MAF recently held its 2023 Donor Appreciation Event on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at the historic St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids. Each year MAF dedicates a special and unique event to thank MAF’s donors and to celebrate with scholarship winners and those who share a common love of Michigan architecture, the built environment, and the importance of nurturing future architects. Event guests included donors, MAF Board members, MAF scholarship winners, and heads of Master of Architecture programs at Michigan’s accredited colleges of architecture.
“MAF was honored to thank our donors and celebrate the essential contribution they make towards the fulfillment of MAF’s mission: to advance awareness of how architecture enriches life,” said Donor Appreciation Event co-chair Tom Mathison, FAIAE. “MAF’s donors provide the resources to create and grow endowed funds that support scholarships and grants to people, organizations, and communities throughout Michigan. Our work would not be possible without their generosity.”
This was the first year the MAF Donor Appreciation Event was held outside the greater Detroit – Ann Arbor area; Grand Rapids was selected to celebrate the newest MAF scholarship endowment fund by AIA Grand Rapids. Two AIA Grand Rapids scholarships were awarded in its inaugural year.
The event kicked off with a networking reception, followed by formal welcoming remarks by MAF President Doug Kueffner, AIA. He also introduced Dan Pitera, FAIA, Dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture & Community Design (SCAD), and Michael McCullough, Program Chair of the Master of Architecture Program at Ferris State University / Kendall College of Art and Design. Tim Casai, FAIAE, Chair of the MAF Scholarship Committee, announced the MAF scholarships awarded this year, and introduced the scholarship winners in attendance at the event.
“Perhaps the most important and most gratifying part of this event is to have scholarship winners meet the donors who created the scholarship endowment fund for their particular scholarship, said Mathison. “The opportunity to make that personal connection is a wonderful moment for both donors and scholarship recipients.”
MAF’s first Donor Appreciation Event was held in 2018, followed by another in 2019. Due to COVID-19, there was no event in 2020 or 2021. The events resumed in 2022.