Ilitch School received metro Detroit's single largest philanthropic gift this year
Wayne State University received a $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch – the largest single gift over a year’s time. The Mike Ilitch School of Business officially broke ground in July for what will be a 120,000-square-foot, four-story building housing state-of-the-art technology, classrooms, labs, offices, a conference learning center, open collaboration space and support facilities for up to 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. A donor agreement finalized in October 2015 calls for $35 million to go toward construction of the school, at Woodward Avenue and Temple Street, within District Detroit, the $1.3 billion development project that also includes the new $627.5 million Detroit Red Wings arena set to open next fall. Wayne State’s Law School received a $10 million ($5 million each) from Dan Gilbert and Stephen Ross to create the Benson Legacy Fund and Benson Endowed Enhancement Fund for Wayne Law. The largest donations in the school's history were named after outgoing Dean Jocelyn Benson, who left to become CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which was founded by Ross. The funds will be used for classroom renovations, new construction, technology enhancements and student and faculty scholarships, among other things. Gilbert, founder and chairman of Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. and Rock Ventures LLC, and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, received his law degree from WSU in 1987. Ross, chairman of real estate development company The Related Cos. and owner of the Miami Dolphins, received his in 1965.