BIG RAPIDS – Margaret Ann Riecker of Midland will be the recipient of an honorary doctoral degree for public service from Ferris State University during commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 9, for the university’s Michigan College of Optometry, and College of Education and Human Services.
For more than 40 years, she has been a trustee of both the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation (established by her parents) and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. She became the Dow Foundation’s president in 2000, and also is currently chair of the Towsley Foundation. She has worked toward improving the work of Michigan foundations, especially family foundations, through the Council of Michigan Foundations, and nationwide through the Council on Foundations.
Riecker’s support of education has been invaluable. From 1990-97 she co-chaired the steering committee of the $1 billion Campaign for Michigan. She and her husband, John, co-chaired The Michigan Difference, a $2.5 billion campaign. She serves on the Leadership Council of the Center for the Education of Women, and also on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Carleton College, having been chair from 1999-2004. She is a past chair and trustee of Central Michigan University’s Board of Trustees and serves as a member of the board on the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
In addition to her B.A. degree from Carleton College in Minnesota, she has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Central Michigan University, Albion College and the University of Michigan.
Her current local community volunteer activities include serving on the boards of Midland Downtown Development Authority; Greater Midland Community Centers, Inc.; chair of the Planning Committee for MidMichigan Medical Center; MidMichigan Health System; Midland Kids First; Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network; Midland Future Committee; Michigan Molecular Institute; Northcoast Technology Investors Advisory Committee; Saginaw Valley State University; Steering Committee Promise for Tomorrow Campaign; and the Joint Midland City/County Building Authority.
She and her late husband, John Riecker, have two children, Margaret (Thompson) and John Towsley.