Player Center Named for Davidson

Following a donation of $7.5 million from the William Davidson Foundation to the University of Michigan athletics department, the UM board of regents approved renaming the basketball player development center in honor of William Davidson, who died in 2009. The unanimous vote was taken at the board’s Feb. 16, 2012 meeting in an item added to the agenda during the meeting.

Davidson, a UM graduate and businessman who owned the Detroit Pistons and other teams, had been a major donor to the university over the past several decades. The William Davidson Institute at UM’s Ross School of Business was founded in 1992 through a gift from Davidson’s business, Guardian Industries.

UM president Mary Sue Coleman described Davidson as a beloved man who had been very generous to the university. She said she regretted that he wasn’t here to see how well the UM basketball team is doing this season. Board chair Denise Ilitch, whose family owns the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, said she spoke as member of a fellow sports family in thanking Davison’s family for their contribution. She said Davidson left a tremendous legacy, and that he’s sorely missed.

The new basketball player development center at Crisler is a two-story, $23.2 million addition to the basketball arena that regents initially approved in September 2009. According to a press release from the university, the athletics department will honor Davidson at halftime of the final home men’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 25.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the Fleming administration building on UM’s central campus, where the regents’ meeting is held. A more detailed report will follow: [link]