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Businessman and Philanthropist

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters



Thousands of Detroiters recognize your name, but few are aware of the breath of your concern or the depth of your commitment to making Detroit a worthwhile and enjoyable place to live. As chief executive officer of the J.L. Hudson Co. for 20 years, you oversaw the growth of an institution which not only provided Detroiters with goods and services, but brightened our holidays, influenced trends and became a treasured part of our lives. At the same time, you generously applied your business acumen to running the Webber Foundations, which have provided over $20 million in grants to institutions and programs benefiting Detroit citizens since the foundation's start in 1939. In your work with the Webber Foundations, you became an integral part of the growth and development of the Detroit Medical Center, a complex which provides needed medical care to city residents close to home. Your leadership and dedication was also instrumental in the founding and success of New Detroit, the coalition of community leaders which you brought together at the request of the Governor to help restore harmony among Detroiters following the 1967 riot. The success of New Detroit revealed the respect you could command among community leaders and your rare ability to harness the creative energy of those leaders to serve a constructive purpose. In another display of concern for the community, you unselfishly served as chairman of the board of the United Foundation. Although officially retired, your voice can still be heard, promoting the same high quality and vitality of life, on the boards of several corporations and through your involvement with the City of Detroit Arts Commission. In all aspects of your life, you have proven to be one of Detroit's most illustrious citizens. The university is pleased to confer upon you the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Commencement, University of Detroit, May 14, 1983.

University of Detroit

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