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Updated 12:00 PM June 23, 2005
 

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  The Michigan Difference
UMMA receives $1.5M challenge grant and $1M gift

The Kresge Foundation of Troy, Mich., has awarded the U-M Museum of Art (UMMA) a challenge grant of $1.5 million toward the renovation and expansion of Alumni Memorial Hall.

In anticipation of the Kresge award, alumnus and New York-based investment strategist Marvin H. Davidson gave the Museum $1 million toward the project.

The Kresge Foundation awards its prestigious and highly competitive grants on a challenge basis to assist in completing ambitious capital campaigns, and pays only after all other campaign funds have been pledged. One important goal of the Kresge challenge grant is to help institutions broaden their traditional base of support by encouraging wider community involvement in securing the institution's future vitality.

President Mary Sue Coleman expressed her appreciation for the grant, and noted that it will advance the University's $2.5 billion fundraising campaign, The Michigan Difference.

"We are delighted to receive a challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation, which sets the gold standard in fundraising," Coleman said.

The museum's expansion and renovation will cost $35.4 million. As of May, UMMA had raised more than 70 percent of the funds. The Kresge challenge requires the museum to raise some $8.5 million in new gifts and grants to reach the $35.4 million goal by the intended completion date of June 1, 2006, before the $1.5 million Kresge grant can be paid. Construction will begin when fundraising is complete.

"The Kresge challenge grant is immensely inspiring and motivating, and Marvin Davidson's very generous gift was a strategic vote of confidence that powerfully bolstered our application to Kresge," UMMA Director James Steward said. "Thanks to the Kresge Foundation and to Marvin, we now enter the homestretch of our campaign and can begin to envision the excitement of groundbreaking, the start of construction, the opening of luminous new galleries, and the creation of a vibrant new center for the visual arts in Ann Arbor. But we must now redouble our efforts to be worthy of this challenge."

Davidson, who was born in Detroit and graduated from Cranbrook, received his bachelor's degree in English from U-M in 1957 and his MBA from Harvard University in 1959. In addition to UMMA, Davidson has been a generous benefactor to LSA.

"It was gratifying to make a gift to the museum and at the same time help in fulfilling the Kresge Foundation's challenge and obtaining a grant," Davidson said. "I am pleased to see that UMMA is taking on more ambitious and stimulating exhibitions, and its partnerships with world-class institutions is exciting and a wonderful way to engage students from across the University. I know the museum will move forward vigorously to complete its campaign."

The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. It is not affiliated with any corporation or organization.

The UMMA project includes a 53,000-square-foot addition with new galleries; state-of-the-art storage facilities; educational spaces such as an auditorium, classrooms, and object study classrooms; an expanded art conservation lab; improved visitor amenities; and substantial restoration and renovation to its current facility.

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