Today, the University announced an incredible gift from an extraordinary couple – Rich and Susan Rogel. Rich and Susan have given the University $50 million — $30 million for medical school scholarships, $10 million for the U-M Center for Chinese Studies and $10 million for future U-M initiatives.
I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the Rogels’ amazing demonstration of support for our University, our Health System and our mission to serve others and cultivate future generations of leaders and best. At the same time, I am not surprised that Rich and Susan would make such a gift. No matter what might be happening in their own lives, they are always looking for ways to help others and make the world a better place. They’ve done this by funding scholarships in the Ross School of Business, the School of Social Work, and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, in addition to the Medical School. They partnered with us to create the Max Rogel Research Fellowship in Pancreatic Cancer and the Allen H. Blondy Research Fellowship for Melanoma. And most recently, when they experienced the painful and tragic loss of Susan’s daughter last year, they honored her by establishing the Ilene Ross Joseph Memorial Fund in Personalized Medicine.
In addition to generous gifts of dollars, Rich has given us an even more valuable gift over the years by volunteering his time, energy and vision in a number of advisory roles. I have been privileged to work closely with Rich in his role as a longstanding member of the Health System Advisory Group, which is a small group of external volunteers who are very dedicated to Michigan and to our Health System, and provide strategic counsel and input on a variety of matters relevant to our tripartite mission.
Then, last May, I had the unique privilege of spending time in China with Rich and experiencing the country through his eyes. A true citizen of the world, Rich has been a wonderful supporter of our Health System’s and University’s important collaborations with universities in China, even to the point of establishing the Richard Rogel China Research and Travel Endowment fund in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Rich believes in the amazing possibilities that can emerge through global entrepreneurship, medical innovation and scholarship opportunities for University of Michigan faculty and students. Of memorable note, while we were in China Rich also introduced me to some of the spiciest food I have ever eaten. In addition to a heart of gold, that man has a mouth of steel!
And now, once again, Rich honors us with his time, energy and vision by agreeing to serve as chair of the Health System component of the Victors for Michigan Campaign. I cannot think of a more gifted, inspiring, dedicated and articulate person to lead our Health System campaign and serve as our champion.
Rich is a brilliant and adept businessman and entrepreneur, who believes in using his own success to enable that of others. He is a man who embraces new and different ideas and perspectives, and creates opportunities for others to do so, as well. He is someone I consider a great friend and role model, who has encouraged me to grow and be a better leader and person. And he is true Blue.
Thank you Rich, and thank you Susan. We are so fortunate to have you as our Victors.