Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for the past 36 years, retired earlier in 2022.
She established the Community Foundation as a source of permanent, flexible endowment for the region, with $1.3 billion in assets and a legacy of more than $1.4 billion in grants awarded to nonprofits.
Her tenure is defined by so much more than assets accrued and grants made.
Under Mariam’s leadership, the Community Foundation became a premier organization leading change, creating lasting impact and inspiring giving in our region.
Her creativity and leadership were central to the development of more than 60 collaborations, each with a distinct vision.
These efforts built permanent endowments for charitable organizations throughout southeast Michigan, that focused on reducing racial disparities, provided early support of LGBTQ organizations, developed a network of hundreds of miles of greenways, and helped diverse entrepreneurs who are strengthening the regional economy.
Mariam was instrumental in gathering support for the “Grand Bargain,” a more than $800 million collaboration that helped Detroit exit bankruptcy while preserving cultural assets and securing retiree pensions.
During the COVID pandemic, she quickly assembled partners to raise millions of dollars to meet the needs of front-line workers, hard-hit communities, and small businesses.
Mariam’s community work earned her the Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award and recognition as a Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News, which referred to her as the “ultimate problem solver.” We can’t think of a more accurate description.
And, in October of 2021, Mariam was awarded the Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy from the Council of Michigan Foundations.
In Mariam’s honor, the Community Foundation Board of Trustees, several other foundations, and members of the community launched the Mariam C. Noland Fund for Public Spaces.
This new fund at the Community Foundation will build on our long legacy of supporting the construction, maintenance, and programming of public spaces that draw people together, provide access to all, and build communities throughout southeast Michigan.
We thank Mariam and wish her all the best.