Published On: Thu, Sep 15th, 2016

Gilbert, Ross each donate $5 million largest gifts in Wayne Law history




Real estate developers, who owns the Miami Dolphins Stephen Ross and Dan Gilbert founder of Quicken Loans and owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, are each donating $5 million to Wayne State University Law School.

The pair gifts – both alumni of the school – represent the largest donations in the law school’s history.

The gifts from Ross and Gilbert are part of Wayne State University’s $750 million Pivotal Moments fundraising campaign. Including their gifts, the campaign has raised more than $590 million. With their gifts, the law school has raised nearly $24 million of its $30-million goal for the campaign.

Ross and Gilbert’s gifts will establish the Benson Legacy Fund and the Benson Endowed Enhancement Fund for Wayne Law. Ross and Gilbert named the funds in recognition of Dean Jocelyn Benson who  is leaving the Detroit school at the end of September. In a statement, she says it’s a “historic investment.”

Ross, class of 1965,  Ross is chairman and founder of Related Companies, through which he developed the Time Warner Center in New York City. His latest project, Hudson Yards, is described as building a new city within Midtown Manhattan. Formed in 1972, Related includes more than 3, 000 professionals. It has developed more than $22 billion in real estate and owns real estate assets valued at more than $30 billion.

Ross, whose total donations to higher education rank behind only those of fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg, also is owner of
Sun Life Stadium.

In 2015, he founded the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, a venture led by professional sports organizations and networks, including the NFL, NBA and ESPN, to improve race relations in America.

Gilbert, class of 1987,  began moving his family of companies to Detroit’s central business district in 2010 to help lead Detroit’s transformation. He has invested more than $2.2 billion to buy and renovate more than 95 commercial properties in the city’s urban core. Thousands of jobs have been created, and today more than 15, 000 team members in his company Rock Ventures work in downtown Detroit.


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