Archer to be Honored


Dennis Archer (BS '65, Special Ed; WMU Board of Trustees; WMU Distinguished Alumni-1982) was honored in mid-September during a sold-out gala for a lifetime of work as an advocate for the benefits of diversity. The gala will be held in New York City at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Archer, also a former two-term Mayor of Detroit, will be honored with the 2012 Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual "who has made important and lasting contributions to advancing a society that fully appreciates, celebrates, and recognizes the value of diversity."

Archer has a lifetime of wide-ranging achievements that include service as mayor of Detroit from 1994 to 2001 and being the first African-American president of the American Bar Association. He served as a Michigan Supreme Court justice from 1985 to 1990, and in his final year on the bench, was named the most respected judge in the state by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

After earning a law degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1970, Archer worked as trial lawyer and partner in several Detroit firms, while also teaching at the Detroit College of Law and  Wayne State University Law School.

Archer is currently chairman and CEO of Dennis W. Archer PLLC and chairman emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC. In addition to his role on the WMU board, which he has held since 2005, Archer has served on the corporate boards of Johnson Controls Inc., Compuware Corp. and Masco Corp.

Elected mayor of the City of Detroit in 1994, Archer served two terms and earned widespread respect for his success in changing the city's image and direction. He served on the board of trustees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was president of the National League of Cities in 2000-01. He was named Public Official of the Year in 2000 by Governing magazine, and one of the 25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America by Newsweek magazine.

Archer received an Award of Excellence and was named 1998 Newsmaker of the Year by Engineering News-Record magazine, a sister publication of Business Week. He was also honored as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine, and one of the 100 Most Powerful Attorneys in the United States by the National Law Journal. He was a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010.

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