At a school with the prestige and history of the University of Michigan, it is pretty difficult to make history, but Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross achieved that goal, and he did so with his wallet.
Ross, a Michigan alum, has donated a staggering $200 million to the university as part of an expansive plan to develop both the business and athletic programs. According to a university announcement on Wednesday, Ross’s donation is the single largest one of its kind in Michigan history, and the $200 million puts him in a class nationwide with virtually no one other than Oklahoma State mogul T. Boone Pickens.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, the former CEO of Dominos Pizza, said that the massive donation was simply part of a $350 million project to overhaul 16 different items at the university.
Competitively, this could mark a huge shift at Michigan. In the past, the school has marketed its tradition and academic excellence, but with this move, they are now in the running with the upper-echelon SEC and national programs in terms of what they can offer to student athletes. The new facilities provided with the help of this donation will transform the campus as it stands now, and that is no small feat in a town like Ann Arbor.
Prior to this, I’m not sure that Stephen Ross’s choice in university was well-known, but it certainly is now.