Associated Press
Thursday, March 29, 2018

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A $150 million gift to the University of Michigan is expected to boost cancer research at the Ann Arbor school.

The gift from Richard and Susan Rogel to the Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the largest ever made to the university, the school said in a release. On Thursday, university regents approved renaming the facility the Rogel Cancer Center.

Richard Rogel is president of investment firm Tomay Inc. He graduated in 1970 from the university’s business school. His wife, Susan, is on the steering committee of the Victors for Michigan National Campaign Leadership Board.

Richard Rogel’s father died from pancreatic cancer, according to the school. Susan Rogel’s parents both died of cancer, as did her adult daughter, Ilene.

With few treatments available to help Ilene, “it made us want to do more to help with the fight against cancer,” Richard Rogel said in the release. “It’s as simple as that.

“The problems we face in health care today are phenomenally complex,” he said. “We need different minds looking at the same problem in different ways.”

The funding is expected to help attract and support cancer researchers from around the world and provide grants to teams developing new approaches and technologies to advance early cancer detection, monitoring and treatment.

Endowed professorships and scholarships also will be created.

“This generous gift brings major new opportunities for our cancer center to dramatically increase the pace of generating important advances in the cancer field,” said Dr. Eric R. Fearon, the cancer center’s director.

“We will be able to develop and apply selected discoveries for new approaches to reduce the burden of cancer and improve quality of life for cancer patients and survivors, as well as assist in building the careers of the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians,” Fearon said.

The Rogels also have given money to the Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Richard H. Rogel Center for Chinese Studies in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and to the Rogel Medical Scholars at the university’s medical school. The Rogel Award for Excellence has provided need-based support for more than 540 undergraduate students since 2000.

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