SiD is fortunate to have developed many good friendships over the past decade; folks with a genuine interest in becoming an active part of our learning community. We met one such friend, Ron Siegel (UM '74), over four years ago; and he's quickly become dear to our students and faculty. Born in Detroit and raised in nearby Oak Park, Ron has deep familial roots in Detroit. While he left the state for Florida in the late 70s, and spent several decades working as both a journalist and social worker, Ron has maintained an abiding love and affinity for both U of M and the city of Detroit. Therefore, it should be no surprise that he was thrilled to learn a few years ago that UM had a program called Semester in Detroit.
Since first becoming acquainted with our program, Ron has found many different ways to connect and support our SiD community; but, even more importantly, (to him and to us) Ron has found ways to reconnect to Detroit. He decided to buy an apartment in Lafayette Park in early 2017, and now plans to spend summers in the city. He's discovered a new love for biking around the city, and began volunteering with the United Community Housing Coalition to assist their efforts to secure just and affordable housing for all Detroiters. And, somehow, in between all of this renewed involvement in Detroit, Ron has made time to visit our SiD classes and get to personally know our current fall cohort.
Because Ron is so deeply committed to the mission and work of Semester in Detroit, he came up with a wonderful idea earlier this year to create a new fund that would enable our students and faculty to experience more of the amazing art, music and other cultural treasures of Detroit. Thanks to his tremendous generosity, our students are now able to attend several performances around the city during their time in the program that most would otherwise not be able to afford. Our inaugural outing, made possible by what we affectionately call "The Ron Fun....d!", was a trip to the Fisher Theater to see the touring Broadway production, Something Rotten. Next stop is to see Wayne State University's unique dance production, Xtigone.
On behalf of the entire Semester in Detroit Program, we would like to thank Ron for his wonderful generosity and his active engagement in SiD and the broader Detroit community.