Molly Dobson Honored as 2020 Woman of the Year

Molly Dobson receiving her Distinguished Service Award from our club in 2010.

Molly Dobson, a local philanthropist with ties to our Club, has been honored with the title of 2020 Woman of the Year by United Way of Washtenaw County. She was recognized by our club with a Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in 2010, an award which was also bestowed upon her late husband Bill, as well as her son Steve, who is an active member of our Club. Read below the press release for her newest honor.


December 11, 2019 (Ann Arbor, Mich.) – Leading community philanthropist, Molly Dobson, with more a lifetime of giving back to community, has been selected by the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) Women United group as the 2020 Woman of the Year.  Mrs. Dobson will be honored at the UWWC’s Power of the Purse event on March 3, 2020 at the Kensington Hotel.


“Molly Dobson exemplifies what the Power of the Purse initiative is about: women taking action to address community issues,” said Pam Smith, President of the United Way of Washtenaw County, and member of the Power of the Purse committee.  “We are thrilled to honor her achievements and leadership at our event.”


Mrs. Dobson was chosen by the Power of the Purse committee for her exemplary leadership role in the community and her accomplishments in community leadership, philanthropy and innovation.


“I am so humbled to have been chosen to receive this honor. Being honored by UWWC as the “Citizen of the Year” fills me with pride. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. shared Mrs. Dobson. “It also triggers considerable nostalgia. As a donor, fund raiser and member of the Budget Priorities Committee and later, the Board of Directors of Washtenaw United Way, my WUW roots date back more than half a century. Since then, UWWC has come a long, long way!”.


One program Mrs. Dobson invested her time, energy, and philanthropy into was helping the University of Michigan develop the, D-SIP internship program, which provides undergraduates a unique, paid opportunity to prepare for a rewarding future in philanthropy. As a result, since its inception, 313 undergraduate students have completed the national award-winning internship program, with Molly personally funding 35 interns across 27 community organizations since 2009.


United is a United Way national network of some 55,000 members in 137 U.S. communities, and the most successful philanthropic effort of its kind. Locally the UWWC Women’s Leadership Initiative has granted over $225,000 through the Power of the Purse event for programs that promote women’s success and self-sufficiency.


The UWWC established the Woman of the Year honor in 2009.  Previous recipients include Dr. Lori Pierce, Cecilia Fileti, Cynthia Wilbanks, Verna McDaniel, Beth Fitzsimmons, Martha Darling, Pat Warner, Denise Rabidoux and Lucy Ann Lance.  The 2019 Event Chair is Stacy Fuqua.


About United Way of Washtenaw County

United Way of Washtenaw County connects people, organizations and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone.  The Community Impact model focuses on health, education and financial stability issues to create opportunities for families and strengthen Washtenaw County.   Over its 95-year history it has invested more than 250 million dollars to support over 60 successful local human services agencies in a comprehensive, integrated way that created positive lasting change in Washtenaw County.