With their visionary gift, Richard and Susan Rogel help shape the future of medical education — and medicine itself.
Investor Richard Rogel (B.B.A. 1970) and Susan Rogel want the best and brightest future physicians to continue to come to the University of Michigan Medical School to study medicine and enter their chosen medical specialty free from debt. They also believe that strengthening the Chinese studies program at the university will lead to mutually beneficial engagement, research and global collaboration.
The Rogels will step up their already extraordinary commitment to the university with a $50 million gift toward these goals.
The gift — $30 million for scholarships at the U-M Medical School and $10 million in support for faculty, students and programs at the Center for Chinese Studies in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, plus $10 million for future university initiatives — comes as Richard Rogel takes on a leadership role in U-M’s new Victors for Michigan campaign, which launched on November 8. He will serve as vice chair of the campaign and chair the Health System component of the broader campaign. For the Health System, he’ll lead the effort to garner support for education, patient care and research programs across the Medical School and the hospitals and health centers.
The new gift — the largest to Medical School scholarships in U-M history — brings the Rogels’ lifetime giving to the U-M to nearly $76 million and places them among the university’s top donors. The Rogels have given to many areas of the Health System, including the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Medical School and a medical innovation training program.
“As the strain on our other funding sources increases,” says Ora Pescovitz, M.D., the U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the U-M Health System, “philanthropy of all kinds — and the campaign that Rich will chair — will be more vital than ever to ensuring our ability to train future physicians and scientists, produce groundbreaking discoveries, and deliver excellent patient care.”
U-M Medical School Dean James O. Woolliscroft, M.D. (Residency 1980), praises the Rogels’ focus on giving in a way that will help the most promising future doctors. “We look forward to fulfilling the Rogels’ vision of selecting the highest-achieving medical students for scholarships that will free them to fulfill their potential as physician leaders in a wide range of medical disciplines,” Woolliscroft says. “We also deeply appreciate Rich and Susan’s commitment to leading the effort to raise crucial support for our entire Health System.”
Currently, half of U-M’s 692 medical students receive some scholarship or grant support, including one student who holds a scholarship previously endowed by the Rogels.
With tuition and fees for a Michigan medical education currently about $30,000 a year for in-state students and $48,000 a year for out-of-state students, most students graduate with large loans they must repay over time as they launch their careers. The medical school has been working to keep that load as low as possible. Nationally, the steep debt faced by graduating medical students is thought to influence what medical or surgical specialty they choose for post-graduation residency.
Rogel brings to the new campaign his experience as chair of the Michigan Difference campaign, which raised $3.2 billion for the U-M from 2004-08. He is a member of the Health System Advisory Group — external volunteer advisors who provide strategic counsel and input on the Health System’s tripartite mission of clinical care, research and education. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Pancreatic Cancer Board of Directors.
Susan Rogel will serve on the Steering Committee of the Victors for Michigan Campaign Leadership Board. She has served on the Alumni Association Campaign Committee and the Mott Hospital Leadership Team.
The Rogels live in Avon, Colorado, where Richard Rogel serves as president of the investing firm Tomay Inc. He is the former chairman and CEO of the Preferred Provider Organization of Michigan, one of the first PPOs in the country.
“This university gave me so much, and Susan and I want to give back in ways that will make a difference to students and the health system as a whole,” Rogel, who received an honorary law degree from the Law School in 2009, says. “With this gift, and my new role in the campaign, we hope to do our part to help all patients, now and tomorrow, who will be touched by the U-M Health System’s care, discoveries and innovative minds. We hope others will do what they can, too.”
To learn more about the Victors for Michigan campaign,