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Updated 10:00 AM October 25, 2004




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New award honors alumnus Hermelin

A new award at U-M honors the late David Hermelin (BBA '58, HLLD '00), a Detroit-area entrepreneur and philanthropist and former U.S. ambassador to Norway. The first recipient of the award is Richard Rogel (BBA '70), of Vail, Colo., the founder and former chairman of Preferred Provider Organization of Michigan.

The David B. Hermelin Volunteer Fundraising Award was created to honor Hermelin's memory and his tireless and exuberant volunteer service to the University. Hermelin, a graduate of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, received an honorary degree from U-M in 2000.

The award will be presented annually to volunteers whose fund-raising efforts for Michigan emulate the dedication Hermelin showed to the University until his death in 2000.

"David Hermelin was a force to be reckoned with," says Jerry May, vice president for development. "He was a leader, a mentor and a friend to many. He worked hard for the University, and he inspired others to do the same."

President Mary Sue Coleman made the inaugural presentation at an Oct. 8 luncheon for about 300 campaign volunteers, alumni and friends of Michigan.

Rogel is chair of the National Campaign Leadership Cabinet, a group of volunteers who are leading The Michigan Difference $2.5 billion campaign that kicked off in May. As of Sept. 30, the campaign had raised $1.5 billion.

With his wife, Susan, Rogel made a $22 million campaign gift to support nonresident students. Their gift has supported more than 300 Rogel Scholars to date.

When presented with the award, Rogel said that he had always regarded Hermelin as his mentor and that no award could mean more to him.

Hermelin was a major fund-raiser for the University. He served on the national committee for the University's campaign in the 1980s and was major gifts co-chair of the Campaign Steering Committee for the billion-dollar Campaign for Michigan in the 1990s. He also served as co-chair of the Detroit Major Gifts Committee.

With his wife, Doreen, and sister, Henrietta, Hermelin was the benefactor of the first endowed position at the University Library—the Irving M. Hermelin Curatorship of Judaica, named in honor of his father.

Hermelin raised millions for Jewish causes worldwide. Among other leadership roles in the Jewish community, he served as international campaign chairman of the State of Israel Bonds campaign. He also was involved with United Jewish Appeal, the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit, Detroit Round Table of Christians and Jews, Hebrew University, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

He served on the board of directors for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Institute and was involved with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Children's Hospital of Michigan and Michigan Opera Theatre.

Doreen Hermelin, of Bingham Farms, is a vice chair of The Michigan Difference Campaign. She is active in the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (ORT), a worldwide education and training organization, and in many other regional, national and international causes.

David Hermelin was president of American ORT and vice chairman of the World ORT Union. In December 2003 the David B. Hermelin ORT Resource Center opened in West Bloomfield.

In the future, two to four volunteers will be recognized annually as recipients of the David B. Hermelin Award.

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