Ann Arbor's non-profit center for fine film and the performing arts

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The Towsley Society

What is the Towsley Society?

The Towsley Society is the Michigan Theater’s giving society. Originally formed in the 1990s, the society was begun to inspire the community to contribute to the capital campaign for the restoration of the theater. It was named to honor the memory of Margaret Dow Towsley, whose philanthropic vision and generosity were instrumental in saving the Michigan Theater in 1979, and to recognize the community philanthropy of Mrs. Towsley and the Towsley Family.

Mrs. Towsley saw the need to maintain the connection with Ann Arbor’s past through a community arts center in the central city. As a result of her initial gift and the millions of dollars that have been raised in the community over the ensuing 40 years, the Michigan Theater is now the city’s primary downtown landmark, providing a daily, year-round program of movies, concerts, children’s theater and other cultural events.

As a lasting tribute to Mrs. Towsley’s work in the Ann Arbor area community, you will see the words “Remember Margaret D. Towsley” etched over the doors to the Grand Foyer. This is our way of saying thank you to a very special woman who inspired generations with her spirit of community philanthropy.

How do Towsley Society members help the Theater?

The Michigan Theater is a non-profit organization that relies upon the generous and long-standing support of the community. Ticket sales and rentals make up only 60% of the theater’s annual budget. The other 40% must be generated through donations.

Membership in the Towsley Society is open to the public and recognizes all individuals and companies that have made cumulative gifts of $5000 or more to the Theater. Towsley Society members become part of the theater’s vital “inner circle” of support.

In recent years, the most common method of joining the Towsley Society is by making a pledge of $1000 or more per year over five years. The Theater hosts an annual event at which Towsley Society members invite their friends to introduce them to the Theater, its history and its mission.

How are Towsley Society members recognized?

Towsley Society members receive recognition in the following ways:

  • Large plaques displayed in the Michigan Theater lobby. These plaques are updated annually in September and January to reflect new gifts to the Theater.
  • Members are also recognized on our website (see below).
  • Towsley Society members are invited to enjoy several events throughout the year as special guests of the Theater.

How do I join the Towsley Society?

Please contact Drew Waller, Director of Sponsorship and the Towsley Society, at 734-668-8397 x25 or to find out more information or to become a member. Click below to view, download, and/or print the Towsley Society brochure.


Current Pledges & Gifts

Diamond Angel (cumulative gifts of $75,000 and above)

  • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation – Merton & Regina Allen Memorial Fund
  • The Esperance Family Foundation
  • Ruth Roby Glancy
  • Judy Dow Rumelhart
  • Irv and Carol Smokler
  • Candis and Helmut F. Stern
  • The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation
  • Toyota Technical Center, USA
  • Ambassador and Mrs. Ronald Weiser

Gold Circle (cumulative gifts of $50,000–$74,999)

  • AT&T Michigan
  • Benard L. Maas Foundation
  • Buhr Foundation
  • Michael and Susanne Coghlan
  • Joshua Pokempner and Gretchen Gardner
  • Norma J. and Richard N. Sarns
  • State Street Area Association
  • Victor Strecher and Jeri Rosenberg

Silver Circle (cumulative gifts of $25,000–$49,999)

  • Bruce and Mona Auerbach
  • Bank of Ann Arbor
  • Cheryl and James Buhr
  • Martha Darling and Gil Omenn, M.D.
  • Leslie R. Desmond and Phil Stoffregen
  • Downtown Development Authority
  • DTE GreenCurrents
  • J. Ferrantino Charitable Foundation
  • Brian and Lisa Krause
  • Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone
  • Money Source Financial Services
  • Nancy and Brooks Sitterley
  • Jim and Gwynn Sterken

Bronze Circle (cumulative gifts of $10,000–$24,999)

  • Alec and Judy Allen
  • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation – Richard P. Whitker Charitable Fund
  • Anonymous Donor Support
  • Stephen and Levana Aronson
  • Menakka and Essel Bailey
  • Bob and Marti Barden
  • Frank and Gail Beaver
  • Bell’s Brewery – Rave Associates
  • Albert and Paula Berriz
  • Bivouac Ann Arbor
  • Blue Care Network of Michigan
  • Gary Boren
  • Cheryl and James Buhr
  • Susan and Oliver Cameron
  • Brian and Mary Campbell
  • Christine K. Castle
  • Sandra Cole
  • Russell B. Collins and Debra Polich
  • Comerica Bank
  • Arnold and Susan Coran
  • Bernard and Dorothy Ann Coyne
  • Drs. Kirk Donaldson and Kristin Guenther
  • Del and Nancy Dunbar
  • Dickinson Wright
  • Ann A. Edwards
  • Donna Freund and David Ross
  • Steve Glauberman and Margaret Schankler
  • Susan and Richard Gutow
  • Michael C. Hammer and Matthew Dolan
  • Cynthia Hayward and Peter Pleitner
  • J. Michael and Lesa Huget
  • Julian Konwinski
  • Brian and Lisa Krause
  • Carmen Setta Ludy
  • Fran and Irwin Martin
  • Tom and Suzanne McLinden
  • Hillary Murt and Bruce Friedman
  • Nicola’s Books
  • Kishor and Rita Patel
  • PNC Foundation
  • Kenneth and Melissa J. King Polsinelli
  • Philip H. and Kathleen K. Power
  • Gretchen Preston and Gregory P. Meisner
  • Jean P. Rowan, M.D.
  • Perry Samson and Deborah H. Gibson
  • Martha R. Seger
  • Knut and Anne Simonsen
  • Eric and Ines Storhok
  • Marilyn Tsao and Stephen Min Gao
  • Timothy and Laurie Wadhams
  • Elise Weisbach
  • Robert and Marina Whitman
  • Zingerman’s Community of Businesses

Towsley Society Members (cumulative gifts of $5,000-$9,999)

  • Sallie Kochin Abelson
  • Henry Aldridge and Diane Hiltner
  • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation- Hal and Ann Davis Fund
  • Anonymous Donor Support
  • Arbor Motion
  • Bruce Baker and Genie Wolfson
  • Ruth Bardenstein and Jim Roll
  • Leslie and Norman Bash
  • Newton Bates and Elizabeth Frederick
  • P. E. Bennett and Ms. Sandy Goldberg
  • Deborah and James Beuche
  • Biggby Coffee – Ann Arbor; Liberty and Washtenaw Locations
  • Joanie Binkow
  • William and Ilene Birge
  • Susan J. Blake
  • Susan and Bob Bonfield
  • Jimmy Boutin
  • Bob and Janet Bower
  • Michael and Shannon Brown
  • Jill K. Bugay
  • Grady and Amy Burnett
  • Louis and Janet Callaway
  • David and Valerie Flapan Canter
  • John and Patricia Carver
  • Paul and Susanne Cartman
  • Janet and William C. Cassebaum
  • Cindy and Jim Chaconas
  • Richard and Joyce Chesbrough
  • Harry and Jan Cohen
  • Wayne and Melinda Colquitt
  • Anne and Howard Cooper
  • Stephen and Laura Crowley
  • Constance Crump and Jay Simrod
  • Marta Dapena-Baron and Christie Nordhielm
  • Rolf and Ingrid Deininger
  • Andrzej and Cynthia Knapp Dlugosz
  • Mary H. Dobson
  • Wallace C. and Marlene S. Donoghue
  • Dallas C. Dort
  • Bruce and Julie Dunbar
  • Emerson School
  • Jackie and John Farah
  • Dan and Jill Francis
  • Paul and Judith Freedman
  • Richard and JoAnn Gardner
  • Sandra Garges and Jeff Kersten
  • Greenhills School
  • Gretchen’s House
  • Doug and Sabrina Gross
  • Steven, Sheila, Michael, Christopher, and Peter Hamp
  • David J. and Phyllis G. Herzig
  • Mark and Trish Heusel
  • Don Hicks
  • William B. Holmes
  • Hylant Group
  • Vani Katta
  • Theodore Kennedy
  • Todd and Margaret Kephart
  • Kerrytown Market & Shops
  • Barbara and Ronald Kramer
  • Tamara L. Kutter
  • David J. and Jo W. Lau
  • Wendy Lawson
  • Carolyn Lepard
  • Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Letts III
  • John and Melinda Magee
  • Gail Solway Little and Chris Mile
  • Bob and Deb Merion
  • David and Molly Mengebier
  • Mary and Mark Mueting
  • Ann Mulhern and Raymond Maturo
  • Donald and Ann Munro
  • Barbara Murphy and Gavin Eadie
  • Sarah Newman
  • Jack and Kerry Novick
  • Arthur S. Nusbaum
  • Deb Odom Stern
  • Charles E. Jr. and Connie Olson
  • Robert and Elizabeth O’Neal
  • O’Neal Construction
  • O & W, Inc.
  • Stephen and Elizabeth Palms
  • Elizabeth Peacock
  • Robert and Leslie Picken
  • Drs. Elaine and Bertram Pitt
  • Diana Raimi and John Dryden
  • David R. Reid and Arbor Limousine
  • Steve Rohde and Deborah Cherrin
  • Amnon and Prue Rosenthal
  • Milagros Samaniego
  • Ann and Thomas Schriber
  • Dennis and Ellie Serras
  • Richard and Carol Sheridan
  • Kenneth R. Silk and Joan Margeson
  • Elizabeth and Arthur Solomon
  • Carolyn R. Spencer
  • William and Villabeth Taylor
  • Timo Thomann-Rompf
  • Tios Mexican Café
  • Norman and Ilene Tyler
  • Carol Van Dyke
  • Deborah and Chris Vanden Broek
  • Mary Vandewiele
  • Drew Waller
  • Edward and Jennifer Walsh
  • Alan and Donna Wasserman
  • Whole Foods Markets – Ann Arbor
  • Brian H. Weisman
  • Stuart and Suzanne White
  • Frank Zolenski