Miami University and the Farmer School of Business has received a $5 million gift from the Mitchell P. Rales Family Foundation. The gift created the Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Businees Leadership, making it the first endowed chair for a dean at the university. Current Farmer School Dean Roger Jenkins will be the first dean to hold the newly endowed chair. Rales is a 1978 graduate of Miami and a co-founder of Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 200 company. Miami University President David Hodge believes this endowment will help address two important aspects of the school.
“This endowment addresses two really important things,” Hodge said. “First, it provides critical resources and it will be used in part to fund the salary of the dean, which allows us to continue bringing in highly respected and accomplished people to that position. Secondly, the other half of the endowment income will be used for the discretionary fund the dean has to invest into the school every year.”
According to Hodge, Rales’ national reputation will provide further prestige and respect to an already nationally recognized program.
“When you have a strong name like Mitchell Rales aligned with the school, it adds to the stature of the university as a whole,” Hodge said.
This is not the first time Rales has given back to his alma mater. Rales gave a commencement speech for the business school and gave each graduate stock in his company, according to Hodge.
“When he spoke to the students, he told them to hold onto his shares for 15 years to teach them the value of long term thinking,” Hodge said.
This idea of smartly thinking about the future has translated to his continuing support of the university.
“Mr. Rales gave this donation to set the standard of expectation of how our deans should lead the school, and has challenged us to think boldly and consistently about the future,” Hodge said.
Assistant Dean of the Farmer School of Business Alan Oak believes Rales’ contribution is a prime example of a proud and loyal Miami alum.
“He’s an example of an alum who was well prepared by his Miami education and he feels a desire to continue Miami’s excellence,” Oak said. “This compliments our strong faculty to provide our business students the best learning experience and we could not do it without the help of people like Mr. Rales.”
Junior finance major Tim Sardinia said, “I think it solidifies the business school’s reputation for years to come. I think this will help to make the dean’s position more competitive.”