VP for Development's Report

Tom Baird's portrait

I am pleased to share an update on donor support in FY 2019. It was a historic year on many fronts, including two major midyear milestones: completion of the Victors for Michigan campaign and the retirement of Vice President Emeritus Jerry May. Both leave a legacy of tremendous impact, positioning the university for future success and challenging us to achieve even greater heights in years to come.

Victors for Michigan

In October 2018, we became the first public university to surpass $5 billion in a fundraising campaign, and on December 31, 2018, the 7.5-year Victors for Michigan campaign concluded. Nearly 400,000 donors gave a total of $5.28 billion, including:

  • $1.22 billion for student support, enabling U-M to expand opportunities for all students, regardless of background, and enrich the educational experience;

  • $1.71 billion for innovative programs in areas such as engaged learning, patient care, music, arts, libraries and more;

  • $1.47 billion for distinguished faculty and research across all 19 schools and colleges, UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn; and

  • $676 million for world-class facilities including research laboratories, student housing, classrooms, music/arts venues, athletics and recreation.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 1,600 volunteers around the world, the leadership of my predecessor, Jerry May, the vision of President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman and President Mark Schlissel and the deans, directors and regents who championed our efforts along the way, our donors are making a difference for the Michigan experience and the university’s impact around the world.

Making a Difference
Regent Ron and Mrs. Eileen Weiser's portrait

While fundraising often slows during the months before and after a campaign finish, FY 2019 has proven to be an exception. We finished FY 2019 with donors giving $484 million in payments and cash, our second highest year ever.

Below are just few examples of the many impactful gifts announced this year.

In September 2018, Regent Ron and Mrs. Eileen Weiser established the Weiser Diplomacy Center at the Ford School of Public Policy. The center launched this fall with a slate of high-profile speakers from across the political spectrum, including Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and diplomatic experts on North Korea, national security and foreign affairs.

Later in 2019, the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation made a substantial gift to expand the Michigan-Israel Partnership for Research and Education, furthering international collaboration that will benefit people not only in the U.S. and Israel, but also worldwide.

Chris and Lisa Jeffries's portrait

Chris and Lisa Jeffries made a $33 million gift commitment to support students at the U-M Law School, the largest in the school’s history, and the Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts left a legacy to two schools in the alma mater of John H. Mitchell, entertainment business pioneer and founder of Columbia Pictures Television. The Mitchell gift established an endowment in the Department of Film, Television and Media in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, as well as the Mitchell Programs for Business Ethics and Communications at Michigan Ross.

These are but a few of the hundreds of thousands of gifts to support a wide variety of passions from our community of donors. It is a joy to see the incredible impact of this giving at work on our three campuses and around the world.

"In October 2018, we became the first public university to surpass $5 billion in a fundraising campaign, and on December 31, 2018, the 7.5 year Victors for Michigan campaign concluded."

Looking ahead

As I wrap up my first year as vice president for development, I am inspired and challenged to extend the momentum through our post-campaign era and beyond. I look forward to working with our dynamic team to anticipate and adapt to new trends in philanthropy — new media, new methods, new audiences and new expectations from those who give.

As we strategize for the future, there’s at least one thing I’m confident will remain: a university with a strong history, a bold vision and a worldwide community of support to keep earning our place as Leaders and Best.

Thank you for the opportunity to lead this effort.

Go Blue!

Tom Baird's signature
Thomas A. Baird
Vice President of Development

National Campaign Leadership Board

Campaign Chair

  1. Stephen M. Ross (BBA ’62, LLD Hon ’11)

Campaign Vice Chairs

  1. Rich Rogel (BBA ’70, LLD Hon ’09)
  2. The late A. Alfred Taubman (1924–2015) (Taubman College ’48, LLD Hon ’91)
  1. Regent Ron Weiser (BBA ’66) and Eileen L. Weiser (MMus ’75)
  2. Helen Zell (AB ’64, LHD Hon ’13)

Campaign Deputy Chairs

  1. Donald C. (BSE IO ’55, MSE ’56, DEng Hon ’09) and Ingrid A. (BSDes ’57) Graham
  2. The late Penny W. (1944-2018) (BSDes ’66, TeachCert ’66) and E. Roe Stamps

Campaign Steering Committee

  1. The late Bert Askwith (1911–2015) (AB ’31)
  2. David J. Barger (AB 2017)
  3. The late J. Robert (1924-2014) (BSE ’45, MS ’47, PhD ’50) and Betty J. Beyster
  4. Jeff T. Blau (BBA ’90)
  5. Paul W. (BBA ’86) and Amy A. Blavin
  6. William K. (BS ’50, MS ’52, LLD Hon ’13) and Delores Brehm
  7. Robert M. (BSE IO ’63) and Susan C. (AB ’63) Brown
  8. Karen W. Davidson (BGS ’89)
  9. Frances (ABEd ’64, TeachCert ’64) and Kenneth (AB ’64) Eisenberg
  10. David S. (BGS ’85) and Joan E. (AB ’87) Evans
  11. Domenic​ J. (AB ’88) and Molly Ferrante
  12. Nathan (AB ’85) and Catherine Forbes
  13. Sidney and Madeline Forbes
  1. Stanley D. Frankel (AB ’63, MBA ’64)
  2. Judith C. (ABEd ’59, TeachCert ’59) and David G. Frey
  3. J. Ira (BBA ’59, LLD Hon ’12) and Nicki Harris
  4. Mike J. (BBA ’72) and Sue M. Jandernoa
  5. David B. (BBA ’89) and Meredith H. (AB ’92) Kaplan
  6. Larry Leinweber (LSA ’88, Ross ’77) and Claudia Babiarz
  7. Bryan P. (BBA ’73, MBA ’75) and Kathleen M. (ABEd ’72, TeachCert ’72) Marsal
  8. Michele D. May (BBA ’74) and David R. Walt (BS ’74)
  9. Douglas F. Meijer (BBA ’76)
  10. Hank (AB ’73) and Liesel (AB ’89) Meijer
  11. Paul M. (AB ’74) and Susan B. (BSN ’74, PhD ’82) Meister
  1. Peter C. (BS ’74, MBA ’81) and Carolyn P. Mertz
  2. Jane C. (BBA ’86, MAcc ’86) and Daniel S. Och
  3. Mary L. Petrovich (BSE IO ’85)
  4. Philip (AB ’60, Regent ’87–’98) and Kathy Power
  5. Sanford R. (BBA ’53, MBA ’54, LLD Hon ’15) and Jeanne Robertson
  6. Susan Rogel
  7. Stephen W. (MBA ’70) and Karen Sanger
  8. Craig R. (BBA ’73) and Susan L. (ABEd ’77, TeachCert ’77) Sincock
  9. Lizzie S. (AB ’94) and Jonathan M. Tisch
  10. Jim Wigginton