Examining UM’s record-breaking $5.28 billion fundraising campaign

ross athletic campus

The new University of Michigan South Competition and Performance Campus opened in early 2018. The $168 million facility received a $100 million commitment from donor Stephen M. Ross. Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News

Campaign breakdown

ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan says its Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign was the most successful of any public university, and the final numbers are in.

A couple months after announcing the campaign had reached the $5-billion mark, the university closed out the campaign at the end of 2018, with $5.28 billion raised over a seven-and-a-half year period.

From student support, to programs to the construction of new buildings, here’s a look at how the money will be spent and who helped raise the funds.

Stephen M. Ross smiles during a press conference to announce a $200 million donation to the University of Michigan at the Ross School of Business on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. Ross’ donation during the Victors for Michigan campaign was the largest in university history. (Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News)

Who donated?

UM received donations from more than 398,000 donors, who gave 2.4 million gifts during the campaign.

While a handful of gifts UM received were among the largest in UM history, the university noted that 94 percent of donors gave less than $5,000, while almost half made their first gift to the university during the campaign.

More than half the donors – 55 percent – didn’t attend the university, while nearly 12,000 current UM students contributed $2.49 million.

The University of Michigan South Competition and Performance Campus houses the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, indoor and outdoor track and field, cross country, soccer and women’s rowing. The building project was financed by funds raised during the Victors for Michigan campaign. (Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News)

How the money is used

According to UM, a total of $1.71 billion of the funds raised will go toward “innovative programs” in areas including engaged learning, patient care, music, arts and libraries.

Another $1.47 billion is dedicated specifically to distinguished faculty and research efforts on all UM campuses.

Fundraising for research labs, student housing, music and art venues and athletic facilities accounted for $676 million in donations.

UM also surpassed its $1 billion goal for student support by raising $1.22 billion for a variety of scholarships and academic opportunities. Around 92 percent of that total goes toward more than 4,200 new scholarships and fellowships, including the Go Blue Guarantee, while 8 percent is dedicated to internships and study abroad opportunities.

Richard and Susan Rogel have committed $150 million to The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. (Photo provided | University of Michigan)


Among the $1.71 billion donated to programs, UM received its largest donation in the history of its health system.

The $150 million commitment from longtime donors Richard and Susan Rogel was intended to  boost innovative cancer research.

It also helped establish the Wolverine Pathways program, which offers a full four-year scholarship to UM to students from Ypsilanti, Southfield and Detroit who actively participate in 90 percent or more of program activities and maintain a 90 percent or better school attendance rate.

Other programs operated through Victors for Michigan campaign funds include the New York Philharmonic residency at University Musical Society and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens trail and Nichols Arboretum peony garden.

The Carr family, from left, CJ, 9, Chad, 4, Tommy, 7, parents Jason and Tammi pose for a picture next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fl., on Nov. 19, 2014. Patrick Record | The Ann Arbor News

Faculty and research

Funds raised for UM faculty and research have helped the university establish research centers like the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center. Other research programs include:

  • Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery
  • Leinweber Center for Theoretical Physics
  • Forsyth Professorship for Medieval Art

The University of Michigan Munger graduate dorms. Dominic Valente | The Ann Arbor News

Helping build UM

Pledges toward facilities have helped UM build a number of its newest campus buildings.

Some of those buildings include the $155 million Munger Graduate Residences, which opened in 2015, and the $75 million Ford Motor Company Robotics Building, which currently is under construction.

UM’s health system also benefited from a $7.5 million donation toward construction of the Aikens Hybrid Operating Suite.