The West Bloomfield-based Davidson Foundation awarded the lion's share of the funds — $15 million, including a $5 million matching grant in support of the orchestra's endowment, which also received $2 million from the Mellon Foundation, $1 million from the Erb Family Foundation, and $500,000 from the Dresner Foundation. In addition, the grant from the Davidson Foundation will underwrite continuing sponsorship of the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series, which has brought the DSO into community venues across southeast Michigan. In recognition of the gift, the DSO announced that the atrium at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center will be named the William Davidson Atrium.
"The William Davidson Foundation's gift builds on past annual support critical to the community-centric program we began together six years ago and bears their name, invests significant resources in the short- and long-term strategies laid out in our ten-year plan, and provides a timely call to action around the importance of building endowment to ensure service to future generations," said DSO president and CEO Anne Parsons. "We are thrilled with all of the new gifts announced today and hope this message of 'it takes a village' will resonate for others to join in support of the long-term viability of the DSO."
"Our family's support of the DSO began three generations ago," said Ralph J. Gerson, a member of the Davidson family who serves on the Davidson Foundation's executive committee as well as on the DSO board. "We want this world-class orchestra — this community jewel — to enrich audiences in our region and across the globe for generations to come. The DSO's exemplary leadership, musical artistry, and unmatched accessibility continue to inspire us. We hope the foundation's $5 million challenge grant will inspire others to contribute to the endowment campaign and thereby become lifelong supporters."