The University of Michigan was embroiled in a controversy when one of its major donors, Stephen Ross, was the target of left-wing social justice activists over his hosting of a political fundraiser for President Donald Trump. Stephen Ross is a billionaire owner of the Miami Dolphins and also is chairman of a company overseeing popular gym studios Equinox and SoulCycle. After the news broke that he was hosting (and eventually hosted) the planned fundraiser, calls for boycotts of his companies rang out.
The pressure mounted, and despite a public statement from Ross on how he does not agree lock- step with President Trump, he resigned from an NFL committee on social justice activism. One of his players on the Dolphins tweeted criticism of the owner.
Some alumni of the University of Michigan’s School of Business demanded the university condemn Ross and “reconsider his philanthropic contributions” to the university if he held the fundraiser for Trump’s re-election. Campus Reform reported that Ross has donated at least $378 million to the university.
The university responded and said it will not condemn Ross. University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said, “We don’t exclude or include people from our university community based on their political views. That’s true in admissions, in hiring, in patient care, in campus speakers or visitors and in our donor community.”