The University of Michigan (U-M) has received a $110 million donation from Charles T. Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and philanthropist. This is the largest gift awarded to the university in its almost 200-year history and, as the school revealed in a statement last week, it will be mostly used to build a graduate students residence at its Ann Arbor Central Campus, on a site currently housing a parking garage between South Division and Thompson streets. A considerably smaller part of $10 million will go to fellowships that will be offered to students enrolled at U-M’s 19 schools and colleges.
The proposed student residence has already been approved by the university Board of Regents and will be named in honor of Charles T. Munger, a billionaire who studied mathematics at the university in the 1940s. It is estimated that the new eight-story development will cost around $185 million but the U-M will cover the rest from lease revenue.
Co-designed by Munger himself as a LEED Silver-certifiable revolutionary residential-academic concept, the 370,000-square-foot building is set to open in fall 2015. It will house more than 600 students, including the recipients of the fellowships funded by this record donation.
Most apartments will include seven individual sleeping /studying rooms with private baths, shared kitchens and furnished dining and living areas, while some units will have three or six bedrooms.
“We anticipate this new building will have many options for students for meetings, gathering spaces, project spaces and living accommodations that combine the best private and common space,” said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman.
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