Wayne State University has been gifted $40 million by Detroit entrepreneurs Mike and Marian Ilitch to build a new business school in Detroit.

Pending approval by the Board of Governors, Wayne State University will receive a gift of $40 million to build a state-of-the-art business school in the Motor City. The gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch makes it the largest award in the university’s history, and one of the top ten gifts ever given to a United States public business school. The facility will extend the footprint of Wayne State’s campus and be named the Mike Ilitch School of Business in recognition of the Ilitche’s generosity, according to the press release. Upon approval by the Wayne State Board of Governors the Ilitche’s $40 million gift will include $35 million, use of land to be used for the construction of the new facility, and upon completion a $5 million endowment. The Mike Ilitch School of Business is expected to open in 2018.

An American entrepreneur, Michael Ilitch, Sr. is the founder of Little Caesars Pizza, and owner of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. His business headquarters for Ilitch Holdings is located in Detroit’s Fox Theatre which he purchased and renovated in 1989. He also owns Olympia Entertainment which was created in 1996 to focus on projects in downtown Detroit, including the $295 million Comerica Park and Ford Field.

Opened by Mandalay Resort Group, Marian Ilitch of IH Gaming purchased the MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan 1999, and became the casino’s sole owner in April 2005. In 2008 a $300 million expansion project was completed by MotorCity. The complex includes a 1,800 seat theatre able to accommodate 2,400 people, a 67,000 square foot conference center, several restaurants, a 400-room and suite luxury hotel, 13,000  square-foot spa, a 100,000 square-foot casino and two poker rooms. It is one of three casino hotels in Detroit and one of four in the Detroit-Windsor area.

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