BY REBEKAH HODGE
For the Daily
Published May 15, 2005
The newly expanded undergraduate program of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business received a $10 million donation. Thomas C. Jones made the contribution and said his intention was to provide the students with more real-world experiences pertaining to their business or marketing programs.
Jones said his goal for the donation is to integrate a more advanced MBA-like program at the undergraduate level.
“It is my hope and intent that the resources provided by this endowment will enable the Ross School to offer to future generations of undergraduate business students an exceptional educational experience unattainable without this support,” Jones said.
Traditionally, Business students have spent their first two years in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts before applying to the Ross School where they transfer in as juniors. However, the Ross School recently established a new three-year bachelor of business administration program that allows students to enter the program in their sophomore year. This will allow students to study business fundamentals earlier in their undergraduate career in order to take upper-level LSA and business courses as upperclassmen.
Jones said he hoped that his donation will provide more action-based learning, with emphasis on courses that integrate the necessary skills to solve complex business problems. For example, a potential course for undergraduates would be “Strategic Management of Knowledge in Professional Services Firms” where the students will be involved in a business case competition with real company’s executives. “The Corporation in Society” course would allow students to visit companies and other organizations abroad and study business issues.
“Students won’t just live in a world of finance or management. They’ll have a complete educational experience that integrates all business disciplines to meet the real world challenges,” Jones said.
Jeffery Mirmelstein, a recent graduate from Ross School of Business, said that while he did not feel that there was a lack of opportunity during his experience, he was excited by the prospect of additional resources.
“I hope that this gift can provide opportunities outside the classroom, like technological and research advances.” Mirmelstein said.
Jones recalled his own experiences as a business student at the University.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the guidance and support I received from the Michigan faculty and staff.” he said.
w“And because of all they’ve given me, I want to give something back.”
Robert J. Dolan, dean of the Ross School said that Jones’s contribution will allow the University to expand the opportunities available to business students at the undergraduate level.
“Tom Jones has long been a great supporter of the business school, as a BBA and MBA student, as a mentor for our undergraduates and as one of our top benefactors,” Dolan said. “Because of his remarkable foresight, Ross School undergraduates not only will continue to receive an outstanding education here at Michigan, but will have learning opportunities that other business programs cannot match. Tom’s generosity will have an indelible influence on Ross School students for years to come.”
Previously, Jones has donated $1.5 million to the Ross School of Business for the Jane M. and Chester R. Jones Undergraduate Scholarship in memory of his parents as well as for the Dean’s Innovation Fund, which helps finance innovative faculty and student projects and programs.