The names Maggie and Bob Allesee are synonymous with community support and philanthropy. In 2000, Maggie named the Department of Dance with a generous gift. Later, when the Department of Dance merged with Theatre, the department became the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance.
Maggie is a member of the Department of Dance support group known as The Choreographers and the Theatre support group, The Understudies. She has helped support every major dance initiative at Wayne State, including the annual summer dance intensive with Complexions Contemporary Dance, as well as the program's regular appearance at the American College Dance Festival. Maggie has also provided gifts to support the Rose Marie Floyd fund for ballet and the Hilberry Gateway Performance Complex.
Wayne State's Department of Communication was able to create Bob Allesee Visiting Professorship in Media Studies thanks to a generous gift from the Allesees. The professorship allows the department to bring distinguished media professionals, such as Star Wars film editor Richard Chew and acclaimed director Julie Dash, to campus to work directly with students.
"What is so special about Bob and Maggie is the depth of their vision and commitment," said Dr. Matthew Seeger, dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. "They see opportunities to move programs forward in significant ways and invest in those efforts. The dance program, for example, is one of the best in the country because Maggie and Bob saw the potential and invested." He added, "They are very special people."
The benefits of their investments are evident in the quality of the programs and performances. The dance program once again appeared at the American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and earlier appeared at the Joyce Theatre with the Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company in New York. And true to their legacy of support, Maggie and Bob were in the audience.
"They rarely miss a performance," said Eva Powers, associate professor of dance. "Maggie is our dance angel, a member of our dance family, and an inspiration to us all."