Regent Ilitch, a Democrat from Bingham Farms, is chair of the Board of Regents. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1977 and her J.D. degree from the University of Detroit in 1980. She is president of Ilitch Enterprises, LLC, serves as a trustee for the Skillman Foundation, is chair of the Skillman External Relations & Partnerships Committee, a member on the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program Advisory Board and is on the FUEL Leadership Board.
Regent Ilitch was the president of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., a privately held business that manages Little Caesar Enterprises, the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and Olympia Entertainment. In support of her efforts to enhance educational opportunities, she established the Denise D. Ilitch Endowed Scholarship through the U-M Alumni Association LEAD Scholars Program and also the Denise Ilitch Scholarship at Walsh College in an effort to help young women earn their advanced degrees. Regent Ilitch has served on the board of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, was a Detroit Red Wings Alternate Governor for the National Hockey League and was a board member of Major League Baseball. She has received the B’nai B’rith International Great American Traditions Award, the Clara Barton Award from the American Red Cross, was named 2007 Alumnus of the Year by the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, and was honored as one of the Alternative for Girls 2020 Role Models. Regent Ilitch is also a regular panelist on the CBS TV show, “Michigan Matters.”
She was elected to the Board of Regents in 2008 and reelected in 2016. Her term expires January 1, 2025.