The University of Michigan bucked calls from alumni to remove billionaire investor Stephen Ross’ name from campus facilities after he hosted a controversial fundraiser for President Trump.
In an open letter, graduates of the business school demanded that any trace of Ross – a fellow alumnus and investor in Equinox and Soul Cycle -- be stricken from the institution and that the university “reconsider his philanthropic contributions.”
“Simply stated, supporting -- in deed and dollar -- Donald Trump’s predisposition and commitment to white supremacy, xenophobia, corruption, and clinical ignorance is flatly inconsistent with the values and legacy of the University of Michigan,” the letter reads. “We implore that Stephen Ross disavow his support for Trump.”
In response, the school said it doesn’t “exclude or include people from our university community based on their political views.”
“That’s true in admissions, in hiring, in patient care, in campus speakers or visitors and in our donor community,” a spokesperson told Michigan Daily, the campus newspaper.
Alongside the University of Michigan, Equinox and Soul Cycle are both facing public backlash and protests over Ross' involvement with the fundraiser.
In a bid to manage the crisis, Soul Cycle is allowing its instructors to host free, in-door spinning rides for charities of their choice. The philanthropic proceeds will be covered by the company.