Ilitch School alumna donates 'sticky space' to new facility

Since graduating in 1973 with a bachelor’s of science in business administration, Wayne State University alumna Angela Rankin-Yohannes has worked tirelessly to give back to the school she credits for her professional success.

Rankin-Yohannes has served on the WSU Alumni Association Board of Directors for ten years, and she is a member of the Alumni Association’s Past Presidents Council and was previously a member of the Board of Visitors for the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. Because of her love for the arts, Rankin-Yohannes says she continues to support the Hilberry and Bonstelle theatres as a season-ticket holder and through donations. In addition to her involvement with WSU, she also volunteers at soup kitchens, food banks and her church.

Of her continued involvement with the university, Rankin-Yohannes said, “It is my way of paying a debt of gratitude that I owe to Wayne State for providing me with the financial means of getting an outstanding education in the real world.”

Most recently, she made a $10,000 gift to the Mike Ilitch School of Business to name a sticky space in the school’s new building in the District Detroit. Sticky spaces, tucked into various hallways, will operate as informal study areas for students before and after classes.

“I look for ways give back in time, talent and treasure to pay my debt of gratitude for the numerous ways that I have been blessed throughout my life,” Rankin-Yohannes said.

After earning her degree, Rankin-Yohannes worked for 32 years at Ford Motor Company in its human resources department. She held numerous positions with the automaker, beginning as a graduate trainee and retiring with a position in executive management in October 2005.  Rankin-Yohannes was also the first in her family to graduate with a college degree.

In 2018, the Ilitch School will 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. The new location brings students closer to the heart of Detroit’s business community and enhances access to internship and career opportunities.

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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