DETROIT — An $8.5 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch to Wayne State University will be used to support research and development in surgical technologies.
The school says Wednesday that the gift will create the Ilitch Chair for Surgical Innovation in Wayne State's Department of Surgery, which will be renamed after the couple.
The Ilitches founded Little Caesars pizza in 1959.
Mike Ilitch owns Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers and the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. He says the gift to Wayne State is "an investment in the future of health care that will support a great educational institution and benefit the people of Detroit, the state of Michigan and beyond."
The surgery department's current work focuses on surgery simulation, medical devices, advanced data analytics and biologic therapies for cancer.