January 2024 video message

Dear colleagues and friends across the University of Michigan community,

As 2024 continues to open, it’s a moment to mark an important milestone.

This year, we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. For the past century, the school has been committed to the idea that together, we can build a better world through business.

In 1900, U-M offered its first business classes, and twenty-four years later, it broke ground on the School of Business Administration, a school that had 14 faculty members – including one of the first women to be part of a business school – and about 28 students.

From the beginning, the school has led with ideals, educated purpose-driven leaders, and shaped the business education landscape.

The school’s Bureau of Business Research was formally established in October 1925, and in 1926, faculty member William Paton founded the Accounting Review, the oldest scholarly journal in the field.

In the 1950s, the school introduced its first stand-alone, non-degree program for continuing education of business executives, a precursor to today’s Executive Education programs.

In 1991, it helped transform business education again, through its signature Multidisciplinary Action Projects Program, also known as MAP. The MAP program is a full-time, seven-week project where teams of students come together to work on a real-world business challenge for a sponsor company. 

Over the decades, the school broadened its degree offerings to serve an even wider set of business learners and future leaders. The school debuted its Global MBA Program in 1996, and in 2001, it launched its Executive MBA Program, aimed at business leaders.

In 2004, the school was renamed the Stephen M. Ross School of Business in honor of the historic $100M gift by the real estate developer and U-M alumnus.

Michigan Ross continued to innovate, unveiling a 10-month Master of Management degree in 2014, for recent graduates in liberal arts, sciences, or engineering. It was also the first top-ranked U.S. business school to offer an online MBA program, and its Ph.D. program is responsible for training some of the most influential academics at other top business schools around the world.

Today, Michigan Ross is ranked among the best business schools in the world by The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

That the school has achieved so much is thanks to its outstanding people.

One of those was Professor Alfred Edwards, our Portrait of a Wolverine. Dr. E, as he was known to his students, joined the faculty as a professor of business administration and director of the division of research in 1974, and was a driving force in recruiting and mentoring minority students. He left an indelible legacy, his exceptional contributions to increasing diversity, and strengthening excellence, at the academy, and in the countless students whose lives he changed.

So please join me in congratulating the Ross School of Business on 100 years of impact and academic excellence, and in looking forward to many more years of achievement, possibility and purpose.