PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: November 19, 2004
Airport director and head of Urban League will be commencement
speakers at UM-Dearborn
DEARBORN---N. Charles Anderson, chief executive officer of the Detroit
Urban League, and Lester Robinson, chief executive officer of the Wayne
County Metropolitan Airport, will be commencement speakers at the University
of Michigan-Dearborn on Dec. 19.
Anderson will speak at an afternoon ceremony for graduates of the campus's
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and School of Education. Robinson
will speak at the morning ceremony for graduates of the campus's College
of Engineering and Computer Science and School of Management.
Anderson served as president and chief executive officer of the Detroit
Urban League from 1987 to 1994, and returned to that position in January
1997. In this role, Anderson is responsible for the vision, leadership
and direction of the organization, which is one of 110 affiliates of the
New York-based National Urban League.
"Under the long-term progressive and dynamic leadership of N. Charles
Anderson, the Detroit Urban League has led efforts throughout the community
to enable African Americans and other persons of color to achieve their
fullest human potential," according to UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel
Little. "The Detroit Urban League has long been one of Detroit's
premiere human and civil rights organizations, and Charles Anderson has
been one of its strongest leaders."
In addition to his service to the Urban League, Anderson served as executive
director of the City of Detroit's Department of Human Services as an appointee
of Mayor Dennis W. Archer from 1994 to 1997.
Robinson was named chief executive officer for the Wayne County Airport
Authority in December 2002 after serving as Wayne County's Director of
Airports since April 2000. In the past few years, the airport has completed
its sixth runway, opened the new Northwest terminal, and started expanding
two concourses. The improvements are continuing as Robinson directs a
$400 million overhaul of the airport's north terminal, which is scheduled
for completion in 2008.
"Under the leadership of Lester W. Robinson, Detroit's Metropolitan
Airport has expanded its capacity, renovated facilities, and climbed from
having one of the worst reputations for airports in the country to being
ranked second among large U.S. airports in a customer satisfaction survey,"
Robinson grew up in Flint, the son of an autoworker. After graduating
from Michigan State University with a degree in business administration,
he began a career in public accounting before moving to government offices
and presiding over a local bank, First Independence Corporation.
In addition to his responsibilities at the airport authority, Robinson
has held several leadership positions in Wayne County's government, including
chief financial officer, chief of staff to the county executive, assistant
county executive and auditor general.