In with the new

January 24, 2019

The Mark Ritz and Lee Gorman Group Study Room will provide a collaborative space to for students to share ideas, conceptualize projects and more.

Mark Ritz (’75 M.S.E.) and Lee Gorman wanted to have an important role in the transformation of new Engineering Lab Building. Knowing that the building will facilitate 21st-century education, industry partnership and research space, the couple was excited to help revitalize the area that was once “home” for Ritz at the beginning of his career.

“There are many great aspects to this campus—the professors, the natural areas, the welcoming feel—but the Engineering Lab Building (ELB) is just not one of them. But this is going to change,” said Ritz, who took night courses when he worked as a Ford Motor Co. engineer. “We are pleased that future generations of engineering students will get an education in this facility. The access to the resources in the new building will transform lives, and we are glad to be a part of that.”

Thanks to a gift made by Ritz and Gorman, the new ELB will also provide students with designated spaces to unwind, study in comfort or meet with classmates.

The Mark Ritz and Lee Gorman Group Study Room, located on the first floor, will provide a collaborative space to share ideas, conceptualize projects and more.

Regular supporters of initiatives on Gorman’s home campus at UM-Ann Arbor, the pair are eager to help reshape the campus that gave Ritz an advantage in the engineering world.

Ritz—who later in his career worked on the business side of industry at Ford, Lear Corp., Siemens and others—said his educational background gave him both knowledge and credibility when working with company engineers.

“I ended up going in a more business and marketing direction, but a lot of what I did was working closely with those in the advanced engineering field,” he said. “Having an engineering graduate degree from UM-Dearborn gave me instant credibility and helped me interface effectively. It absolutely contributed to my success.”

The couple said now is the right time to share their successes and pay it forward.

“We are both passionate about STEM education and the University of Michigan. This particular project will make a difference for the students, industry in the region and beyond,” Gorman said.

“What will happen at the new Engineering Lab Building will transform lives for years to come—and that’s the Michigan spirit.”

This story first appeared in the Fall 2017 Legacy. For information about being a part of this landmark project, contact Kelly Cronin, Director of Development, CECS,, 313-593-3500, or visit


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