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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
Benard L. Maas 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
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
Albert and Paula Berriz
Bivouac Ann Arbor
Blue Care Network of Michigan
Cheryl and James Buhr
Susan and Oliver Cameron
Brian and Mary Campbell
Bill and Janet Cassebaum
Christine K. Castle
Deb Cherrin and Steve Rohde
Russell B. Collins and Debra Polich
Arnold and Susan Coran
Bernard and Dorothy Ann Coyne
Drs. Kirk Donaldson and Kristin Guenther
Del and Nancy Dunbar
Ann A. Edwards
Donna Freund and David Ross
Steve Glauberman and Margaret Schankler
Susan and Richard Gutow
Michael C. Hammer and Matthew Dolan
Steven, Sheila, Michael, Christopher, and Peter Hamp
Cynthia Hayward and Peter Pleitner
J. Michael and Lesa Huget
Brian and Lisa Krause
Carmen Setta Ludy
Fran and Irwin Martin
Tom and Suzanne McLinden
Bob and Deb Merion
Hillary Murt and Bruce Friedman
Kishor and Rita Patel
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
Sue and Gary Sikkema
Knut and Anne Simonsen
Eric and Ines Storhok
Alicia Torres and Frank Legacki
Marilyn Tsao and Stephen Min Gao
Timothy and Laurie Wadhams
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