A new $1 million gift from The Ryan Family Foundation doubles the size of the Ryan Family Scholars Program and adds additional internship support for all program participants while also creating a new research institute.
Jenny Darroch, dean of the Farmer School of Business and Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership, commented, “The Ryans’ doubling down on their commitment is truly extraordinary. We have seen the life-changing impact the Ryan Family Scholars Program has on current program participants and we look forward to welcoming an even bigger cohort. The creation of the institute is a tremendous example of purpose-driven gifting, and we are excited for the opportunities it presents.”
The groundbreaking Ryan Family Scholars program was created in 2020 by a gift from Jim ’80 and his wife Michelle Ryan. They explained that their decision to create this program was driven by their connection to and love for the university – both of their sons are also graduates – and their desire to support higher education for traditionally underserved populations.
The program takes a holistic approach to supporting student success. Recipients receive tuition, room and board and fees up to $20,000 annually. All Ryan Scholars are guaranteed at least one internship. Students may major in any discipline, provided they are minoring or co-majoring in entrepreneurship.
The same passion served as the impetus for the Ryans’ gift to establish the Ryan Institute for Opportunity in Education. The institute will focus on determining the predictive indicators of success for underrepresented and first-generation students and exploring key factors to upward social mobility. It is the largest gift in the Farmer School of Business's history dedicated to the research of social mobility, poverty alleviation, and predicting success factors.
"We are continuing to invest in students from underserved communities and the faculty and staff at Miami because together they are having measurable success. When these students are given a chance, and effectively supported, their accomplishments are beyond what many would expect," Jim Ryan said. "An important part of this success is the creativity, discipline and real-world learning that comes from Miami's internationally recognized Entrepreneurship program. The research institute will help to codify the factors driving this success in a way that makes it sustainable and available to others."
“This generous gift emphasizes the Ryans’ commitment to tackling important societal challenges by providing resources for researching social mobility and opportunity in education. We are excited to leverage our faculty’s expertise to address these key issues” said Melissa Thomasson, associate dean for faculty excellence and professor of economics.
The impact of the $1 million gift will be doubled by the recently-announced $20 million 1:1 matching gift from the Farmer Family Foundation.
The Ryans with Ryan Scholar recipient Sam Adler