Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson, Mayor Mike Duggan, city council president Brenda Jones and Christopher Ilitch broke ground today at the location of the new home of Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business. The new site is located in the District Detroit just steps from the construction site of the new Little Caesar’s Arena.
“The new Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business will shape tomorrow’s leaders for Detroit and beyond in an incredible new facility offering innovative programs, a signature location on Woodward Avenue and unmatched access to iconic Detroit companies,” said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. “Today’s events represent the next important steps in bringing to life one of the most substantial demonstration yet of my parents’ love for Detroit and its people, and their hope and belief in its future.”
Last year, Michael and Marian Ilitch donated $40 million to Wayne State University, the largest donation the university has ever received.
Dean of the Mike Ilitch School of Business Robert Forsythe said students, faculty and staff are excited about the donation.
“We’ve already seen a boost in applications as a result of the gift announcement last fall, as prospective students recognize the opportunity that comes from studying in an innovative environment like this,” said Dean Forsythe. “Excitement about the new building and what it will mean for our curriculum is already generating positive results for our school.”
More than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students will study at the Mike Ilitch School of Business. The curriculum, Dean Forsythe said, will set students on the path of success in entrepreneurship. Open collaboration spaces, student support facilities and a conference learning center, Dean Forsythe said, will provide an interactive learning environment for students.
Esthetically, president Wilson said, the design of the school will add to the beautiful landscape of the District Detroit.
“The glass façade and design elements, such as a café and the indoor-outdoor spaces, make the Mike Ilitch School of Business both visually striking and inviting to the greater Detroit community,” said President Wilson. “This new home for our business school will create a beautiful and accessible gateway connecting Midtown and downtown Detroit for our students, faculty and the community alike. It’s a fitting and elegant design for a world-class business school made possible by entrepreneurs who throughout their career have been dedicated to opening up a world of opportunities for the people of Detroit.”
Construction for the Mike Ilitch School of Business will begin sometime this year. Smith Group JJR, a Detroit based architectural firm, headed the design process of the school and Detroit-based Christman-Brinker will act as Construction Manager for the project.
Students will begin taking classes at the new Mike Ilitch School of Business in 2018.