Zurowski family gives TU marching band, costume shop a gift of style

By Sedonia Martin on July 4, 2017

The Zurowski family's giving has had a visible impact in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Neil and Nick Zurowski stand in front of the marching band truck wrap made possible by their gift to TU.
Neil and Nick Zurowski stand in front of the marching band truck wrap made possible by their gift to TU.

When Neil Zurowski’s wife Donna passed away from cancer in 2015, he and his family chose to honor Donna’s memory in a way that would please her—they gave the gift of style. Donna was a talented designer and seamstress who made her own dresses, including her wedding gown and evening gowns.

“She was always stylish and beautiful, and she had a special connection with designs and fabrics,” Neil reflects.

The Zurowskis’ giving has had a visible impact. Neil’s son, Nick Zurowski ’11, is a former member of the Towson University Marching Band (TUMB). The Zurowski family enjoyed attending TUMB events and performances, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2009.

When discussing supporting TU philanthropically, TUMB naturally came up. Nick recalled that Band Director John Miliauskas wanted to dress up the band’s plain white trailers and box truck, so the family inquired about wrapping the vehicles.

Neil takes great pleasure in seeing direct, tangible benefits of his gifts. He enjoyed worked with Miliauskas and TU designers on the wrapping design, which incorporates Donna’s initials, DMZ, and “In Memory of Donna Zurowski.” Fastsigns, a custom sign shop in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, wrapped the truck.

Miliauskas is thrilled with the results, “Our vehicles look so classy and impressively represent TU,” he says. I am very grateful and humbled by the Zurowskis’ gesture.”

Donna took costume classes at TU, which strengthened her love for design. It was fitting, therefore, for Neil to donate her sewing machine, equipment and supplies to TU’s Costume Shop so students could learn about her craft. Neil has also supported and plans future gifts in support of experiential learning for the Department of Theatre.

“These gifts are to create a legacy of learning about design and being a seamstress by allowing students to attend workshops, hold workshops and learn more about design and theatre,” Neil says. 

This piece originally appeared in the Philanthropy section of the Towson magazine.