Campus facilities named for three friends
Bridgewater Interiors LLC founder Ron Hall (top), former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer (middle) and Global Automotive Alliance LLC Chairman and CEO William Pickard (bottom).
By The Western News
More than 50 years of friendship are being honored with the naming of three WMU facilities for a trio of men who met on campus as students and went on to become WMU trustees, Detroit business and civic leaders, and champions of young people.
Acting at its April 27 meeting, the WMU Board of Trustees approved the action for: • Ronald E. Hall, a 1965 alumnus, Detroit civic and business leader, and automotive executive who died June 1, 2016, half way into his eight-year term as a WMU Trustee; Dennis W. Archer, a 1965 alumnus, former Detroit mayor, former member of the Michigan Supreme Court and past president of the American Bar Association as well as a former trustee; William F. Pickard, a 1964 alumnus who is a current WMU trustee, longtime Detroit entrepreneur, and founder and chairman of the Global Automotive Alliance.
The trustees’ action recognizes a $3,050,000 gift recently made by Pickard to the University and celebrates the three friends’ lifelong bonds and ties to WMU. It has resulted in the two residence halls that comprise the Western Heights complex being named Hall-Archer-Pickard Hall East and Hall-Archer-Pickard Hall West. In addition, a conference room in Heritage Hall will now be named the Hall-Archer-Pickard Conference Room. “All three of us knew without doubt that what we learned together at WMU had an enormous impact on our success in life,” Pickard says. “I treasure the idea that future students will have an opportunity for the same kind of life-altering relationships, and I hope the three names on campus facilities become at least a small reminder of what can be.”
The three men were classmates at WMU, and Pickard and Archer were roommates in Vandercook Hall. All three were members of the Epsilon Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, one of a handful of Black fraternities at WMU.