Rogel Cancer Center

Catalyzing Cures

Rogels’ historic $150 million gift is the largest ever to Michigan Medicine

Richard (BBA ’70, LLD Hon ’09) and Susan Rogel are on a mission to boost innovative cancer research and develop the next generation of cancer pioneers. In March, a $150 million commitment to the University of Michigan established the Rogel Cancer Center with the hope that U-M can do just that. The gift is the largest ever to Michigan Medicine and one of the largest in U-M’s history.

This transformational gift will enable Michigan Medicine to draw on its collaborative research culture to drive cancer care forward. It will help attract and support outstanding cancer researchers from around the world, including the most promising fellows and trainees, making the University of Michigan a premier center fostering the development of new leaders in cancer research and care.

The couple has a personal motivation to invest in cancer research. Richard Rogel, co-chair of the Victors for Michigan National Campaign Leadership Board, lost his father to pancreatic cancer. He hopes new research underway at U-M will result in earlier diagnoses and better treatments for this and other types of cancer. Both of Susan Rogel’s parents died of cancer long ago. Her 50-year-old daughter, Ilene, died five years ago from an aggressive form of lung cancer. With few treatments available to help Ilene, “it made us want to do more to help with the fight against cancer,” says Richard Rogel. “It’s as simple as that.”

Rich and Susan

“The problems we face in health care today are phenomenally complex. We need different minds looking at the same problem in different ways,” he said. He believes U-M is the best place to invest in teams that will generate breakthrough solutions.

“I call Michigan ‘Collaboration U’ because so many different units work together to solve problems,” Rogel says. “We have the advantage of 97 graduate departments rated in the top 10 in the country. Putting all this brain power and excitement together is going to help us find a cure for cancer. It will make people’s lives better, and that’s the most important thing.”

Rogel also chairs the Michigan Medicine Victors for Michigan campaign and the Victors for Michigan Global Student Support Committee that has raised more than $1 billion. In addition, Rogel serves on numerous other boards across the university, including as co-chair of both the Development Advisory Board for the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, and the Leadership and Development Council for the Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research between Michigan Medicine and Peking University Health Science Center.

Previously, he chaired the U-M Michigan Difference campaign, received U-M’s inaugural David B. Hermelin Award for Fundraising Volunteer Leadership in 2004, and received the national Ernest T. Stewart Award for Alumni Volunteer Involvement from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2011.

Susan Rogel serves on the Steering Committee of the Victors for Michigan National Campaign Leadership Board, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital National Campaign Leadership Council, and the U-M Depression Center Campaign Council.  She has also served on the Alumni Association Campaign Committee.


“Susan and Rich Rogel are great visionaries about the evolution of cancer research at the University of Michigan. Their incredible support will enable us to facilitate robust and comprehensive programs and opportunities for our faculty, staff, and fellows,” says Marschall Runge, executive vice president for medical affairs at U-M.

So what does a $150 million gift make possible? “This generous gift brings major new opportunities for our cancer center to dramatically increase the pace of generating important advances in the cancer field,” says Eric R. Fearon, the Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology and director of the Rogel Cancer Center. The Rogels’ gift has six key components, all geared toward assisting patients, physicians, and researchers at the Rogel Cancer Center, he says. “We will be able to develop and apply selected discoveries for new approaches to reduce the burden of cancer and improve quality of life for cancer patients and survivors, as well as assist in building the careers of the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians.”


“Rich and Susan are two of the university’s most loyal volunteers and generous donors,” says Vice President for Development Jerry May, who has worked with the Rogels for more than 30 years. “This amazing gift speaks to their faith in U-M and the power of philanthropy to advance the common good. We could not be more grateful for their nationally recognized volunteer leadership, their friendship, and the honor to grace the U-M cancer center with the Rogel name.”

To see more on the impact of the Rogels’ gift, visit

Giving to U-M Since 1975. 540+ Students Supported since 2000.

Collaborative Networks
Establish a signature program that brings
international luminaries in the cancer field to U-M for six to 12 months. They will develop new projects that will continue after they leave, creating a collaborative network focused on advancing and applying cancer knowledge.
Scholarship Support Researchers
Offer scholarships to enable medical students
and other predoctoral trainees to develop the
skills and knowledge they need to make lasting
contributions to the health of individuals and
populations, including those with cancer.
Pioneering Cancer Research and Technology
Provide competitive grants to collaborative research teams developing new approaches and technologies to advance early cancer detection, monitoring, and treatment.
Promising New Researchers
Support the development of independent research careers for a cohort of highly motivated, advanced postdoctoral cancer research scientists whose work shows signs of great promise.
Scientific Freedom
Create a suite of endowed professorships in cancer research, tied to research funds that will convey U-M’s commitment to discovery and innovation.
Cutting Edge Scientists
Provide support to retain or recruit dynamic researchers to pursue high-risk, high-reward projects.
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