Photo Courtesy of ColorBlind Magazine
Photo Courtesy of ColorBlind Magazine

By FATIMA FAKHREDDINE, Staff Writer

The annual Difference Makers Alumni Awards ceremony was Friday, October 4th at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Fairlane Center.

For over 3o years, UM-Dearborn has held the award ceremony to honor alumni for their contributions to the community and the university.

The 2013 Alumni difference makers awards went to:
Distinguished Alumnus of the Year – Richard Haddrill, ’74 COB
Young Alumnus of the Year – Veronica Grandison, ’11 CASL
Jeanette Schumacher Alumni Service Award – David Stephens, ’04 CASL
College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Alumnus of the Year – Eric Ham, ’95 CASL
College of Business Alumnus of the Year – Ceehl Phillips, ’05 COB
College of Engineering and Computer Science Alumnus of the Year – Mazen Hammoud, ’93 CECS
School of Education Alumnus of the Year – Donovan Rowe, ’99 CASL, SOE, ’04 SOE

“We want to let our alumni know we are proud of their accomplishments and that we recognize all the great things they have done since calling UM-Dearborn home,” said Peggy Pattison, director of alumni relations.

The awards are distributed to an alumnus recognized from each college.

“Each college recognizes one award winner as their Alumnus of the Year,” continues Pattison, “so we have the COB (College of Business) Alumnus of the Year, CEHHS (College of Education, Health, and Human Services) Alumnus of the Year, CECS (College of Engineering and Computer Science) Alumnus of the Year and a CASL (College of Arts, Science, and Letters) Alumnus of the Year.”

“These winners have demonstrated remarkable achievements in their professional careers and in their service to the communities in which they live,” Pattison continues, “They are people who have been highly recognized in their industries and by their peers for remarkable leadership qualities, inspiring others to also be better people.”

Grandison graduated UM-Dearborn in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.

“It was truly an honor to be recognized by my alma mater,” Grandison continues, “I was really surprised that I was selected as the young alumnus especially after only having graduated a couple years ago.

The Young Alumnus Award is given to a UM-Dearborn graduate less than 35 years of age who has graduated within the last 10 years.

Grandison helped in launching her own magazine in which she is the editorial director. She uses ColorBlind Magazine to help women of different backgrounds overcome adversity.

According to the UM-Dearborn website, “Though Veronica leads a busy professional life, she still finds time to give back to her alma mater. As chair of UM-Dearborn’s African American Alumni Affiliate, Veronica leads alumni engagement efforts and also organizes campus events, like the Black Celebratory to honor graduating students.”

“I learned so much from UM-Dearborn and met so many great people, so it was only right that I try my best to give back once I graduated,” said Grandison.

Pattison believes the awards are a source of inspiration to other students. They can “see how successful our alumni have been and allows them to visualize themselves following the same type of path
and knowing they too can make a difference.”

The awards ceremony is a night in which the students and the community are “reminded just how successful we are at the University of Michigan-Dearborn,” said Pattison. “There is no greater night on campus.”