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Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Artist

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters



With a zest of life, an unwavering work ethic, a love of people and a generosity of spirit, you have greatly enriched the lives of countless individuals through your friendship and support and your varied personal and professional contributions. From an early age, you demonstrated a compelling combination of business acumen and deeply held values. After a tour of service in the Air Force, followed by a baccalaureate degree from this University, you began your business career in earnest. Through your perseverance, hard work and commitment to ethics, you successfully built the Pella Window and Door Company into a flourishing enterprise in the building industry. At the same time, you earned a reputation among your colleagues, employees and customers as a fair, honest, dedicated, and astute businessman. In keeping with your core philosophy of giving back to the community and to society, you have maintained a strong and valued personal presence at the University of Detroit Mercy, generously and actively participating in your alma mater and the School of Architecture. While your influence in visibly apparent on the physical structure of the School, your relationship to UDM reflects a much deeper value. Your commitment to the University's mission for education of the whole person is exemplary and unwavering. Current and future generations of architects graduating from UDM - as well as faculty and staff around the University - owe you a debt of gratitude. Your friendship and legacy are an important part of the University's character. True to your values, you have long been a quiet but significant philanthropist for endeavors in education, the arts and within the community. It is a tribute to your humanity and dignity that so many have such reason for enduring gratitude toward you, but few know all that you have done. In recognition of your exceptional accomplishments as a business entrepreneur, your generous advocacy of the causes in which you believe - including this institution - and your personal demonstration of the importance of ethics and values in all aspects of life, the University of Detroit Mercy is proud to present you with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree. Commencement, University of Detroit Mercy, May 11, 2002.

University of Detroit Mercy

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