Alumni support and corporate investment are both typically important to the financial and operational success of most of today’s universities. When they work in conjunction, fueled by a shared passion, the results can be transformative.

That’s what happened when Deloitte, University of Michigan alumni, and the Deloitte Foundation collaborated with U-M in 2015 to fund leadership initiatives at the Ross Business School. Since that time, around 700 Deloitte alumni seem to have embraced this opportunity, giving over $537,000 in funds to U-M.

The Deloitte Foundation – University of Michigan Leadership Collaboration Fund was created in an attempt to engage Deloitte U-M alumni to make an impact at their alma mater through donations matched by the Deloitte Foundation. Support for the Leadership Collaboration program led to the creation of the Ross Leaders Academy (RLA) and to significant support for the Ross Impact Challenge. RLA is an advanced six-month leadership development program for “final year” students across campus, and the Impact Challenge is an action-based learning event for all incoming business students, emphasizing team building, stretch assignments, and social impact. Since their inception, over 3600 students have participated in the Ross Impact Challenge, and 112 students have completed the Ross Leaders Academy, both offered through Ross’ Sanger Leadership Center.

Participants in the 2017 Ross Impact Challenge at Detroit’s Eastern Market.

“Offering students challenging, action-based programming can enrich the academic experience well beyond the four walls of a classroom”, says David Parent, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and U-M Lead University Principal. “We were pleased to work with U-M in setting up these programs, as the emphasis on developing future leaders is a priority shared by the Deloitte Foundation and the professionals at Deloitte.”

The gifts make a huge difference in shaping future leaders and creating transformational learning initiatives, two key goals for Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation. Courtney Black (MBA ‘17), Ross Leader Academy participant shares, “Working closely with other participants in RLA, who came from schools and programs across the university, gave me the opportunity to hear different perspectives on leadership and helped shape my own sense of how I want to lead.”

Mike Fucci, left, with Ross School of Business Dean Scott DeRue and Deloitte Partner David Parent.

Hand delivering this year’s matching gift funds was Deloitte LLP Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Deloitte Foundation, Mike Fucci, and David Parent. Nell Dority, Senior Director at the Business Engagement Center, planned an afternoon for the team, including lunch and a tour of Mcity, a meeting with Provost Martin Philbert, and a meeting with Ross School of Business Dean Scott DeRue. Bringing the donations to campus allowed them, and a few other partners from Deloitte, to see the gifts in action.

“The Deloitte Foundation’s Matching Gifts program delivers essential funds that can help continue to develop innovative U-M programs and have a potentially significant impact on students’ career journeys” Mike remarked.

Deloitte and U-M have collaborated for nearly 30 years striving to build the next generation of leaders. Nell shares, “Seeing the impact the Deloitte Foundation often has on these students’ trajectories is amazing. I love that we can be a part of win-win relationships like this one to provide opportunities for alumni to give back and make a difference in the lives of their fellow wolverines. We are grateful for Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation’s vision and commitment.”


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The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization that supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefiting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and educators. Learn more about the Deloitte Foundation.