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Retired business professor had soft spot for the arts

Andrew Lonyo gave Macomb the best years of his professional life, teaching business here from 1966 to 1988.  His death in May 2013, however, was not the end of his contributions to Macomb, its students and the community in general.

Anyone who enjoyed a free performance of the Marygrove Dance Ensemble at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts during Black History Month in the past few years has benefited from Lonyo’s generosity. And the same can be said of those who have attended one of the exhibits at the Macomb Center Art Gallery or heard a speaker at the Lorenzo Cultural Center.  All received grants from the Andrew Lonyo Endowed Fund for Enrichment Programs at Macomb, which he established with a $100,000 donation in 1998 through the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The fund continues to use interest earned on the principle to support the College’s cultural programming, of which Lonyo (yes the street between Dearborn and Detroit is named after his family) was a dedicated and appreciative patron.

“Andy led the way in planned giving in the region with the first-ever charitable annuity issued by the Community Foundation,” said Dawn Magretta, Macomb Community College Foundation director.  “Andy’s story speaks to his love of giving back, his love for Macomb and the importance of leaving a lasting legacy that will benefit many generations to come.”

And that lasting legacy includes $375,000 bequeathed to Macomb (at the time, the largest single gift received by Macomb) from his estate after his death, with an additional $75,000 earmarked for the annuity benefiting cultural programming.         

“I wanted to leave something to the College that would continue to contribute after I’ve passed away,” said Lonyo of his enrichment fund in 2006.  “The idea was to do something that would help the College continue to offer cultural programs, for both students and the community.”

Photo caption: The annual free performance of the Marygrove Dance Ensemble at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts during Black History month was one of many cultural programs funded by Andrew Lonyo, retired Macomb business professor, through the endowed fund he established in 1998.

Marygrove Dance Ensemble