Stephan Sharf, a retired Chrysler executive, has given Oakland University $21 million, the largest single planned and cash gift from an individual in history, The Detroit News learned Monday.
Although university officials announced the donor was anonymous, Sharf, 91, confirmed to The News he was the donor.
"I came over to this country without a penny," said Sharf, who immigrated to the United States from Germany and retired in 1986 from Chrysler as executive vice president for manufacturing. "Thanks to America, I went all the way up to the top of a corporation, and to go up the top of corporation, it takes a lot of people who work for you. You can't do this by yourself. So I am indirectly giving back."
The gift includes a $14 million planned portion, which will be directed to the School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, and the OU women's golf team. It will be used for scholarships, research and endowed discretionary funds. The remaining $7million in planned and cash gifts will be funneled to campus operational and capital needs.