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Two state leaders recognized by Olivet College
Jun 04, 2007

Olivet College will recognize two of Michigan’s finest leaders as part of its Leadership for Individual and Social Responsibility Awards Dinner Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. in the college’s Kirk Center. Proceeds from the event benefit the Olivet College Annual Scholarship Fund.

The 2007 honorees are leaders in their chosen professions and reflect the college’s academic vision of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility.

Walter E. Douglas Sr. is the president of Avis Ford, Inc., a Southfield-based, nationally-ranked Ford dealership. Prior to his involvement with Avis Ford, he served as president of New Detroit, the nation’s first urban coalition. During his tenure with New Detroit, he developed a reputation as an outstanding leader and worked closely with a number of government, foundation, business, labor and community leaders.

Early in his career at New Detroit, then-Mayor Coleman Young appointed Douglas to be his chief civilian in the Detroit Police Department. In this role, he directed the formation and operation of the Police School Busing Task Force, which was active during the implementation of school desegregation in the Detroit Public Schools.

Rev. LaVerne Gill, Ph.D., has served as the pastor of Webster United Church of Christ in Dexter since 1999. She is the first African-American and the first woman to serve this historic 169-year-old church. Under her leadership, the church has developed a mission in Ghana.

Gill graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1997 with a master’s of divinity and 1998 with a master’s of theology, earning numerous preaching awards while a student. She has also earned a master’s of business administration from Rutgers in 1976.

Gill has written numerous books, including African American Women in Congress: Forming and Transforming History and Daughters of Dignity: African American Women in the Bible and the Virtues of Black Womanhood.

For more information, call (269) 749-7164.



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