Donor Spotlight: Steve and Deb Martineau

April 5, 2016

Steve: JD, 1969
Deb: Deb Martineau, LSA, 1969
Children: Kate, LSA (’99), PhD Anthropology (’14) and Jane, LSA (’03), JD (’06)
Mt. Pleasant, MI and Leland, MI
First gift: The Martineau’s first gift to the University was in 2000 when their daughter Jane was a student-athlete on the Women’s Cross Country team.


Favorite Michigan Moments?

The best part of thinking about our answer was remembering all of the wonderful, exciting efforts and successes.  I’ll give you two:  1)  Deb and I were seated in row 52 on the 50 yard line in the Fall of 1969 during THE GAME. Even the half time show and its political implications, brought the students and administration closer together. The team’s defense, including Pierson’s three interceptions, was amazing and, then, of course, we won, 24-12. Second, Deb and I were also present when our Women’s 2002 Cross Country team won the Big Ten Championship, defeating MSU by three points.  Jane ran and scored for the team. From the start it was clear this was a two team race and when it was over no one was sure of the result.  To me, the most memorable part of this day was the opportunity to support my daughter as we awaited the results.

Your daughter is a track and field student-athlete alumni, what was it like during those four/five years? How did your relationship with Michigan Athletics grow?

As a distance runner, you are engaged in NCAA sponsored competition throughout the entire academic year. There is cross country in the Fall. In December, the runners immediately transition into indoor track and then in early spring to outdoor track. Deb and I were fortunate to be able to follow these teams and Jane’s commitment to them for four years. We traveled to meets throughout the Big Ten and across the country. There were successes and disappointments but supporting Jane and the team was always our goal and reward. Jane’s teammates were truly great student athletes and, more importantly, many of them became and remain family friends.

Jane’s coaches, Mike McGuire and James Henry, created a wonderfully supportive and challenging environment, helping Jane and her fellow runners to be great competitors and students. These coaches continue to achieve great success.

What was the motivation behind your most recent gift to Michigan Athletics?

Deb and I have been aware of the plans for new track and field facilities for some time and we’re delighted these improvements are underway. These new facilities, long hoped for by coaches Henry and McGuire, will create great places to train and compete. And, as with every Division 1 sport, these new facilities will help our coaches recruit. So, when asked to help support these improvements, we felt it was time to help Jane’s great coaches, and programs.

Why do you feel like it is important to give to Michigan Athletics?

Our great University achieves countless successes each year.  Certainly, the academic achievements of each individual student are the most important, but it is difficult to cheer at a chemistry final.  We support sports at UM because we support students and their efforts at UM.  They are, ultimately, the future of UM and beyond.


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