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Founders Award



John E. Lobbia ’64, former Chairman and CEO of Detroit Edison, is the recipient of The Founders Award. He is recognized for his leadership and commitment to his alma mater in tradition of UDM’s Jesuit and Mercy founders.
Lobbia served the Board of Trustees for both the University of Detroit (1988-1990) and University of Detroit Mercy (1990-2006). He made immeasurable contributions to board discussion, which led to the consolidation of U of D and Mercy College of Detroit in 1990. During 18 years board tenure, he served on the Advancement Committee, the Committee on Trustees, and the Executive Committee. As a member of the Executive Committee, Lobbia was actively engaged in major decisions resulting in the Outer Drive dental facility and strategic planning priorities. He provided insightful and visionary leadership as chair of the Commission on the Future from 1995-1996, which assisted the University in positioning itself to meet the future demands of higher education. As Board chair from 1998-2001, he took an instrumental role in launching the University Legacy Campaign- the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history which totaled $101.3 million upon its completion in June 2003.
Lobbia received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree in 1964 and joined Detroit Edison, where he rose through its marketing and customer service ranks. He served as the utility’s Chairman and CEO from 1990-1998.
As a tireless worker and supporter of efforts to improve the economic and social well-being of Southeastern Michigan, Lobbia has served or chaired a number of civic organization, including the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Detroit Renaissance, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the 1993 United Way Campaign, New Detroit, Inc., the Economic Alliance for Michigan, the Metro Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, The Parade Company and Michigan Parade Foundation.
He also served as a director for the National Bank of Detroit, Flint Group, Rouge Industries, and as a trustee of Oakwood Hospital, Rackham Engineering Foundation and WTVS/Channel 56 Public Television.
He has been recognized for his professional and civic contributions with the Max M. Fisher Community Service Award from United Way Community Services, the 1996 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Clinton Valley Council of the Boys Scouts of America, the 1990 B’nai B’rith Great American Traditions Award, and the 1989 Italian American Man of the Year Award.
Award was presented at The Ignatian Circle Dinner, September 25, 2009.

University of Detroit Mercy

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