Sept. 8, 2006
U-M Regent David Brandon gives $4 million to The Michigan Difference
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—University of Michigan Regent and Domino's Pizza CEO and Chairman David Brandon, and his wife Jan, have made a gift of $4 million to the University. The largest portion of the gift will support the hospital facility that pulled his newborn sons through a life-threatening ailment in 1980.
The range of the programs being supported paints a picture of the Brandons' deep affiliation with the institution.
"The University of Michigan has made a profound impact on my life," said Regent Brandon, who graduated in 1974. "My family and I are pleased and proud to be supporting The Michigan Difference campaign in this way."
An expendable gift of $2 million will assist the construction of the neonatal intensive care unit in a new 1.1 million square-foot hospital to replace the current C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital. In recognition of the gift, the NCIU will be named the Nick and Chris Brandon Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
In 1980, the twin boys, born with a rare blood disorder, were treated successfully in Mott's Holden Neonatal Center. Today, David and Jan Brandon are co-chairs of the U-M Health System's Champions for Children's campaign, part of the University's $2.5 billion The Michigan Difference campaign. When the chairmanship was announced, David Brandon said, "I vowed that someday I would figure out a way to help this place that gave the gift of life to my sons."
The neonatal intensive care unit treats the most ill, youngest and smallest patients. The new facility, equipped with the most sophisticated technology, will comprise all private rooms where parents or caregivers will be able to stay with their child 24 hours a day.
President Mary Sue Coleman said, "David Brandon has experienced the power of the University of Michigan from many vantage points: as a student, as an athlete, as a regent and, most deeply, as a new parent of critically ill babies. This extraordinary gift from David and Jan will touch so many areas of the University, which in turn will enable our doctors, faculty, curators and coaches to expand our impact as a global research university. The Brandons' generosity will change lives in ways we cannot yet imagine."
The gift also will provide:
• $500,000 for the School of Education. David Brandon earned a B.A. degree in Education and teaching certificate in 1974 from the School, and later taught school before turning to a career in business. He says his teacher training made a major impact on his organizational and leadership skills. The gift will be used to develop a center to house digital records, such as examples of students' work, videotapes of classroom teachers using innovative techniques, and other materials that will give K-12 teachers and U-M faculty ready access to information that helps them understand what makes a difference for student learning. The over-arching purpose of the center, tentatively called the Brandon Professional Resource Center and Archive, is to make U-M a recognized leader in professional training of effective classroom teachers.
• $250,000 for the U-M Museum of Art. Jan Brandon, a member of the museum's National Advisory Board since 2000, has been closely involved in the institution's ambitious project to restore and expand its historic facility. The Brandon gift will be recognized in a dramatic space on the top floor of the museum's new Frankel Wing, linking galleries devoted to collections of the arts of Asia with those devoted to modern and contemporary art. Providing a critical bridge between Asian and global art of the last 50 years, this space will offer lofty views of the adjacent triple-height Vertical Gallery and embody the bridging language of the Museum's new architecture as it links disparate cultures, geographies, and chronologies.
• $750,000 for the Athletics Department. As a student, David Brandon played on three Big 10 football championship teams. The gift will provide $500,000 for facilities and operating expenses, including possible construction of a new indoor football practice facility, and $250,000 to establish an endowed David and Jan Brandon Scholarship Fund for student athletes.
• $250,000 for the Department of Urology to establish the David and Jan Brandon Prostate Cancer Survivor Fund to support the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Clinic. The gift will support a pilot program aimed at creating more patient-centered care, such as prompt access to doctors, counseling, help with navigating the many treatment options available, and regular follow up assessments to help the patient deal with the effects of both disease and treatment.
• $250,000 for the Stephen M. Ross School of Business to assist facilities construction now underway to create a new home for the school. To recognize the gift, the primary conference room in the dean's suite will be named the David and Jan Brandon Conference Room.
David Brandon was elected to the U-M Board of Regents in 1998. He was recruited to become chairman and chief executive officer of Domino's Pizza Inc. of Ann Arbor in 1999. In 2005, Domino's had 8,190 franchised and company-owned stores in the United States and more than 50 countries, with global retail sales of nearly $5.0 billion, comprised of $3.3 billion domestically and $1.7 billion internationally.
Formerly, he was chairman, president and CEO of Valassis Communications, Inc. In Brandon's 20 years at the marketing firm, the company grew from a family-owned business with 75 employees and $30 million in sales to a publicly traded industry leader with 1,300 employees and a total enterprise value exceeding $2 billion.
Prior to joining Valassis Communications in 1979, Brandon worked in Procter & Gamble's Food Products Division.
Brandon is a director of the TJX Companies, Burger King Corporation, and Kaydon Corporation. He also serves on the board of directors of several not-for-profit organizations, including Detroit Renaissance, The Purple Rose Theatre, The Parade Company, and the David A. Brandon Foundation.
Contact: Nancy Connell