WMU President John Dunn announced the creation of the Western Michigan University School of Medicine Tuesday morning.
At a high profile announcement event, Dunn said a $100 million cash gift, "the largest ever made to a Michigan public university" has been donated to WMU for the establishment of the school.
The donation is anonymous and made to establish the school. Dunn said a funding campaign will begin, and when asked about how much money was needed, he said he thought "the thin side of $175 million dollars on the upside $300 million."
The location of the school has not been established. Dunn said there are committees working on the school's options.
Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell was understandably excited. "It says that we believe in education," he told the crowd. "This is what I'd say is another promise for Kalamazoo."
Michigan State University opened its School of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids in 2010. But Dunn said "this is the right time and the right place" for establishment of a medical school at WMU in Kalamazoo.
Dunn said Dr. Hal B. Jenson would be dean of the new school. Dr. Jenson didn't have a definite date for the first day of classes, or even a year. "We haven't decided yet whether [classes] will be 2013 or 2014," he said.
"That's something we'll decide over the next few months."