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Generous estate gifts fuel the future of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Generous estate gifts fuel the future of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Robert Schostak remembers well the days when he was a student at OU. At the time, he was juggling a lot — newly married, working a day job with his family’s commercial real estate business, and commuting to Rochester to take evening courses toward a degree.

“I had a lot on my plate,” recalls Schostak, CAS ’78, “but the flexibility I had in attending Oakland University as a commuter student really helped me realize my dreams. It was a tremendous resource that I’ve never forgotten.”

Today, Schostak is the co-chairman and chief executive officer of Schostak Brothers & Company, Inc. of Livonia, Mich. His family’s Schostak Family Philanthropic Foundation recently made a $1 million pledge to the new Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

“My family believes strongly in giving back to the community,” Schostak explains. “The new medical school is a logical and appropriate choice for the donation, because it can contribute to the economic development of all of Oakland County. And, as an alumnus of OU, it feels good to be supporting such an important phase in the school’s development.”

Not only did the donation help get the new medical school off to a positive start, the deferred gift is also unrestricted — allowing Oakland University and Beaumont Hospital the freedom to support their new school of medicine wherever the need is greatest.

 “My family has great confidence in Dr. (Robert) Folberg’s leadership and also in President (Gary) Russi, in where he wants to take the university,” Schostak says. “We trust them both as professionals to know how best to use the gift to bring the most value to the medical school.”

Dr. Folberg, founding dean of the OUWB School of Medicine, acknowledged the gift, saying, “The pledge will have a lasting impact on the educational mission of our new school. We’re grateful to the Schostak family for their support.”

The Schostak Family Foundation’s $50,000 pledge in 2007 helped OU establish a Judaic studies minor in the College of Arts and Sciences, with the aim of fostering better understanding, tolerance and a broader knowledge base of the world for future students.

For the Schostaks, philanthropy is part of a shared family philosophy. They have supported a variety of civic and charitable organizations throughout metropolitan Detroit, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the New Detroit Science Center, the Detroit Institute of Arts and Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. The Schostak Family Philanthropic Foundation places a strong emphasis on education, providing scholarships and other support for institutions such as the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the University of Michigan, Oakland University and Wayne State University.