The University Record, March 14, 1994

7 to receive honorary degrees at commencement

The University will award seven honorary degrees at its spring commencement April 29–30.

The recipients will be Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer; syndicated columnist David Broder; Father William T. Cunningham, founder of Focus: HOPE; Charles T. Fisher III, past chairman and president of NBD Bancorp and NBD Bank; Eleanor M. Josaitis, associate director of Focus: HOPE; L. William Seidman, business commentator; and Horace L. Sheffield Jr., trade union leader.

Archer, who was elected mayor of Detroit last November, served in leadership positions in the Wolverine Bar Association, the Detroit Bar Association, the Michigan Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Bar Association. He served as president of the Wolverine and National Bar Associations, which are African American legal associations. He was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court at the age 44.

Broder began his reporting career in the 1950s at the Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill., then worked at the Congressional Quarterly, Washington Star, New York Times and, beginning in 1966, at the Washington Post. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 and is co-author of The Republican Establishment and author of .

Cunningham is pastor of the Catholic Church of the Madonna in Detroit and executive director of Focus: HOPE, a civil and human rights organization. Focus: HOPE has developed many projects, including the Food Prescription Program, which distributes U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) commodities to low-income mothers and children; Food for Seniors, which provides a monthly food supplement to elderly poor; and Project Trust, a race relations training program for desegregated schools and their communities.

Fisher joined NBD as assistant vice president in 1958. He is the current vice chairman and a past chairman of Detroit Renaissance Inc. and the Detroit Renaissance Foundation. He is former co-chairman of the Greater Detroit Interfaith Round Table of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and chairman of the Mackinac Bridge Authority. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Metropolitan Affairs Corporation of Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

Josaitis is associate director of Focus: HOPE, which she founded with Cunningham in 1968. She has provided leadership for Focus: HOPE’s Food Prescription Program that distributes USDA products to infants, preschool children, and pregnant and postpartum mothers. She helped build the Food Prescription Program from 800 to as many as 49,000 monthly participants. She was chairperson of the Detroit Mayor’s Task Force on Hunger and Malnutrition.

Seidman is chief commentator of the Consumer News Business Channel (CNBC). He became chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 1985. He was dean of the College of Business at Arizona State University. He was President Gerald Ford’s assistant for economic affairs in 1974–77. He also was vice chairman and chief financial officer of the Phelps Dodge Corporation in 1977–82, and managing partner of Seidman & Seidman, Certified Public Accountants, in New York in 1968–74.

Sheffield is retired administrative assistant to United Auto Workers President Douglas Fraser. Sheffield also has been a leader in the civil rights movement. He became active in the auto union in 1940 and held various positions, serving as administrative assistant to two presidents, Leonard Woodcock and Douglas Fraser, before retiring in 1981. In 1943 he became the first executive secretary of the Michigan State CIO Civil Rights Committee. In 1955 he went to Birmingham, Ala., to help organize a registration and voting campaign in the Black community and continued in the task throughout the South for the next 12 years.

Details of the U-M’s spring commencement activities, including ticket information, will be announced later.