Michigan’s oldest, co-educational, pre-K through grade 12, independent day school.

In 1878, Rev. James D. Liggett and his family moved to Detroit to establish an independent educational institution for girls called The Detroit Home and Day School. Eventually, it accepted boys and took on the name of The Liggett School, followed by University Liggett School, and was moved twice before settling on a 50-acre campus in Grosse Pointe Woods.

For more information, visit