Michigan Engineering News

North Campus' Lurie Tower stands in the distance, with fountains in the foreground

Remembering philanthropist Ann Lurie

Lurie, whose gifts enabled profound impacts at Michigan Engineering, died at the age of 79.

It is not an exaggeration to say that every student, faculty and staff member at Michigan Engineering has been touched by the generosity of Ann Lurie, who passed away on June 24, 2024.

The Lurie name graces so many buildings on campus. The Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center, the administrative home of the College. The Ann and Robert H. Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building, housing collaborative space for engineers and physicians. The Robert H. Lurie Nanofabrication Facility, a world-class semiconductor research facility. And of course, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Tower, the symbolic center of North Campus and home to a 60-bell grand carillon, one of less than two dozen in the world. 

But Ann Lurie’s impact is so much more than these facilities. It’s what these buildings enable that is truly remarkable.

“Ann’s generosity, and her faith in what we could accomplish, helped launch a new era of growth for the College and North Campus,” said Steve Ceccio, interim dean of Michigan Engineering. “Her vision and philanthropy advanced both our physical infrastructure and the creative outcomes that result from interdisciplinary communities.”

Ann and Alec stand in front of a window, smiling. In the background, Lurie Tower can be seen
Ann Lurie in 2016 with then Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering Alec Gallimore at the Lurie Tower 20th Anniversary Celebration. The Ann and Robert H. Lurie Tower is visible through the window. Photo: Michigan Engineering

Ann’s husband Robert, who died in 1990, was a University of Michigan alum (BSE IOE ’64, MSE ’66) and entrepreneur. Before his death, Ann and Robert created a plan for their philanthropy that Ann enacted and expanded.

A pediatric intensive care nurse early in her career, much of Ann’s philanthropy focused on healthcare. In particular, her passion for interdisciplinary research inspired her to endow the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Professorship in Biomedical Engineering currently held by Prof. Doug Noll, who develops technology for MRI machines.

Ann’s support has made this type of collaborative research and education possible at Michigan Engineering. Every researcher who prototypes in the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility, every student who takes a class in the Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building, every staff member who works in the Lurie Engineering Center, and everyone on campus who hears the carillon bells ringing in the Lurie Tower—they all feel the impact of her generosity.

We will strive to honor Ann’s legacy of innovation and impact by continuing the important work that she believed in so deeply.”

Steve Ceccio, Vincent T. and Gloria M. Gorguze Professor of Engineering, interim dean of Michigan Engineering

Her gifts to the University of Michigan extended beyond Michigan Engineering, including gifts to Michigan Ross and the School of Social Work. Her philanthropy supported a wide range of projects and institutions, both in Chicago, where she lived much of her adult life, and around the world.

“Ann was caring, kind and forward-thinking, and we are grateful for her commitment to the interdisciplinary work that she described as ‘necessary for the future of a superb public university,’” said Ceccio. “We will strive to honor Ann’s legacy of innovation and impact by continuing the important work that she believed in so deeply.”

Ann is survived by her husband Mark Muheim, three sons, three daughters and 16 grandchildren, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Media Contact

Jessica Petras

Internal Communications Specialist