The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has received a $20 million gift from former General Mills CEO Stephen Sanger and his wife Karen Sanger to launch a new center that will expand the school’s leadership development programming.
According to an announcement made Thursday by the school, the new Sanger Leadership Center builds upon the current activities of the Ross Leadership Initiative — including the annual Impact Challenge and Crisis Challenge, Legacy Lab, Story Lab, and skills-based workshops — as well as the Leaders Academy, where students create, launch and lead actual businesses.
Ross students will use the center as a resource for personalized coaching, development, and feedback, while faculty will take advantage of the center to help develop cutting-edge ideas and new leadership practices.
“Leadership development is a strategic imperative for companies around the world—it is one of those burning issues that keeps CEOs up at night,” says Alison Davis-Blake, Edward J. Frey Dean of the Ross School, who expressed her appreciation for the Sangers’ generosity and commitment to expanding the school’s most intensive, realistic leadership development opportunities.
One of the things that sets Ross graduates apart is their leadership skills, says Sanger, who received his MBA from the University of Michigan in 1970. “This difference reflects the innovative, hands-on programs of the Ross Leadership Initiative. Karen and I are honored to support the continued growth and development of this program through the establishment of the Sanger Leadership Center.”
The Sangers’ gift is part of the university-wide Victors for Michigan campaign, which kicked off in 2013 with a goal of raising $4 billion.