Wayne State University in Detroit Reaches $750M Campaign Goal Three Months Early


Wayne State University in Detroit today announced its Pivotal Moments: Our Campaign for Wayne State University has reached its $750 million goal three months early. The targeted close date is still Sept. 30, and those interested still have time to participate.

“This is a very special moment for Wayne State,” says M. Roy Wilson, president of the university. “This campaign was timed to conclude this year while celebrating our 150th anniversary, and we have been embracing our look-back while working toward the future. The impact of the support we received from our alumni, friends, and faculty, and staff during Pivotal Moments — nearly 84,000 donors and counting — is already being felt and will endure for decades.”

The fundraising campaign was Wayne State’s most ambitious and was publicly launched in October 2014. It focuses on student success, research and faculty support, facilities and spaces, and community outreach.

The primary goal is student support. More than $125 million has been raised to create new or enhance existing scholarship funds for students. At least one-quarter of funds raised are slated to be new gifts toward the university’s endowment. To date, the amount of new endowment commitments has exceeded the goal by 5 percent. An additional $23.7 million has been designated for non-endowed scholarship support.

More than $90 million has been raised to support faculty members in their research and teaching, and more than $60 million has been raised to build or refurbish campus facilities. Nearly $35 million of the campaign total has come from gifts of $1,000 or less. About 50 percent of funds from individual donors are non-alumni.

“Wayne State has been in Detroit making an impact for 150 years,” says Susan Burns, vice president of development and alumni affairs. “The gifts received during this campaign allow us to look forward, build on our strengths and take students and faculty to higher levels of achievement.”

Wayne State will host an on-campus celebration on Friday, Oct. 26 in tandem with the school’s 150th anniversary.

Significant gifts include $40 million from Mike and Marian Ilitch for the Mike Ilitch School of Business, the largest gift in university history. The couple also donated $8.5 million for the School of Medicine to create the Ilitch Chair for Surgical Innovation in the Department of Surgery. The department was renamed the Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery.

In turn, James A. and Patricia Anderson donated $25 million to promote entrepreneurship through the James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute. Mort Harris donated $10 million to support students in the Wayne Med-Direct program, while Stephen M. Ross and Dan Gilbert together donated the same amount for the Law School. Gretchen Valade donated $9.5 million for the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center and the jazz studies program.

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