Kinnears Contribute $100,000 to Establish CEW Community Counseling Fund

“We all start out with a set of blinders from the way we were brought up. Some never have any doubts that they are going to get an education, and others never realize it’s a possibility. CEW takes the blinders off and helps women imagine more possibilities for their lives than they could at first see for themselves.” 

 Connie Kinnear, CEW Leadership Council member

Connie and Tom Kinnear’s recent gift of $100,000 honors their long-time association with CEW and our shared value in the importance of higher education. Several years ago, former CEW Director Carol Hollenshead invited Connie to help select the finalists for the Center’s annual scholarship awards. That experience, as well as her membership on CEW’s Leadership Council, had a powerful impact on Connie, motivating her and her husband Tom to support CEW with their donations.

“When I hear the life stories of some of the CEW scholars, so different from mine, I realize how fortunate I have been. The strength of women to overcome obstacles that have been put in their lives is inspiring. So, given the opportunity, why wouldn’t I give back to CEW as an organization that does so much to change women’s lives?”
Connie also supports CEW because of her belief in the social and economic value of education. “Why education?” she says. “Because if we were able to educate our population well, we would solve most of the other problems our country faces. Education, to me, is the foundation for a life that’s meaningful, productive, and economically secure.” “I feel very strongly,” Connie continues, “that all of CEW’s programs are drastically needed. They make a most important level of change for each and every individual who’s lucky enough to come in contact with CEW.”

Connie’s current gift is intended to support community outreach in the form of counseling. “A lot of the people who come in for counseling are looking to get back into education,” she explains, “or they wouldn’t come to an organization attached to the University of Michigan. We are doing the University a service with community counseling, getting people the right information, getting them the right skill sets to be able to apply and become students or University staff personnel. It’s a valuable service.”

CEW is extremely grateful that Connie and Tom Kinnear have come forward to help. Thank you.

Join with others to continue this important work.

Inspired by the cause of community counseling and Connie and Tom’s Kinnear’s commitment to this long-standing CEW service, other CEW donors have begun contributing to the counseling fund. Be a part of this effort. Give online  or directly to CEW at 330 East Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. For more information or questions, please call Mary Lynn Stevens at 734.764.7291, or email her at