#BlackExcellence: Western Michigan University Names Buildings After 3 Distinguished Black Alumni & Alpha Men

by Jessica Lane

September 28, 2017

Western Michigan University (WMU) honored three legendary black alumni – the late automotive executive Ronald Hall Sr., former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and entrepreneur Dr. William Pickard – by officially naming two new residence halls after the trio. The newly-named Western Heights complex, Hall-Archer-Pickard West and Hall-Archer-Pickard East, and the Hall-Archer-Pickard Conference Room in Heritage Hall, acknowledges these amazing men, friends and frat brothers.

The Men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Their friendship began while attending WMU in the 1960’s, as members of Alpha Phi Alpha. These three Alpha men went on to drive change throughout the State of Michigan. Hall served as president of the Michigan Minority Business Development Council (1992-1998) and later founded Detroit-based Bridgewater Interiors, LLC. Archer served on the Michigan Supreme Court and was elected Mayor of the City of Detroit where he served two terms (1994-2001). He became the first person of color to be president of the State Bar of Michigan and American Bar Association. Pickard is a successful entrepreneur. He founded the Detroit-based automotive manufacturing company, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC. He was also one of the first African Americans to own a McDonald’s franchise and currently, he’s a co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino.

Hall served as president of the Michigan Minority Business Development Council (1992-1998) and later founded Detroit-based Bridgewater Interiors, LLC. Archer served on the Michigan Supreme Court and was elected Mayor of the City of Detroit where he served two terms (1994-2001). He became the first person of color to be president of the State Bar of Michigan and American Bar Association. Pickard is a successful entrepreneur. He founded the Detroit-based automotive manufacturing company, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC. He was also one of the first African Americans to own a McDonald’s franchise and currently, he’s a co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino.

Their legacy doesn’t stop there. Dr. William Pickard also donated more than $3 MILLION DOLLARS to his alma mater.

Dr. William Pickard, Ann Hall (Widow of Ronald Hall Sr.) and Dennis Archer

“With a passion for education and a life-long tie to Western Michigan University, I’m proud to give a gift in excess of $3.0M in honor of the naming of two new residence halls within the Western Heights Complex, Hall-Archer-Pickard West and Hall-Archer-Pickard East, and the Hall-Archer-Pickard Conference Room in Heritage Hall,” said Dr. William Pickard.

Shining examples of what it means to embody #BlackExcellence, congrats to all three of these amazing gentlemen!

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