A $5 million gift from the Mitchell P. Rales Family Foundation has created the Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership in support of Miami University’s Farmer School of Business.
The fund is the largest endowed chair in Miami history and the first endowed chair for a dean at the university. It will enable the Farmer School to recruit and retain exceptional deans.
Rales’ gift will support compensation for the dean of the Farmer School of Business and discretionary resources to address the Farmer School’s foremost strategic needs. Current Farmer School Dean Roger Jenkins, who has provided visionary leadership since 2002, will be the first dean to hold the Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership.
Rales is co-founder of Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 200 company. A strong supporter of art and education, Rales is founder and director of Glenstone, which seamlessly integrates art, architecture and landscape. He serves on the boards of the SEED Foundation and the National Gallery of Art, both in Washington, D.C.
“As a 1978 Miami University graduate and as an employer who has had the privilege of hiring numerous Miami graduates, I know first-hand how Miami’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate business education produces graduates who are exceptionally prepared to make a difference in the business world,” Rales said. “I appreciate the level of vision and leadership it has taken to place the Farmer School among the top undergraduate business programs nationally, and I am pleased to be able to support Dean Jenkins and the deans who will follow in advancing that reputation.”
“Mitch Rales’ gift will have a profound impact on generations of Miami University business students,” said Miami University President David Hodge. “It is an endorsement of both the past achievements and strategic direction of the Farmer School of Business. Mitch’s gift is an inspiring example of the vision and dedication of the Farmer School’s alumni and friends who have helped to make the school a remarkable point of pride for our university and the state of Ohio.”
Rales was presented an honorary doctor of laws from Miami in 2005. As part of his involvement with Miami University, Rales gave shares of Danaher Corporation stock to members of the Farmer School’s 2005 and 2010 graduating classes.
Recognized in Business Week’s 2011 survey of the nation’s top undergraduate business programs, the Farmer School of Business ranks 7th among public universities and 22nd among all universities. Within the school, the entrepreneurship, supply chain and accountancy programs have all been ranked among the top 20 nationally in their respective areas.
“The Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership is a tribute to the commitment and imagination of all those who have built the Farmer School of Business over the past more than 80 years,” said Jenkins. “It is also a challenge to carry those past and current successes into a new era. Mitch’s support empowers the leadership of the Farmer School of Business to embrace tomorrow’s possibilities while remaining a national leader in educating future business leaders.”
Rales’ $5 million gift is another significant achievement in the $500 million Miami University Campaign For Love and Honor, which has raised more than $424 million in support of Miami’s priority needs.