The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has received a pledge of $60 million from the Zell Family Foundation to further fund entrepreneurial programs at the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
According to a statement released Monday announcing the news, the funds will provide endowed support to the institute for continued delivery and development of entrepreneurship programs for students and alumni. This includes $10 million dedicated to a new fund that will invest in new student business ventures, Ross dean Alison Davis-Blake says.
UM’s Ross School of Business is a pioneer in entrepreneurial education, introducing the nation’s first course on entrepreneurship in 1927, and the first student-led venture fund, The Wolverine Venture Fund, in 1997. Two years later, the Zell Lurie Institute was established as one of the country’s first full programs dedicated to entrepreneurial education.
“Our goal is to accelerate the learning curve and the opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, as well as to build a powerful alumni network,” says Sam Zell, a University of Michigan alumnus and chairman of Equity Group Investments. “Entrepreneurs have always been a primary driver of growth for this country. I believe that fostering entrepreneurial education is an investment in the future.”
Sam and Helen Zell both have been strong supporters of their alma mater. Under their leadership, the Zell Family Foundation has provided financial support to University of Michigan of more than $150 million.
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