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Eli Broad

The Broad Story

Venture philanthropist Eli Broad committed to business education at Michigan State University.

Venture philanthropist

Eli Broad (pronounced as in “road”) is a renowned business leader who built two Fortune 500 companies from the ground up over a five-decade career in business. He is the CEO of SunAmerica Inc. and founder-chairman of KB Home (formerly Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation).

The son of Lithuanian immigrants who settled in Detroit, Broad graduated with honors from Michigan State University in 1954 with a degree in accounting. In 1991, Eli Broad made what was at the time the largest gift commitment ever made to a public business school. His $20 million commitment to the Eli Broad College of Business and the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management – both renamed in his honor – was designed to help Michigan State University’s new full-time MBA program emerge as one of the nation’s top graduate management programs.

Continuing support

Throughout the years, Broad has continued to add to his original gift. Broad has said the Midwest land grant university is the ideal candidate to help America regain its economic competitiveness through offering an enlightened curriculum and making quality education accessible to exceptional future business leaders from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.

“By focusing Michigan State University’s MBA program on new management realities, and not simply on theory, by addressing real life problems of industry, and by attracting prestigious faculty and top students throughout the world, we will become more international in our thoughts and insights, and more competitive worldwide,” predicted Broad.

The Broad family’s commitment to philanthropy and community also includes ongoing leadership roles in art, education, science and civic development.

Highlights of the History of the Broad College


J. G. Ramsdell begins teaching bookkeeping and commercial law at Michigan Agricultural College (the college’s name was changed from the original the same year); in a 1954 article, “The process of change: A look at the development of the College of Business,” by former Assistant Professor Margaret MacColl and retired faculty member John W. Ruswinckel, Ramsdell is referred to as “the father of MSU’s College of Business.”.


Specific courses are created in accounting, marketing, and finance and are taught by the Department of History and Economics.


The School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management is established.


MSU creates a new division, the School of Business and Public Service, combining business, hotel administration, police and public administration, and social service programs.


The School of Business and Public Service is separated into two divisions: the Division of Business and the Division of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management; the Doctor of Business Administration Program is established.


The business administration program is accepted for accreditation at the undergraduate level by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


The business administration program gains the formal status of a college within the university and is known as the College of Business.


The business college starts an off-campus degree-granting program called the Advanced Management Program; this would become the Weekend MBA of today, which is offered at the Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan.


Executive development seminars begin in the Kellogg Center as a form of continuing education; today the Broad College offers a full range of open enrollment and customized Executive Development Programs.


The Management Education Center is built in Troy, Mich., thanks to significant donations from General Motors, Chrysler and Ford Motor Company along with alumni and other industry leaders, to create a permanent home for the Advanced Management Program (now known as the Executive MBA Program).


Eli Broad pledges $20 million to the College of Business and the Graduate School of Management.


The North Business Complex is built on Bogue Street connected to the Eppley Center.


The James B. Henry Center for Executive Development opens, a $16 million project that draws business executives from across the nation for degree and certificate programs.


The Institute for Entrepreneurship is created, and is comprised of two separate centers: the Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance (CVCPEEF) and the Center for Entrepreneurial Strategy..


The John and Marnie Demmer Center for Business Transformation is established to help Michigan-based manufacturing businesses transform into lean, agile global competitors, increasing their presence and profitability in domestic as well as global markets and opening the doors to new employment opportunities for Michigan workers.


The Broad College’s top-ranked Department of Supply Chain Management took the lead in opening the Midland Research Institute for Value Chain Creation, which focuses on “grand challenge” advances and solutions in value chain management.

Read a more detailed history of the Broad College.

Eli & Edythe Broad Eli & Edythe Broad

Student Forum with Eli Broad

In November 2012, students at the Broad College of Business had the opportunity to hear firsthand from Eli Broad about his views on business, philanthropy, and the state of education, as well as his new book, The Art of Being Unreasonable.

On-campus art museum and a world-class venue to attract major exhibitions and collections and serve as a showcase to enrich the educational experience and aesthetic enjoyment of art.


Eli and Edythe Broad, The Broad Foundations, and their lifelong commitment to giving back. Advancing entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts.


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