University of Michigan receives gift for graduate writing program

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The wife of billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell is giving $50 million to support the University of Michigan's acclaimed graduate writing program.

The donation is believed to be by far the largest ever gift to such a program, and comes at a time when most major gifts to higher education are supporting science, not the humanities.

Helen Zell, who earned her English degree at Michigan in 1964, has been supporting the Michigan program with smaller gifts totaling more than $10 million over more than a decade.

The gift is the third-largest ever to the Ann Arbor university. It comes from the Zell Family Foundation, where Helen Zell is executive director, and is in her name.

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