Alumni Difference Makers honored during Homecoming event

October 6, 2013

Alumni Award winnersThe lights. The celebrities. The entertainment.

Las Vegas has it all.

Millions of tourists annually flock to the entertainment capital of the world, and Richard Haddrill (’74 B.S.A.) can take some of the credit.

Haddrill is the former president and CEO of Bally Technologies, Inc., a $2 billion, publicly-traded company that designs, manufactures, distributes and operates many of the gaming devices found in casinos.

Haddrill, now board chairman at Bally, 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.

“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.”

Haddrill was among seven UM-Dearborn alumni honored Friday at the annual Alumni Difference Makers Awards. For more than 30 years, the university has recognized outstanding graduates who positively impact their workplaces and communities, while also serving as strong role models for students.

“People are asking university officials everywhere to make an account of the impact they have,” said UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little. “The very best way of establishing the contributions that this campus makes is to see the graduates of our campus out doing the great work. It is inspiring to all of us.”

Here’s a look at the 2013 Alumni Difference Makers Award winners:

  • Distinguished Alumnus of the Year: Richard Haddrill (’74 B.S.A.), former president and CEO of Bally Technologies, Inc.
  • Young Alumnus of the Year: Veronica Grandison (’11 B.A.), online content manager at BNP Media
  • College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Alumnus of the Year: Eric Ham (’95 B.A.), senior adviser at Global Political Solutions
  • College of Business Alumnus of the Year: Ceehl Phillips (’05 M.B.A.), senior information technology manager at Ford Motor Co.
  • College of Engineering and Computer Science Alumnus of the Year: Mazen Hammoud (’93 M.S.E.), chief engineer for powertrain electrification at Ford Motor Co.
  • College of Education, Health, and Human Services Alumnus of the Year: Donovan Rowe (’99 B.A., ’04 M.P.A.), principal at Huron High School
  • Jeanette Schumacher Alumni Service Award: David Stephens (’04 B.A.), undergraduate admissions officer at Baruch College
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