University Of Michigan Announces $50 Million Gift; Will Rename Its School Of Education


The University of Michigan (U-M) has announced that it has received a $50 million gift commitment to support its school of education. The donation comes from the family of Kathleen and Bryan Marsal, both of whom are U-M alums.

In recognition of the gift, the university will rename its school of education the Marsal Family School of Education, after the Marsal couple and their children, Megan Kirsch Marsal and Michael Marsal. With this newest commitment, the Marsals have now pledged more that $55 million to support the university’s school of education programs.

“With one of the largest gifts to any school or college of education in the country, the Marsal family brings resources and attention to critical efforts to improve education,” said Elizabeth Birr Moje, dean of the Marsal Family School of Education and the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education. “For more than a decade, they have joined this school’s leadership and our entire community in the belief that we can—and do—make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults through education research, practice, and policy.”

The gift will be used primarily for three initiatives, according to the university’s news release.

  • Launching a new four-year degree program focused on Learning, Equity and Problem-Solving for the Public Good (LEAPS). It will create novel pathways for U-M students to learn education principles that they can apply to multiple professions, including teaching;
  • Expanding work with the P-20 Partnership on the Marygrove educational campus in Detroit;
  • Supporting future educators by removing financial barriers to certification and providing crucial support throughout their early professional years.

Previous gifts to the University of Michigan by the Marsal family have created new career services for education graduates, provided scholarships for future teachers, facilitated the professional training of teachers, and supported the work of various education partnerships.

Noting that the school had been a premiere institution for educating teachers for more than 100 years, U-M President Santa J. Ono said in the university’s news release, “Today, with the benefit of tremendous vision and generous support, it is embarking on a new era of demonstrating how individuals and their communities can be lifted up and transformed through just and equitable approaches to education.”

Discussing her family’s gift, Megan Kirsch Marsal said that they hoped there wouldn’t be a teacher shortage in ten years because teachers would feel valued and teaching would be honored as a noble profession. “We are excited about U-M’s innovative approaches to teacher education, including the Michigan Education Teaching School in Detroit and extensive work with teacher educators outside of the university,” she said as part of the announcement.

Kathleen Marsal graduated from the University of Michigan’s school of education in 1972 and has served on the school’s Dean’s Advisory Council for more than 10 years. She was a former vice-president and director of taxes for Citibank. Bryan Marsal is the co-founder, CEO and managing director of the global consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. Also a U-M alum, with a bachelor’s (1973) and a master’s (1975) degree in business, he has been a member of the advisory board for Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

After graduating from the U-M School of Education in 2014, Megan Marsal Kirsch taught in Harlem and Brooklyn, New York, before returning to Michigan to earn a master’s degree in early childhood education from Oakland University. Michael Marsal, a graduate of La Salle University, is managing director and founding partner of Alvarez & Marsal Property Investments.


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