Alumni Awards


Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

This award will honor a UM-Dearborn graduate who most exemplifies Michigan excellence as demonstrated by outstanding leadership in their field and personal commitment to service within their communities. This person should distinguish themselves in their field and provide leadership in addressing an important issue in their community. The ideal candidate would embrace philanthropic values.

Richard Haddrill ('74 B.S.A.) was named the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Haddrill traveled more than 2,000 miles east to return to his alma mater and accept University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Handrill is the former president and CEO of Las Vegas-based Bally Technologies. Haddrill has served as chief executive officer and board member of Bally Technologies Inc., a leading supplier of technology to the gaming industry since October 2004.

Previously, he served as CEO of two other publicly traded technology companies, Manhattan Associates, Inc. and Powerhouse Technologies, Inc., each of which experienced strong revenue and stock-price growth during his tenure.

“I can’t think of a better place that combines the ability to understand the other guy or gal,” Haddrill said. “The diversity of the students, the small class sizes, the connections with the professors, the professors who have real hands-on experience. And so when we enter the real world, we have real-world experiences and we have a great understanding of the other guy because of the diversity and the community that we have here.”

COB Alumnus of the Year

This award will honor a graduate of the College of Business who has shown outstanding professional accomplishments in their field, and demonstrated public service and leadership. The candidate will be engaged in the mission/advancement of the College of Business and its respective alumni community.

Ceehl Phillips, ('05 M.B.A.) was named the 2013 College of Business Alumnus of the Year. Phillips is a commissioned officer in the Air Force and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He is also a member and active volunteer at Triumph Church. Phillips is a senior information technology manager at Ford Motor Company. He is a member of the UM-Dearborn Alumni Society Board and was recently elected as their Vice Chair.

Young Alumnus of the Year

This award will honor a UM-Dearborn graduate less than 35 years of age who has graduated within the last 10 years. The graduate will distinguish themselves by being engaged as a volunteer with UM-Dearborn or being connected to another non-profit in the community. The ideal candidate will have made substantial progress in their career and would embrace philanthropic values.

Matthew Zelman ('01 B.B.A.) was named the 2011 Young Alumnus of the Year. Zelman is project manager of product analysis at Blue Care Network. He co-founded and led the College of Business’s Graduates of the Last Decade program from 2002-10. Under his leadership, the group organized a professional speaker series for business graduates, mentored honor students and created networking and professional development opportunities for alumni. Zelman also serves as vice-chair of the College’s Alumni Affiliate.