As a self made billionaire and businessman, Mike Ilitch’s contributions to his hometown were significant to say the least.
But he also had a tremendous soft spot for giving.
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Ilitch invested and donated so much to the redevelopment efforts here in Detroit, his contributions to Wayne State University were so much the school decided to name it’s business school after the man who’s giving will be remembered for a long time to come.
He was a man who lived and breathed Detroit from his early days growing up on the west side.
Mike Ilitch, the man behind so many important developments in the city of Detroit, stated one of his most important developments in his life was having the Wayne State business school named after him.
Ilitch donated $40 million to build a business school right next door to the future home of the Red Wings arena.
Ilitch, clearly emotional about the recognition, told 7 Action News in 2015 he felt like life had just begun.
His generous giving certainly didn’t start there.
Back in 1985 Ilitch started the Little Caesars Love Kitchen, serving pizza to those in need.
The organization has been recognized by three US Presidents – including Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
His giving will certainly be remembered for a long time to come.
Of course this is only a brief snapshot of what Mike Ilitch, the philanthropist, did for the city of Detroit.
His impact, his life, his legacy are hard not to see. All you have to do is look around you.
Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson released the following statement:
We all mourn the passing of Mike Ilitch. Mike always believed in Detroit, even in the tough times, and his vision is still helping transform the city he loved. His incredible generosity to Wayne State is transforming our university, too, and we are deeply grateful for all he has done, especially for the Mike Ilitch School of Business. His legacy will forever be part of Wayne State University, and generations of students will benefit from his vision and commitment. We wish Marion, Chris, and the entire Ilitch family our deepest condolences for their loss.