For more than 35 years, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has honored outstanding alumni for their contributions to the University and community.
These men and women are "Difference Makers" who have continued the University's legacy of leadership in their lives and careers. View past award winners.
College of Business Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
This award honors 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. The award winner has distinguished themselves in their field and provides leadership in addressing an important issue in the community. Awardees embrace philanthropic values.
Edward Elliott’s (’67 B.B.A.) career as a certified public accountant has taken him from auditing to tax law to private equity investing. His business career began with the UM-Dearborn School of Management, where he participated in the co-op program. Upon his graduation, Elliott joined the firm of Touche, Ross & Co. Shortly after, he was called to serve in the United States Army. After serving and receiving his honorable discharge, he returned to Touche, Ross & Co, eventually becoming partner. In 1984, Elliot left Touche, Ross & Co. and co-founded the private equity firm of Franklin Enterprises, a private equity placement operation, where he remains active as a general partner.
Elliott has demonstrated not only excellence and outstanding leadership in his field, but also a personal commitment to service within his community. He has been an avid supporter of UM-Dearborn, serving on several campaign committees. He established the Betty F. Elliott Initiative for Academic Excellence Fund in honor of his beloved first wife, Betty, who passed away in 2002. Elliot remarried in 2011, and he and his wife, Nancy, now live in Tequesta, Fla.
College of Business Alumnus of the Year
This award honors a graduate of the College of Business who has shown outstanding professional accomplishments in his or her field, has demonstrated public service and leadership, and is engaged in the advancement of the College of Business and its alumni.
Farhan Latif (’05 B.B.A.) is a strategic philanthropic leader, social entrepreneur and cross-sector mobilizer on inclusion. He is the president of the El-Hibri Foundation, a private foundation that empowers and equips leaders to build thriving, inclusive communities. Previously, in his capacity as executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, he advised White House officials, Homeland Security and other agencies on issues around national security and equity.
Latif, who earned his master’s degree from Harvard University, spent over a decade in higher education focused on inclusion of underrepresented, low- income and first-generation students. He founded Strategic Inspirations, a social impact consulting firm focused on strengthening the ability of nonprofit organizations to build capacity, create a culture of learning and catalyze innovation through philanthropy. Latif also works with state and national faith-based organizations to promote religious understanding and inclusion. He serves as an advisory member on both the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council and the Leadership Committee of the ACCESS Campaign to Take on Hate. He is a fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and served on UM-Dearborn’s recent chancellor search committee.
Jeanette Schumacher Alumni Service Award
This award honors a graduate who provides important leadership and service to the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Award winners have distinguished themselves by the energy, effort and creativity they demonstrate in addressing a challenge.
Kevin Blue (’07 B.A., ’09 B.B.A., ’12 M.P.A.) brought stability and great ideas to the Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Alumni Affiliate when he served the group as vice chair and then chair. He has been to countless events, including Move-in Day, Maize and Blue Bowl, MLK Day of Service, Dodgeball, Commencement and the Recent Graduate BBQ, at which he has been the grill master multiple times (and has the apron to prove it). Blue and his wife, Julie, also generously helped fund the 2017 Giving BrewDay Trivia competition. He continues to remain involved with GOLD, bringing new and fresh ideas to meetings and still volunteering his time.
When he is not volunteering behind the grill, Blue supports IT processes and corporate project services at Blue Cross Blue Shield, where he has worked for 10 years. Before that, he supported IT at Ford Motor Company.
Young Alumnus of the Year
This award honors a UM-Dearborn graduate less than 35 years of age who has graduated within the last 10 years. Award winners have distinguished themselves by being engaged as a volunteer with UM-Dearborn or being connected to another non-profit in the community. These awardees have made substantial progress in their career and embrace philanthropic values.
Farah Harb (’10 B.B.A.) is a College of Business alumna committed to helping UM-Dearborn students. As a student, she was awarded the 2010 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker Award to honor her volunteer service on campus. After graduation, she continued volunteering in the College of Business Internship and Career Management office. She currently participates in the 30-minute mentor program, she volunteers as a career coach, teaches Career Planning and Development and was a judge for iLabs Pitch Competition on several occasions.
Just after graduation, Harb was hired at Wayne State as an internship coordinator and two years later was promoted to assistant director of career planning and placement. In 2014 she was recruited to Ford Motor Company Fund as a program coordinator, where she works directly with top Ford Motor Company executives. She received the Top Achiever award from the Ford Motor Company Fund in 2017 and was recently promoted from programs coordinator to global education programs analyst.