George E. Ross, a Flint native and president of Central Michigan University, has been elected to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Ross began his term Jan. 1.
“Being a kid from Flint, it is an extraordinary honor to help lead a foundation that makes a difference locally and around the world,” Ross said. “It is an immense and humbling responsibility, and in accepting this appointment, I feel as though I am completing a circle in my life.
“The values of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation align with mine and with those of Central Michigan University, where we strive to immerse students in the ideals of personal leadership and what Mr. Mott called ‘the capacity for accomplishment.’”
One of 12 children, Ross graduated from Flint Northern High School. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration and a doctorate in higher education administration. Early in his professional career, Ross worked as a certified public accountant before becoming director of finance for the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. During the next two decades, he assumed increasingly more responsible positions with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Clark Atlanta University and CMU before becoming president of Mississippi’s Alcorn State University in 2008. Ross became the 14th president of Central Michigan University in 2010.
“It is difficult to quantify the full range of experience and insight that Dr. Ross brings to the foundation,” said William S. White, Mott’s chairman and CEO. “From his childhood and youth as a student in the Flint Community Schools to his career as an academic and university administrator, he brings a deep understanding of the transformative power of education. We are delighted with his decision to join the board of trustees, and we are confident that his background and professional expertise will greatly enrich our work.”
In addition to his administrative experience, Ross has taught university-level classes in accounting and continuing professional education. He has been a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities since 2002 and serves as secretary-treasurer of its board of directors. He also chairs the CMU Research Corp. and in 2014 was appointed to the board of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance.
Ross supports numerous athletic and academic scholarships at CMU, including the Women's Connection Scholarship. This past December, he donated a salary increase of $11,500 to support the Elizabeth G. Ross Voice Scholarship, which he previously established and named for his wife, within CMU’s School of Music. The couple has two adult daughters.
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The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 in Flint, Michigan, by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the United States and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: civil society, environment, Flint area and education. In addition to Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg and London. With year-end assets of approximately $2.7 billion in 2015, the foundation made 400 grants totaling more than $119 million. For more information, visit
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