Back to Top
Top Nav content Site Footer
University Home

Archive Research Center

University Honors

Mercy Medallion



Howard F. Sims grew up in Detroit and realized at a young age he wanted to be an architect. He graduated from the University of Michigan with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in architecture and opened his first design firm in Ann Arbor while still in school. In 1968, he co-founded Sims-Varner & Associations in Detroit, architects for the recent Cobo Hall expansion and for Stroh corporate headquarters on the river front. 
Since 1964, Mr. Sims has directed the effort of his firm on numerous projects within the city of Detroit. Many of those projects have been cited by professional and technical societies for outstanding building design. He has designed such well-known buildings as the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College, Golightly Center on East Jefferson, McMichael Middle School and housing developments including Franklin Wright Village. He also directed the planning and design of the Museum of African American History and the Children’s Museum. In 1988, Mr. Sims was the Gold Medal Recipient from the American Institute of Architecture.
Most noteworthy among his recent and current activities is his recognition of the serious problem within our public school systems and his willingness to help rectify the situation, Mr. Sims’ concern for improving the quality of education for youth in Detroit has led him to co-chair the Task of Force on Education within the Detroit Strategic Plan. Even more notable is his on going important work as Co-Chairman of the Citizens Education Committee. Mr. Sims is keenly aware that keeping kids in school is vitally important if they are to be channeled in the direction of college education. In an effort to encourage young blacks to pursue a career in architecture, he and his wife, Judith, a Detroit public school teacher, have set up scholarships fund for black architecture students at the University of Michigan.
His leadership in civic activities finds him on the Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America, where he received their Silver Beaver Award in 1987. He is also a Trustee for the Founder’s Society, Detroit Institute of Arts, the Kellogg Foundation and Oakland University. He is on the Board of Directors of the Citizens Research Council, Civic Searchlight, Comerica, Inc., Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., and the United Foundation
Howard F. Sims and his wife, Judith, have four children.
Award was presented at the 1989 Works of Mercy Dinner.

Mercy College of Detroit

Back to Top