UMD Applauds Ilitch Family's Transformational $40 Million Leadership Gift to Wayne State University

Nov 03, 2015, 11:26 ET from United Macedonian Diaspora

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) praises our fellow Macedonian Companions with roots from Macedonia, Mr. Michael and Mrs. Marian Ilitch, for their tremendously generous gift of $40 million to Wayne State University, which will be used to establish a cutting edge business school in the heart of Detroit -- to be named the Mike Ilitch School of Business. The gift is the largest single contribution that the University has ever received, and is one of the ten largest gifts ever given to a public business school in the United States.


Announcing the gift, Mike Ilitch said, "Marian and I have experienced in our own lives how entrepreneurship creates opportunity, builds community and drives philanthropy.  We're thrilled to work with Wayne State to bring those same values to the next generation of Detroit entrepreneurs in a new state-of-the-art business school."

"Wayne State University is a cornerstone institution in Detroit's past, present and future, and this gift is one of my parents' most substantial demonstrations yet of their love for their hometown and its people," said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.  "The new Mike Ilitch School of Business will offer a high-profile location, an iconic building and unique programs that will help shape leaders who will continue to move this community forward."

"Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch's creative vision for Detroit and their lifetime of unmatched leadership in their community are truly inspirational.  They embody the American dream – and they are true role models for American society," stated UMD Co-Founder and President Metodija A. Koloski.

Michigan-based UMD Board Member George Peters added that "Macedonians in Michigan, around the nation, and globally are immensely proud of Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, and their entire family, for being such exceptional citizens of our community and the country.  As a Wayne State graduate (Class of '85), I am personally humbled by their generosity and dedication to the city of Detroit, and I laud their commitment to improve education for America's future business leaders."

Wayne State University has a large Macedonian-American student body, and one of its student body organizations – the Macedonian-American Student Association (MASA) – could not be prouder of what this means for the University.

"The recent donation to Wayne State University by Mike and Marian Ilitch makes me enormously proud to be both a Macedonian-American and a current business student in Detroit.  The Ilitches have generously made it possible to give future business leaders of Detroit and beyond a rigorous, top-drawer college education.  It also makes me happy to see fellow Macedonian-Americans contributing to the revitalization of Detroit," said Alex Atanasovski, MASA President, as well as President of the Beta Alpha Psi Honorary Accounting Organization at the Mike Ilitch School of Business. 

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., UMD is the leading voice of our nation's more than half a million Americans of Macedonian roots, of which Michigan is home to an historic and sizable community.

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SOURCE United Macedonian Diaspora