Munger Graduate Residence Terrace

Graduate Living Reimagined

A landmark gift helps U-M establish world-class graduate residence facility

The Munger Graduate Residences are much more than a building. The 370,000-square-foot, eight-story graduate residence is an architectural wager. It contests that resident life is a vital part of being a graduate student at U-M, and more specifically, that resident life is most vibrant when it happens within an engaged and diverse community. With its unique combination of high-quality living standards and communal design, paired with an LEED Gold certification, the Munger Graduate Residences are among the most advanced university residential facilities in the country.

The munger Graduate Residences from the corner of Thompson and East Madison streets.
Located between Thompson and East Madison streets, the Munger Graduate Residences are in the heart of Central Campus and just steps away from all the Ann Arbor has to offer.

When Charles T. Munger (HLLD ’10) gave $110 million to fund the residence facility, he wanted to re-imagine student life at Michigan. $10 million was designated for fellowships to create a residential society that encourages scholarship and interaction across an array of disciplines. “Students who earn advanced degrees from the University of Michigan will be expected to lead in environments that are increasingly diverse,” said President Mark Schlissel. “The Munger Graduate Residences will provide our graduate and professional students with further opportunities to engage one another across different academic disciplines, backgrounds, and thought while enriching their educational experience on our campus.”

In addition to the Munger Graduate Residences, Charles Munger’s gifts to the university have included $20 million for renovations to the iconic Lawyers Club housing complex, which was named in his honor, and $3 million to the Law School for lighting and other infrastructure improvements in Hutchins Hall and the William W. Cook Legal Research Building. Although he’s one of U-M’s most generous supporters, Munger isn’t one to seek recognition. “I particularly want to avoid any perception that I claim large donative merit,” Munger said regarding the graduate residencies. “After all, I waited until my 90th year before making the gift, then gained friendship and creative joy in working with the university in a very interesting design effort likely to have a good outcome, while I parted with assets I soon won’t need.”

Charlie Munger surveying the construction of the Munger Graduate Residences from its rooftop running track and rain garden.

Thanks to Munger’s architectural vision and support, over 600 scholars from an array of backgrounds and disciplines will live and commune in one inclusive space. University Housing’s Senior Assistant Director of Communications, Amir Badhadchi, describes the space as more than just housing. The hope, he says, is to create “a microcosm of what it is like to be a graduate student at Michigan—all of the schools and colleges and every place people come from to the University of Michigan.”

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