Roehling06In our continuing efforts to improve the way we operate as a supporting 501©(3) organization to AIA Michigan, the Michigan Architectural Foundation, in conjunction with AIA Michigan, is making significant changes that will allow for greater clarity in our mission and a focus on increasing our endowment to better support our goal of promoting architecture to the public.

In no small part, recent changes are a direct result of AIA member feedback last year that indicated we needed to do more to educate and inform members about the MAF mission and how we differentiate ourselves from AIA Michigan. As a result, the AIA Michigan Board of Directors has recently approved the following re-organization of programs and objectives between the two organizations:

For Michigan Architectural Foundation:

The mission of the Michigan Architectural Foundation is to increase public appreciation of how architecture enriches life.

The Foundation works to enhance the profession and elevate public awareness of architecture through the funding of:

  • Public Awareness Campaigns and School Programs
  • Publication of Guides and Books on Architecture
  • Encouraging Architecture as a Profession through Scholarships
  • Historic Preservation Activities

We advocate and promote Architecture

We are focused on building our endowment for mission-related activities

Our primary target audience for education is the public

We are the repository for donations and invested assets

Our revenue comes from donations – from members, foundations, corporations and others

We focus on donations from corporations and others

For AIA Michigan:

The mission of AIA Michigan is to organize and unite its members to continuously improve the profession.

AIA Michigan works to enhance the architect’s position as the leader of the building team and designer of the built environment. This mission is achieved through:

  • Public Advocacy
  • Education
  • Fellowship

We advocate for Architects

We are focused on the professional needs of members

Our primary target audiences are members and policy makers

We manage programs for members and others

Our revenue comes from dues and profits from program activities

We focus on sponsorships from corporations and others

Beginning with fiscal year 2008, all educational conferences and programs for members and related disciplines will be conducted through AIA Michigan. This activity is more closely aligned with the AIA Michigan mission to support architects and related disciplines.

The Foundation will undertake steps this year to expand our fund development capabilities by hiring a full time staff person to focus on our programmatic and fund development mission. Further, we will work more closely with every chapter to encourage and fund scholarships, increase endowment capacity and heighten public awareness at local chapter and statewide levels. A three-year strategic plan for the foundation is being developed that will be shared with AIA members.

Specifically, we will be working hard to promote Michigan architecture and foundation activities in the following and other related areas of interest:

  • Public Awareness Grants to the chapters for various program venues to promote the public awareness of Michigan Architecture.
  • Scholarships will continue to be an important focus of your foundation – to promote the profession and encourage young people to become architects.
  • The David Evans Grant – saving historic buildings that may otherwise be lost to the public forever and, again promoting the good that the profession does in saving or repurposing these important structures.
  • K-5 Education – building children’s appreciation of architecture and its role in the quality of our lives in Michigan
  • Great Architecture of Michigan – a photographic book, website and brochure that will guide the public on a tour of 150 significant buildings in the State.

And because MAF is YOUR foundation, we welcome your ideas on how to enhance and elevate the public awareness of architecture. Please contact any of the trustees or the MAF office to share your ideas or otherwise assist us in promoting the profession we all love.


MAF_Cover_200x218In recognition of the Michigan Architectural Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, the foundation is embarking on a major project to increase public appreciation of how architecture enriches life. We are currently in the midst of planning a full-color hard cover coffee table book on 150 significant buildings in the State of Michigan, tentatively titled “Great Architecture of Michigan as Seen through the Lens of Balthazar Korab”. The entire publication will feature the photography of one the country’s most renowned architectural photographers, Michigan’s own Balthazar Korab.

Currently in the fundraising stage, significant donations have already been personally pledged by the MAF Board of Trustees, along with a substantial matching grant from Comerica Bank. The remaining fundraising will hopefully be concluded by the end of this year, which will allow the Foundation to move forward with the book design and publication. A late 2008 publication is anticipated.

In addition to the book, Balthazar Korab’s photography will be posted on the MAF website along with an “architectural guide” brochure to assist in visiting these most significant structures.


Graham_Ralph_100x123Ralph Graham is a patron of architecture in both his public and private life. Ralph and his wife Jeanne’s love of historic buildings and their friendship with David Evans, a noted preservation architect, led to the creation, with the Michigan Architectural Foundation, of the David Evans Memorial Award for Historic Preservation…funded by the Graham’s Clannad Foundation. The annual award is administered by MAF and a group of architects and preservation activists. The grant emphasizes the adaptive reuse of historic structures and has been instrumental in preserving several important community links to the past.

Ralph is a retired film producer and retailer and operated Orthogonality in Birmingham for 18 years. Since his retirement he has been active as the Gardener-in-Charge of the Oriental Garden at Cranbrook. Also, he actively supervised the construction of the Graham’s vacation home on Beaver Island in upper Lake Michigan. During that time he assisted with the funding and marketing of a new Community Center, now nearing completion on Beaver Island. Ralph worked with the Greater Corktown Development Council in Detroit, raising funds for the establishment of an historic interpretive center to be housed in a mid-nineteenth century Rowhouse. The project is ongoing. Both the Community Center and the Rowhouse are adaptive re-use projects.

Currently, Ralph is Co-Chair of the Museum Committee at Cranbrook’s Art Museum and also is Co-Chair of the Academy of Art at Cranbrook. In the Spring of 2007, Graham was named as a Trustee on Cranbrook’s Board of Trustees. He also is working to increase awareness and funding for the Evans Grants. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, receiving a BA in Design.

Ralph became the Michigan Architectural Foundation’s first Public Trustee in 2005.


The MAF sponsored Educational Facilities Conference was held on October 11-12 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan. The popular event provided over 150 educators, school board members, educational planners, school administrators, architects, engineers, construction managers and other interested professionals with the latest available information which will assist them in planning, designing and constructing educational facilities. The seminar provided valuable AIA Learning Units, including Health, Safety & Welfare credits, to satisfy requirements for continuing education to maintain AIA Membership.


Conference proceeds contribute significantly to the long-term financial stability of the Foundation and underwrite portions of our non-income producing programs.

The Foundation would like to thank the following AIA Michigan members who contributed countless hours as conference committee members to make this successful event possible:

Lee Andrea, AIA – SHW Group, LLP
Kirk Delzer, AIA – Integrated Design Solutions
Doug Kueffner, AIA – WTM Associates, Inc.
Thomas R. Mathison, FAIA – Tower Pinkster
Ralph W. Moxley, AIA – URS Corporation
Charles Nelson, AIA – Kingscott Associates, Inc.
Dawn Peterson, AIA – SHW Group, LLP
Mark Reile, AIA – TMP Associates, Inc.
Francis J. Rutz, AIA – Hitch, Inc.
Robert Stempien, AIA – Barton Malow Company
John Waldrop, AIA – French Associates, Inc.

Special thanks to Ralph Moxley, AIA who served as Chair for this event. Kirk Delzer, AIA will serve as vice-chair for the 2008 event.

Another Successful MAF Silent Auction

The twelfth annual MAF Silent Auction was held on August 9-12 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during the AIA Michigan Mid-Summer Conference. Gracious friends and supporters of the Foundation donated items of Artwork and Furniture along with Resort Getaway Accommodations, Fine Dining and other unique entertainment experiences. Spirited bidding by our Architect members and our AGC partners helped raise a near record amount for this event.


The MAF Auction was created to raise funds to help grow the Foundation endowment. This year’s event furthered that cause by raising approximately $11,000 for the Foundation to be used to fund programs that support the mission of MAF.

The success of the Auction relies purely on the generosity of our donors who were so gracious with their gifts to the Foundation. The Foundation would like to personally thank those individuals who supported this successful event.

Posted in MAF Newsletter Archive

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