On November 1, 2018, during the Victors for Michigan campaign celebration, Waltraud “Wally” Prechter received the A. Alfred Taubman Inspirational Philanthropist Award. This award is given to special donors who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to Michigan Medicine through their financial support, set an inspirational example for others — as Mr. Taubman did — to join them in changing the landscape of the causes they care about most, and have a longstanding relationship with the University of Michigan.
Wally Prechter, a University of Michigan alumna, founded the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund in November of 2001, following the death of her husband, who had lived with bipolar disorder. In 2004, Wally transferred the Fund to Michigan Medicine. To date, the Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder has engaged over 1,300 research participants. Today, the Prechter Bipolar Research Program is known world-wide as a leader in scientific investigation of this illness which affects more than 5.7 million adults in the United States each year.
Wally has supported many areas at the University of Michigan, but her primary determination has been to apply scientific investigation with the goal of more effective treatment options for those living with bipolar disorder. "I think that if you can — if you truly believe in something — you owe it to yourself to help, to give, and to make a difference. Because ultimately that is all you leave behind," says Wally.
The Taubman Inspirational Philanthropist Award is named after philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman, the real estate developer who died in 2015 and who was one of America's most successful entrepreneurs and a dedicated supporter of the University of Michigan.