The University Record, April 17, 2000

$22 million gift from Rogels supports financial aid

By Judy Malcolm
Office of Development

Susan (left) and Rich Rogel
President Lee C. Bollinger announced last week that Richard (B.B.A. ’70) and Susan Rogel are making a gift of $22 million in support of financial aid for undergraduate, non-resident students at the University. This is the largest gift ever made to the University for financial aid.

In making the announcement, Bollinger noted, “The Rogels are true University citizens, having made generous gifts to units throughout the University as well as being active volunteers. Their support for a wide range of units and programs is exceptional. This latest gift is a leadership gift in every sense of that term. If we are going to attract the best students, we have to provide more scholarships, and to do that we need the generous support of alumni and friends. Rich and Susan care deeply about this issue, and their gift will make a significant difference.”

The Rogels have made gifts to support minority undergraduate students in business administration and to provide discretionary funds for the Business School and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, as well as funds for the Athletic Department; School of Music; LS&A; Medical School; School of Social Work; the University Musical Society; Hill Auditorium; and non-resident, undergraduate student financial aid.

During the Campaign for Michigan (1992–97), Richard Rogel served as the Business School’s National Campaign Committee chair and on the Detroit Major Gifts Committee. He currently serves as the chairman of the School’s development advisory board, as Alumni Association president, and as a member of a small advisory group to Bollinger.

Susan Rogel’s love of music led her to be a volunteer for the Hill Auditorium fundraising effort and for the School of Music. Both the Rogels received Presidential Societies Service Citations in recognition of their exceptional leadership in fundraising activities.

Provost Nancy Cantor commented on another area in which Richard Rogel has become involved: “Rich is serving on the Commission on the Undergraduate Experience, and he has been active in discussions with deans, faculty members and students about the serious need for more financial aid. He and Susan are addressing one of our highest University priorities.”

Richard Rogel, who was a non-resident undergraduate student at the U-M, has often expressed his concern that the University of Michigan retain its democratic heritage, a place available to people no matter what their circumstances, their race, their color, their backgrounds, and very importantly, their financial situation. “I was able to be a student at Michigan by working my way through school. My roommate had a scholarship. So I know from personal experience the vital role financial aid plays. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to go to Michigan by working one’s way through. We have to keep the University’s doors open to the talented, able students who want to come here. Susan and I know how essential it is that the University offer better financial aid packages to prospective undergraduates. We want the University to have great students from Michigan and from around the nation and the world.”

In addition, the Rogels recently established the Rogel Award of Excellence Scholarship Program, for outstanding non-resident students admitted to the University. While the University is able to meet the financial needs of all in-state students with a combination of scholarships, loans, grants and work-study positions, it is not able to do the same for non-resident students. A non-resident student, after receiving the maximum aid package, including grants, work-study and subsidized loans, on average faces a gap of unmet financial need of $10,000. As a result, each year Michigan loses an increasing number of outstanding students to schools that can better meet their financial needs.

With their latest gift, the Rogels will contribute $500,000 a year as a base amount for 14 years, with each annual payment growing to account for increases in non-resident tuition. At the end of this period, they will make a gift of $15 million. In this way they will provide immediate funds for financial aid and then a substantial endowment fund for future need. The Rogels want to maintain some flexibility in the use of their gift so that, over time, it has maximum impact in attracting able students.

The University is in the planning stages for a new fundraising campaign to address vital issues such as financial aid, the undergraduate experience, the life sciences, the information revolution, and arts and culture. Through their volunteer work at Michigan, the Rogels are involved in the planning discussions. “We want ours to be an early gift in the new campaign, and we hope others will follow. We all need to consider supporting the University to the very best of our financial ability,” they said.

In 1982, Richard Rogel conceived and founded Preferred Provider Organization of Michigan (PPOM), which became one of the fastest growing privately owned businesses in the country. In 1996, he sold it to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan. The Rogels live in Avon, Colo.