Generous gift from Towsley Foundation to expand Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship

Feb 08, 2016, 10:53 ET from University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Gerald R. Ford School at the University of Michigan is pleased to announce the expansion of the Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellowship through a generous $750,000 pledge from the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation.

When established with an estate gift from longtime Ford School friend and benefactor Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker, the pilot fellowship was intended to send one competitively selected master's student to Washington, DC each winter to complete a six-month assignment with a senator or representative from the State of Michigan delegation. The Towsley Foundation's most recent gift will expand the endowment, allowing the Ford School to support additional Riecker Fellows in the years ahead.

The first Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellow will be hosted by the Office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the senior member of the Michigan delegation, from January 4 to June 30, 2016, allowing a student to lend support during the winter legislative session. The fellow will work under the direction of Senator Stabenow's chief of staff and the legislative assistant who is leading the policy portfolio to which the fellow is assigned.


Margaret Ann (Ranny) Riecker (HLLD '05), who passed away in Midland, Mich., on April 7, 2014, was among the Ford School's most generous volunteers and supporters.

Ranny Riecker's philanthropic ties ran deep -- her grandparents started the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, and her parents started the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation. Her philanthropy through the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation (where she was president) and the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation (where she was chair), and personal giving with her late husband John Riecker (AB' 52, JD '54) has been instrumental in the Ford School's advancement over the years:

In addition to the Ford School, Ranny and John Riecker supported 18 other units at the University of Michigan, through personal giving and through the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation. Together, they established the Margaret A. and John E. Riecker Law Library Fund at the Law School; supported areas such as the musical theater program at the School of Music, Theater and Dance; the solar car project at the College of Engineering; community counseling at the Center for the Education of Women; and the Varsity Tennis Center in Athletics.

The Rieckers were longtime champions of volunteer fundraising and leaders at the university. They both served as honorary co-chairs of the Michigan Difference campaign from 2004-2008, and Ranny Riecker was co-chair of the steering committee for the Campaign for Michigan in the 1990s. She also was a member of the Dean's Honorary Committee in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts; served on the President's Advisory Group; and was a member of the Emeritae Council for the CEW, where she served on the Leadership Council for over 15 years.

This gift counts toward the university's Victors for Michigan campaign, which has a fundraising goal of $4 billion. Included is a $1 billion goal for student support. With this gift, the Towsley Foundation will contribute to the student support goal by expanding hands-on learning opportunities for graduate students and directly supporting their educational experience in a dynamic political environment.

Madeline Fetchiet
University of Michigan
Office of University Development
(734) 763-4601


SOURCE University of Michigan