Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner
Saturday, March 29, 2014 Town Center Atrium . Westin Southfield
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Great Parties … Across the Globe! Welcome to the Inaugural Presentation of The Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner! The evening begins with a Prelude Party at the beautiful Westin Southfield Town Center for an elegant champagne reception, while the talented Upper School Jazz Band entertains. Additional features include a myriad of “one-of-a-kind” Silent Auction items created by Roeper Students … a “Raise Your Paddle” to support Financial Aid … and the drawing for a $5,000 Cash Raffle! Then, enthusiastic party-goers will disband for the numerous “Host Homes” to share a wonderful and intimate dinner created especially for the evening by Roeper parents, alumni, faculty and alumni parents. These simultaneous gatherings will be held throughout southeast Michigan … while satellite dinners are being held in Nashville, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, London, England and more. All proceeds from the Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner will be directed toward The Roeper School’s Financial Aid and Scholarship program — one of the most robust in the country.
Acknowledgments Our enthusiastic party-going Roeperians are assembling at dozens of magnificent neighborhood homes around the county, the country and the world to share wonderful dinners created especially for The Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner. It is only through the generosity of our dinner hosts that the concept for this event becomes a reality. Please join us in extending a BRAVO! and Bon Appétit! for their remarkable generosity!
David & Elane Feldman
Neighborhood Dinner Hosts David & Colleen Allen Jonathan & Jacquelyn Blakey Harvey & Penny Brode Susan & Angus Carroll John DeCerchio & Mickey Guisewite Lori Lutz ’75 & Greg Gamalski, Clara ’07 & Eleanor ’11 Tara & Steven Grekin Junior & LaShonn Johnson The Keteyian Family Anessa ’89 & David Kramer
Jody Lipton & Geoff Kretchmer Mark Miliotto & Beth Taylor Emery & Linda Pence The Raveane Family Lesley Hosey & Ron Robinson David & Sheila Ronis The Said Family Lori & Steve Shoha The Stafeil Family John & Marcy Sznewajs Clay Thomas & Bessy Despotis
Community Hosts Miranda Beebe ’84 — Washington, DC Nina Beebe ’87 — London, England Liz Osberger Denning ’88 & Leigh Newland O’Donnell ’88 — Nashville Shara Evans ’04 — Denver Sue Kellogg Graf ’87 — Los Angeles Ilene Mitchell ’74 — Boston Eric Peterson ’95 — New York City Rob Rahbari ’89 — Rochester, New York Fiona Ruddy ’06 — Detroit Alexandra Sims ’06 — Chicago
We are particularly grateful for the amazing volunteer and staff leadership who helped shape this event.
Steering Committee Katie Buchmann Heide Brode Tricia Huneke
Elizabeth Klee Ashley Lowe Jameel Montgomery Smith
Fiona Ruddy Donna Silk Beth Vens
Honorary Committee Elaina Holsey Lori Lutz ’75 Denita Banks-Sims Pat Hurd Linda & Emery Pence Sally Booth Roberta Jones Karen Roeper ’66* Cynthia Churches David Lauer ’08 Peter Roeper ’63* Randall Dunn Nick Lauer Tom Roeper ’61* David Fluent Carolyn Lett Linda Vernon Mary Kay Glazek Lori Zinser Dick Halsey Doug & Mary Beth Winkworth Chuck & Nancy Webster, Cullen ’11* & Rachael ’98
Development & Publications Staff Denita Banks-Sims Katie Buchmann
Julie Gillikin Marcia Ruff
* indicates the actual graduation year of alumni who matriculated from other secondary schools
Bonnie Schemm Adam Smock
About Mariann Mariann Hoag began working at Roeper in 1948, two years after the school had moved to Bloomfield Hills with 90 students in six grades and the nursery. Fresh out of college, Mariann became George’s secretary —and soon indispensable to the operation of the school. Mariann handled meetings and correspondence — in the onerous days of typewriters and carbon paper and ditto machines — but she also ran the fleet of buses the school owned to bring students from Detroit and Ann Arbor and Flint every day. She arranged for substitutes, community service and class trips, sold tickets for student plays, wrote paychecks and filled out state forms, potted and watered the red geraniums she decided would suit the school, and dispensed everything from band-aids to acerbic advice. Her crisp shirtwaists, Pappagallo flats and constant scent of Belodgia by Caron were iconic. HOWARD KLOC
Grown-ups were a little intimidated by Mariann. Teachers thought twice before calling in for a sub in the morning. But somehow the children knew she was OK, and her office was clogged with kids hanging out. “She seemed stern,” said one, “but you always knew she was on your side.” “With Mariann, a deal was a deal,” said another. “Pull up your socks and get on with it” was Mariann’s stock advice, and for many students that bracing advice was a reassuring mantra in a complicated world. You could tell how much she meant to students by the vast numbers who wrote to her over the years, telling her about new jobs, new children, and sad losses. Her address book was the school’s first and most complete alumni database. George and Annemarie made it a central policy that the school would admit students based on their ability to profit from the program, not on their parents’ ability to pay. Then, as now, that has been a challenge that the school has worked hard to fulfill — devoting far more of its general budget to financial aid than other independent schools. As usual, Mariann’s role was to make the grand idea work in the real world. She created a financial aid process that in her no-nonsense but compassionate way was discreet and honored the applicants. Her process has held up over the years and served the school well.
As well, Mariann’s commitment to the idea of a fair policy that served as many as possible was bedrock. Over the years, she reached frequently and anonymously into her own pocket to cover tuitions. When she “retired” in 1997, she stayed on to run the Financial Aid Committee. At the end of her life, when she was quite ill, the committee met at her bedside in her townhouse not far from the Birmingham campus. And when Mariann Hoag passed away in 2009, the school honored her unceasing commitment and renamed the financial aid program in her honor: The Mariann Hoag Financial Aid Grant Award Program. She, in fact, left her entire estate to the school. The near $500,000 donation was directed toward the Tim Booth Endowment Fund — explicitly for financial aid in lasting and loving perpetuity.
A Garden to Remember From Patrick O’Connor ‘78* on the dedication of the Mariann Hoag Gardens at the Birmingham Campus in 1991.
The Birmingham Campus saw some beautiful landscape updates that summer, including the addition of a lovely garden right off the small parking lot. There was no doubt the garden would be named after Mariann; the real question was, how to dedicate in a way that had meaning, and a little surprise.
The answer came in a moment. We would bus the students from the Lower School homerooms over to the Birmingham Campus and pair them with a homeroom from the Middle or Upper School. Working as partners, the students would develop a poem, card, or piece of art to present to Mariann at a brief school-wide assembly on the edge of the garden, then celebrate the day with a group lunch. It wasn’t easy keeping all of this a secret from Mariann — can you imagine how impossible it was to order six school busses without her knowing about it? — but a sunny November 1st came, and when Mariann saw the first bus pull up, she walked into Chuck Webster’s office and asked, “What’s going on?” The day was memorable in several ways. Homeroom teachers planned weeks in advance for a series of wonderful presentations to Mariann, who was clearly pleased, if a little speechless. The Upper School Student Government organized the event and the luncheon with grace and timeliness, and Upper School photo teacher Andy Ross herded everyone onto the front lawn for a photograph of the very first all-school gathering we’d
had since grades 6 – 12 had moved to the Birmingham Campus in 1981. These meetings are an annual event now, but it took the community’s love for Mariann to motivate us to convene the first one. While the garden has been relocated, the memory of the day lingers long for those in attendance, and is still tangible in the geranium picture that hangs in Mike Ruddy’s room — his homeroom’s contribution to the garden’s dedication.
A Superhero Tribute of “Comic” Proportions Dwayne McDuffie graduated from Roeper in 1980 before earning a B.A. in English and M.S. in Physics from the University of Michigan. After studying film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he distinguished himself in the comic book and television industries as a writer who sought to culturally diversify the pantheon of superheroes as well as the personnel at the companies producing them. A two-time Emmy nominee for animation writing in 2003 and 2004, Dwayne earned the prestigious Humanitis Prize in 2003, and in 2011 was posthumously honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Writers Guild of America, West’s Animation Writers Caucus. The Roeper School — along with Apollo 13 astronaut, Jim Lovell — was proud to present a Golden Apple Award to Dwayne in 1996. A hallmark of Dwayne’s work was to help audiences understand and accept diversity and differences by depicting fictional worlds that more accurately reflect the diversity and differences in our own. His even greater mission was to provide readers/viewers of a wide variety of ethnicities, races, gender identities, etc., with the all-too-rare opportunity to relate to heroic lead characters who actually look like them. To that end, in 1992 Dwayne cofounded Milestone, the most successful African-American-owned comic book company in history, still recognized today for its ground-breaking array of multi-cultural original characters. Perhaps the most memorable characters co-created by Dwayne during his prolific career are the iconic African-American superhero, Static Shock ... and the irrepressible Mrs. Hoag! Dwayne’s affectionate tribute to Mariann is among our absolute favorites, and we are so grateful that his widow, Charlotte McDuffie, granted us permission to reprint these excerpts.
A Message from the Head David H. Feldman One cannot spend any time at our School and not hear stories about Mariann Hoag. Originally, George Roeper’s Administrative Assistant, she was so much more to our community. Mariann built connections with students that were long-standing and personal. She helped shape and guide our commencement, built traditions like the Junior/Senior Dinner, developed and led our financial aid program, and gave form to our program of alumni outreach. If you have read and been “Keeping in Touch,” you are familiar with a beautiful example of Mariann’s creative spirit.
Mariann understood the power of mentorship, the structures that exist in a school where one class passes the baton to the next in the long-standing practice of leadership development. While many schools have transition ceremonies that center on awards, Mariann was conscious that Roeper should focus on how we build and sustain community. She helped create special traditions that would leave a lasting impression on our collective memories. We often have long intense discussions about the language of the Roeper philosophy, but I have to say that Mariann Hoag seemed to internalize the values and beliefs of our school in a simple statement that is a wonderful guide for each of us, and a fitting way for me to see our work as a community. She would say: “Take care of yourself, take care of each other, and take care of this place.”
A Testament to Opportunity Judge Qiana Denise Lillard Raised on the southeast side of the city of Detroit by her extended family, Qiana Denise Lillard earned a scholarship to attend The Roeper School from which she graduated in 1994. After high school she attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where she earned a B.A. in English in 1998 and her J.D. in 2001. While at Notre Dame, Qiana was very active in various student organizations and worked as a law clerk in the University of Notre Dame Office of General Counsel. Upon graduation from law school in 2001 she returned to metropolitan Detroit where she began her legal career working in the legal department of the Detroit Edison Company, presently known as DTE Energy. She later worked as an associate attorney in the legal department of Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association. Additionally, she worked for several years in the claims legal department of AAA Michigan where she focused on subrogation, uninsured motorist arbitration, first party PIP and RBI litigation, as well as third party auto negligence and homeownerâ€™s tort liability cases. In 2005, Qiana began working as an Assistant Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney where, during her eight-year career, she focused primarily in the trials division in the areas of elder abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence, and most recently as a member of the sexual assault team and as a specially assigned prosecutor for the special victims unit. She handled high-profile cases involving serial rapists, police officers charged with sexual assault, child homicides, and other highly-publicized sexual assault cases. Qiana is a lifelong member of Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit, where she has previously served as an elder. She has been a member of numerous organizations, including the Women Lawyers Association, the Association of Defense Trial Counsel, and the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She is currently a member of the Wolverine Bar Association, the Association of Black Judges of Michigan, and a director of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit. Qiana was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Third Circuit Court in Wayne County on August 7, 2013. She began her tenure on the bench in the Family-Juvenile Division and is currently serving in the Criminal Division.
An Advocate Is Nurtured Will McDowell The enthusiasms of Will McDowell, Class of 2007 and a Bretzlaff Scholar, have propelled him throughout his life. He bounded through five years at Roeper, obsessed with film, making videos, playing drums in Upper School band, and playing four years of basketball, including serving as captain of the varsity team his senior year. From Roeper, Will headed to the University of Michigan, where his passion ensured his election two years’ running as Super Fan of the Maize Rage, the student cheering section for Wolverine basketball. He graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. While still at Roeper, Will became deeply involved in Summer in the City, the innovative program founded a little more than 10 years ago that connects suburban youth with volunteer opportunities in Detroit. Will was a volunteer all through high school, moved on to key staff positions while in college, and is now serving as President of the Board of the non-profit. “It was Summer in the City that first made me deeply obsessed with the City of Detroit,” says Will. Will has been living and working in Detroit since he graduated from Michigan. He was the first hire by the cofounders of Detroit Labs, a mobile app development company located in the downtown Campus Martius tech hotspot. Detroit Labs now has 58 team members and a client list that includes Domino’s, Chevrolet Volt, DTE Energy, and more. In her senior speech for Will at graduation from Roeper, Linda Vernon called Will “energetic, motivated, wildly creative and seriously fun-loving.” Some things never change.
A Vision Realized Katie Buchmann
It is impossible to walk up the steps of the Hill House without thinking of the memories, experiences, lessons and special people that have hiked that same hill. So many stories have been told and listened to; one constant in many of those memories is Mariann Hoag. For more than 60 years, Mariann Hoag administered the financial aid program at The Roeper School. With every scholarship awarded, she personally upheld the Roeper philosophy and made our school accessible to those who might not otherwise have had the means to attend. It is fair to say that she changed the course of lives in generations of Roeper families because of her selfless dedication and conviction. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of a new tradition â€” The Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner. Together with amazing Honorary and Steering Committees, we have created an event that will honor Mariannâ€™s legacy and continue to provide opportunities for new memories, experiences and connections that will strengthen the Roeper Community! Most importantly, all of the proceeds go to support The Mariann Hoag Financial Aid grant Award Program. Please be certain to stay in touch as we look forward to building on the success of this incredible evening. Thank you for your support.
Parting Thought Denita Banks-Sims I’d like to think that Mariann would be pleased by the intimate dinner gatherings of Roeper community members. She was an elegant hostess — not fussy or ostentatious — just brilliantly gracious.
I’d also like to think that she would be pleased that we found a way to marry her fondness for a “lovely dinner party” with the incomparable legacy that she has gifted The Roeper School.
And perhaps she would have been particularly pleased to know that her beloved alumni were gathering around the country and “over the pond” to help secure a fundamental tenant established by George and Annemarie Roeper — and expertly administered by Mariann Hoag! We are delighted that our search for an event to alternate with the MOSAIC Auction has been accomplished. The proceeds for both signature events are directed toward financial aid and scholarship, and we can now give our best attention and effort to the distinctive characteristics of each. Of course, neither event is possible without the considerable generosity of our sponsors and donors, our volunteer leadership, dedicated faculty and staff, and talented students. The implementation of the vision for The Mariann Hoag Scholarship Dinner has been thoughtfully and skillfully managed by Roeper Development Officer Katie Buchmann. Her unwavering enthusiasm and diligence has created a template for continuing growth and success, and we look forward to benefitting from her guidance in the next iteration of the MOSAIC Auction in March 2015 … stay tuned!
Very Special Thanks
Joel, Carol & Aaron ’12 Appel Anonymous Sponsor
Special Thanks to … Our Generous Donors
Monica Moons Kenneth & Beth Bayus Arthur & Linda Myatt Stephen Chao ’64* Patrick ’78 & Dianne O’Connor David & Pauline Fisher Ronald Rosenberg Harold & Bonita Gardner Thomas & Julie Song Karen Johnson Michael Tilchin ’72 Arjun & Jennifer Kampani Brian & Rachel Watson Lee & Jacqueline Kellert Doug & Diane Whipple Jamie & Beth Michelson Laurence & Emily Wine Jon & Lori Mojares Doug & Mary Beth Winkworth
And to … Our Wonderful Volunteers The Upper School Jazz Band Roeper’s 10th Grade