Wayne State University's College of Engineering is receiving $25 million from an alumnus to promote entrepreneurship in Detroit
The gift from James Anderson, president and CEO of Urban Science in Detroit and his wife, Patricia Anderson, is believed to be the largest gift ever to the university’s engineering program. Anderson, who graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the engineering college in 1966 and 1970, founded in 1977 his auto retail consulting firm, which now has 19 offices with 850 employees. Anderson told the Free Press he hopes the gift for students and faculty can help encourage entrepreneurship that can help Detroit grow.
“Wayne State had all of the great ingredients to create the success that I’ve enjoyed since graduation,” he said. “There is a community of aspiring entrepreneurs that want the opportunity.” Anderson “wants to encourage students to have a similar path to success that he was able to have based on his education at Wayne State,” said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson. “He was able to take his knowledge and start up a company and employ a lot of people that’s contributing to the local economy.” The $25 million will establish the James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute, which will be part of the College of Engineering.