A. Alfred Taubman (1924 - 2015)
An avid supporter of both the arts and higher education, Alfred Taubman supported CCS because he believed in the transformative power of the College’s academic programs. His $15 million lead gift for the redevelopment of the Argonaut Building allowed the CCS vision for the project to become a reality. Thanks to Mr. Taubman’s generous support, and his leadership of the CCS Board’s Facilities Committee, the former General Motors building is reborn as a center of design innovation. The A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education reflects his unmistakable mark of quality and ingenuity. “Young people today need a strong education, and the region needs a talented, creative workforce committed to living and working here. At CCS, students gain a first-rate art and design education in arguably one of the best facilities in the world. It is an honor for me to have my name on the College’s new Center for Design Education, and it is a personal pleasure to witness the new life flowing into its halls and the City of Detroit.”
Robert & Ellen Thompson
Robert and Ellen Thompson founded the Thompson Educational Foundation in 1999 to help low-income people rise out of poverty and become self-sufficient, with a special focus on helping Detroit schoolchildren get an education. The Thompsons’ generosity created the Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies, which has a 90/90 goal: at least 90 percent of entering 9th grade students will graduate high school and at least 90 percent of those students go on to college or other formal education. They are passionate about preparing Detroit’s youth to become successful in their community. Bob states, “The biggest challenge I can think of is helping inner-city kids get an education. We’re making a measurable difference, and to me that’s very important.” Integrated with CCS within the Taubman Center, the school provides an incredible opportunity unlike any other for young creative minds to access world-class art and design students, faculty and resources.
Nancy & Jim Grosfeld
Nancy and Jim Grosfeld are long-time CCS donors and passionate supporters of the City of Detroit. They recognize the vital role artists play in our society and believe arts education is incredibly important. Nancy and Jim have a deep understanding of the College and a personal connection to CCS’ academic programs, as their daughter is a CCS alumna. Nancy, an active community volunteer, explains, “As a CCS donor, volunteer and parent, I have witnessed how CCS educates and engages artists to become successful in their creative profession. CCS is a leader in arts education in Detroit. Our gift to the Campaign helps support the growth of the College and strengthen the caliber of its students, faculty and its art and design programs.”
James B. & James M. Nicholson
Father-son team James B. and James M. Nicholson of family-owned PVS Chemicals, Inc., are devoted to enhancing the economy in the region. “CCS is helping to lead the way in strengthening Detroit’s creative economy,” says James M. James B. adds, “Our contribution to CCS works in part to ensure CCS remains an anchor institution in Detroit.”
David Egner, Hudson-Webber Foundation
As President and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation and Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative, David Egner works to strengthen the quality of life in metropolitan Detroit. “CCS’ project is a game changer in Detroit’s ability to attract and retain creative talent and business, and the foundation community is pleased to support such an important endeavor.”
Danialle & Peter Karmanos, Jr.
Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr. are committed Detroit philanthropists and community leaders. Danialle and Peter see Detroit’s incredible potential and are dedicated to improving the vitality of the city. They realize how truly valuable art and education is to the community, and believe in CCS’ ability to train future artists and designers and provide opportunities for inner-city kids. Danialle, an award-winning writer, producer, director and a photographer, applauds CCS for being a leader in developing creative talent among its students and across the City of Detroit. “CCS generates a tremendous amount of creative energy. Supporting CCS contributes to the innovative developments happening in Detroit.”
Ralph Gilles graduated from CCS in 1992 with an undergraduate degree in Transportation Design and joined Chrysler immediately after graduation. Since then, Ralph has become a successful car designer and automotive leader as current President and CEO of the Dodge Car Brand and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler Group LLC. Over the years, Gilles has helped Chrysler create bold car designs that are not only turning heads, but drawing numerous awards including Motor Trends 2005 Car of the Year for the Chrysler 300C, as well as consumer acclaim for designs of the Dodge Magnum and Dodge Charger. Ralph is very active in the community, and now serves on the CCS Board of Trustees. “CCS prepared me to create successful automobile designs and become a leader in my industry. It was an extremely worthwhile experience. I believe CCS is taking the right steps to give students a world-class education. I want to stay involved, give back, and help CCS educate the next generation of artists and designers.”