Ilitch Business alumnus and family donate $50,000 to new facility

Wayne State University alumnus Bill Avery, along with his wife Kim, made a generous donation to the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business. To recognize their $50,000 pledge, two group rooms and a “sticky space” in the new Ilitch School facility will be named for the Averys.

The William and Kimberly Avery Group Rooms will serve as spaces where students can convene for study groups or to collaborate and conceptualize on various projects. The Averys will also have a sticky space named after them. Sticky spaces, tucked into various hallways throughout the new facility, will operate as informal study areas for students before and after classes.

Bill Avery arrived at Wayne State the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship and a member of the WSU baseball team. Since graduating in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance, he said giving back has always been important to him.

“I have always believed in giving back,” Avery said. “When I was younger, I gave back as much time as I could at the [Wayne State] Alumni Association, as a mentor and with the Wayne State Dugout Club. Now, I’m grateful to be able to give back financially as well.”

In 1999, Avery helped form the Wayne State Dugout Club as a grassroots effort to find and engage over 1,000 former student athletes of the program at a time when the internet was still in its infancy and social media didn’t exist. Today, the organization boasts 500 members who receive regular updates from Warrior Baseball Coach Ryan Kelley on the current team as well as alumni. The alumni group also hosts a successful alumni weekend every year.

“A committee of former players and the coaching staff organize the annual Alumni Baseball Game and Golf Outing in the fall,” he said. “We are proud that the efforts of the Dugout Club have helped raise nearly $200,000 for the program.”

Bill said he and Kim are excited to see what kind of opportunities the move of the Ilitch School to its new facility in the District Detroit will bring to current business students.

“The building is like a bridge between the school and the Detroit business community,” he said. “The prominent location as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, auditoriums and meeting rooms will attract many of the area’s top business leaders to offer their experience and expertise to the students.”

In June, the Ilitch School made the move to its new facility at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Temple Street, made possible by a $40 million lead gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch. Fall 2018 upper division classes will be the first to be held in the new building. The new location brings students closer to the heart of Detroit’s business community and enhances access to internships and career opportunities.

Bill is a senior vice president at UBS Financial Services, where he has worked diligently and advanced in the company since joining as a financial advisor in 1996. Kim Avery is a speech pathologist for Detroit Public Schools. They have two children, Aaron and Allison.

The new home of the Mike Ilitch School of Business offers a unique selection of facility naming options. Such opportunities help underwrite remaining construction costs and long-term care of the new facility. Naming opportunities range from $10,000 for a student work area to $4 million to support the trading room/finance and data analytics lab. To learn more, contact Major Gift Officer Amy Heitman at 313-577-9208 or

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