Alumni Awards

For more than 40 years, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has honored outstanding alumni for their contributions to the University and community.

These graduates are "Difference Makers" who have continued the University's legacy of leadership in their lives and careers. View past award winners.

Eight alumni were honored at the Alumni Difference Makers Awards banquet pose with Chancellor Grasso
Eight alumni were honored at the Alumni Difference Makers Awards banquet for the positive impact they have in their workplaces and communities.

College of Business Alumni Recognized at the Event

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. 

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Judith TolandJudith Toland, ‘01 M.B.A., is an award winning, transformational CMO, with an engineering foundation. In May of 2023, she was appointed the role of Vice President, Global Audiences Marketing. This role is responsible for all audience led marketing and product strategy, activation and execution across all Meta business brands, globally. She has served as Head of the Meta Chicago office since August 2020.

Judy has 29 years of experience across five industries (Tech, Chemicals, Automotive, Financial Services, and Health and Wellness) and five Fortune 500 companies (Facebook/Meta, Monsanto, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, & Wells Fargo). She joined Facebook in July 2019, with prior roles as Vice President, Scaled Solutions and Vice President, Global Customer Marketing roles, both with global marketing remit across our Meta business brands. Prior to joining Meta, she held VP/SVP & Chief Marketing Officer roles, with GE Capital, Wells Fargo, and Life Fitness. 

Judy has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. in marketing from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In 2021, she was recognized as one of the Top Black Executives in Chicago by Crain’s, and a 2023 Private Company Director to watch by Private Company Director Magazine, and one of the Top 50 women in Commercial Finance by The Secured Lender in 2017. Judy served as an Independent Board Director for Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC. In addition, she is a 2020 Daniel Burnham Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and a member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, World Business Chicago, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Goodman Theatre nonprofit boards. She is also a member of the Chicago Network, Economic Club of Chicago, and Commercial Club.

Judy is passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, having been a member of Diversity Councils at both GE Capital, Wells Fargo, and now Meta. She is also a past Co-Chairperson of the GE Capital, African American Network, an employee resource group. She is now leading DEI and racial justice efforts across Meta as the executive sponsor of Woman@ (Meta's largest employee resource group), Meta Elevate and Meta Prosper.

At UM-Dearborn, Judy is on the UM-Dearborn National Advisory Council where she advises the Chancellor on all matters bearing on the effectiveness of the service of the university. She has been featured as a thought leader on campus multiple times, speaking at a College of Business Fireside Chat and as a part of the Alumni Engagement Speaker Series.  In 2022, Judy was highlighted as the commencement keynote speaker.

Alumni Business of the Year

This award will honor a UM-Dearborn alumni-owned business that has made an impact and has showcased its commitment within the community.

Alumni Business of the Year re:3DSamantha Snabes, ‘06 B.S., ‘06 B.A., ‘11 M.B.A., is relentlessly focused on social responsibility, and the company that she helped co-found, re:3D, is committed to empowering local change-makers by developing quality, industrial printers that can be adapted in new markets. Founded in 2013 as a spin-off of Engineers Without Borders-NASA Johnson Space Center, the re:3D team manufactures large, affordable industrial printers capable of printing virgin or recycled filament, pellets, or flake in the USA that are exported to over 60 countries. re:3D Inc. is breaking through the current limitations of 3D printing to unlock new applications and growth markets worldwide. Gigabot, re:3D’s flagship technology, enables industrial strength, large format 3D printing at an affordable price point. For every 100 Gigabots delivered, re:3D donates a Gigabot to a group dedicated to making a difference.

Beyond creating 3D printers, re:3D offers 3D printing contract services, consulting, design, and education services. re:3D’s Austin, Houston, and San Juan Offices are hubs for 3D printing education and community engagement. re:3D’s customer base comprises an esteemed group of specialty manufacturers, engineers, designers, universities, and hobbyists. This impressive list includes The United States Air Force, Steelcase, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Nokia, and the United States Navy, just to name a few. re:3D is truly changing the world by providing a tool to respond to the needs of a community as they arise.

College of Business 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.

College of Business Alumnus of the Year John McRaeJohn McRae II ‘91 B.S.A., is a highly accomplished business leader with an impressive 30-year track record of successfully leading public companies into new markets. As the President of Syniverse's Carrier business unit, he has demonstrated exceptional expertise in driving the company's growth and innovation. With a wide range of responsibilities under his purview, including market research, forecasting, and coaching, John has played a crucial role in Syniverse's global success. John's illustrious career has taken him through various leadership positions in mobile, financial services, and consulting companies. Prior to joining Syniverse, he served as CEO of Nationwide Credit and held senior positions at esteemed organizations such as Deloitte Consulting, EMDEON BUSINESS SERVICES, National Processing Company, and Shell Oil Company.

John's impressive academic background includes an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University, which further strengthens his reputation as a visionary leader in the business world. He is also a member of World 50, a private community for CEOs and C-level executives at globally respected organizations, providing him with access to valuable insights, and building relationships that make a lasting impact.

In 2022 John and his wife Suzie created a scholarship at UM-Dearborn and named a laboratory in the Engineering Lab Building after his father, a UM-Dearborn engineering alum who was part of the early cohort of students on campus. His commitment to education and mentorship is a testament to his values and his desire to give back to the community that has supported him throughout his career.

Office of Alumni Engagement

1190 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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