The Michigan State Bar Foundation has given Dennis W. Archer its first Founders Award. The Award was inaugurated in 2004 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. The award was named for the vision of those who founded the Fellows program and is given to an exemplary Fellow who demonstrates professional excellence and outstanding contributions to the community.
Archer is one of 32 attorney leaders in 1984 who founded the Fellows program. Fellows are a distinguished group of attorneys. Members may not exceed 5 percent of total State Bar membership and are selected for their professional ability and community service. The Fellows program now includes over 1,200 attorneys and judges and has contributed over $1,000,000 to support the Michigan State Bar Foundation's public service work.
On September 30, Scott Brinkmeyer, then President of the State Bar of Michigan, presented the Founders Award to Archer, noting that "The Foundation could not have chosen a better first Founders Award recipient to underscore the caliber of the Fellows and their significance to the Foundation's public interest legacy." Archer is Chairman of his law firm, Dickinson Wright and is currently President of the National Bar Association. He is a past President of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association, former Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and past Mayor of the City of Detroit.
Archer said he was pleased to receive the Founders Award and praised the Fellows for its generation of support for the Foundation. In the last 20 years, the Foundation has awarded over 65 million dollars and made over 400 grants to educate the public about the importance of the rule of law, train youth and other citizens in peaceful conflict resolution, and assist those in need with critical civil legal services.
In addition to Dennis Archer, Fellows Founders include: Stephen C. Brandsdorfer, Daniel M. Clark, Hon. Avern L. Cohn, Julia Donovan Darlow, Stuart J. Dunnings Jr., Elliott S. Hall, Joseph L. Hardig Jr., Hon. Charles W. Joiner, Hon. Cornelia G. Kennedy, John A. Krsul Jr., Dean S. Lewis, Lawrence B. Lindemer, Wallace D. Riley, Charles R. Rutherford, Norman Otto Stockmeyer Jr., Brian Sullivan, and Fred L. Woodworth. Founders in memoriam include: Joel M. Boyden, Frederick G. Buesser,Jr., George E. Bushnell Jr., John S. Clark, Hon. Mary S. Coleman, Kenneth O. Doyle, Emmett E. Eagan, Leo A. Farhat, Michael Franck, Nathan B. Goodnow, William T. Gossett, Robert E. LeMire, A. DeVere Ruegsegger, and Robert G. Russell.
Additionally, the Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation elected 2004-2005 officers and admitted 68 new Fellows into the program. The Honorable Julian A. Cook Jr., Senior Judge in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit was elected Chair. The Vice-Chair will be the Honorable Hilda R. Gage of the Michigan Court of Appeals in Southfield. Charles R. Rutherford, a member of Dykema Gossett, PLLC in Bloomfield Hills and a past President of the Foundation, was named as Fellows Secretary.
For more information on the Fellows Program or the Michigan State Bar Foundation please see www.msbf.org.
Scott S. Brinkmeyer (far left), 2003-2004 president of the State Bar of Michigan,
presented Dennis Archer (second from right) with the Michigan State Bar
Foundation's first Founders Award. With them are Foundation President
Margaret J. Nichols (second from left) and Foundation Executive Director
Linda Rexer (far right).