The University Record, April 18, 1994

University receives $12 million commitment

The University has received a $12 million commitment from Ann Lurie of Chicago, to establish the Robert H. Lurie Fund, in the name of her late husband, a member of the College of Engineering Class of 1964. The fund will be allocated to new campus buildings, including a carillon tower on North Campus.

“The exceptional nature of Ann Lurie’s generosity is made even greater by the man whose memory her gift honors,” says President James J. Duderstadt. “Robert H. Lurie was a model of entrepreneurial success who stood among the major American business leaders of our time. His vision, personal integrity, wit, and intellect established benchmark standards of excellence and achievement.”

Following completion of his bachelor of science degree in industrial and operations engineering, Robert Lurie earned a master of science degree in the same field in 1966. He died of cancer in June 1990, at the age of 48.

In making the gift, Ann Lurie remarked: “Bob cared about the University of Michigan and the intellectual and professional capabilities nurtured by his experiences in Ann Arbor. We discussed at length our mutual intent to express his gratitude and affection for this fine institution.”

Robert Lurie was president of Equity Group Investments and Great American Management and Investment, and part owner and member of the Board of Directors of both the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox. He also owned, or was a major stockholder in, Great American Management and Investment Inc., a holding company with interests in manufacturing; Equity Group Investment, a diversified, privately held company with major interests in real estate; Itel Corp.; Nucorp (subsequently named Capsure), an insurance business; and Delta Queen Steamboat Co. Lurie’s career began during his undergraduate days when he, together with fellow student and life-long partner, Sam Zell (A.B. ’63, J.D. ’66), acquired and managed a number of Ann Arbor rental properties.

Leading international architect and Michigan alumnus Charles W. Moore (A.B. Arch ’47; Hon. Ph.D. ’92) completed the design for the carillon tower for the North Campus shortly before his death in December 1993. “Bob held Charles Moore’s work in the highest regard, as did I,” commented Ann Lurie. “Our family’s involvement with the new carillon tower is a very significant, personal pleasure.”

“Ann Lurie’s devotion and her focus on quality will bring to North Campus impressive facilities and an appropriate tribute to the life and achievements of Robert H. Lurie,” says Peter M. Banks, dean of the College of Engineering.

The eldest of Ann and Robert H. Lurie’s six children, Jesse, will begin his undergraduate studies here in the fall.