According to a story from the Seattle Times, a massive $150 million gift from Richard and Susan Rogel to the University of Michigan is slated to go towards the school’s Comprehensive Cancer Research Center. The center is slated to be renamed in honor of its largest donors.
Richard is a graduate from the university’s business program. The Rogel family has had a difficult time with cancer; Richard lost his father pancreatic cancer, and Susan’s parents were also taken by cancer. Her daughter Ilene also died from cancer. When Ilene first got cancer, the family was shocked by the lack of useful treatment options, and realized that giving back was the least they could do after the tragic effect that cancer has had on their lives.
The donation is one of the largest in the history of the university, and the massive funding boost is expected to be a major draw for cancer scientists from across the planet. The money will go towards new scholarship and professorship programs. The university also plans to use some of it to supply grants to teams of cancer researchers that will design new methods to allow for earlier detection of cancer, as well as improved monitoring and treatment approaches. Many of the most lethal cancers, including pancreatic cancer, are often deadly because they can escape detection in the early stages when they would be more vulnerable to effective treatment.
Overall, the new funding boost will allow the center to increase the pace of its research goals, which has the potential to save thousands of lives. In addition, it will create opportunities for the next generation of medical researchers that want to focus their careers on fighting cancer.
This is not the first time that the Rogels have donated to the university. The family has also given to the medical school and to the center of Chinese studies.