The has announced a $50 million gift from Ronald N. and Eileen L. Weiser in support of a range of departments and programs at U-M.
The gift to the $4 billion campaign includes $25 million for the . Established in 2008 with a $10 million gift from the couple, the center explores how democracies emerge, how autocracies endure, and the conditions necessary for assuring and extending political, social, and economic freedom. The gift also will establish an endowed fund in support of the Weiser Family Entrepreneurship Awards and the (MAP) at the university's ; support the program in the School of Education; add to the Kondziolka Artistic Leadership Fund at the ; accelerate the development of the ; and support athletic facility upgrades.
Ronald Weiser graduated in 1966 from U-M's school of business and in 1968 founded ., a real estate investment company, where he served as chairman and CEO until 2001, when he became U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic. He currently serves on the boards of the and the and also co-chairs the Victors for Michigan campaign's leadership board with his wife. Eileen Lappin Weiser, who earned a master's degree in piano performance from Michigan, has served on the university's Musical Society board of directors and is a member of the society's Senate. She is a past executive director of the McKinley Foundation and served for eight years on the .
"The Weisers' very generous gift reflects their involvement throughout the university," said U-M president Mark S. Schlissel. "Their support of emerging democracies, health care, teacher preparation, business education, the arts, and athletics is a tremendous vote of confidence in our work. This gift demonstrates their understanding of the need to provide opportunities for our students."