Two Detroit-area Community and Business Leaders Inducted Into Association of Churchill Fellows


Published:

William Clark Durant III (left) Mort Harris (right)

Courtesy photo

Cornerstone Schools has announced that its co-founder and former CEO William Clark Durant III was recently inducted into the Association of Churchill Fellows during the 2018 Churchill Fellows Weekend at the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Additionally, four other leaders were inducted, including Bloomfield Hills’ Mort Harris, co-founder of Detroit’s American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. and a World War II veteran.

“World War II was about a relentless fight for freedom against a well-armed enemy,” says Harris, who flew 33 combat missions, was shot down twice, and is pictured with fellow pilots in Life Magazine as a part of the flying squadron which first bombed Berlin. “At the outset, a successful outcome was uncertain. Churchill’s voice gave us hope. His courage was contagious. I am highly honored to be named a Churchill Fellow and, as a native Detroiter, it was a joy to have two Detroit students travel to Fulton with me and a gift to share my World War II experiences with them.”

Durant serves as president of the New Common School Foundation and is co-founder of Cornerstone Schools in Detroit, which serves more than 3,400 students. From 1994-1999, he held the role of president of the Michigan State Board of Education and now serves on the Coalition for the Future of All Detroit School Children.

“I am honored beyond measure to have been inducted into the Society of Churchill Fellows at Westminster College and the National Churchill Museum, alongside my 98-year-old dear friend Mort Harris, a genuine World War II Air Force pilot hero in the European theatre,” says Durant.

Durant and Harris were accompanied to the annual event by Gevon Clemons, an 11th grader, and DaLayna Mitchell, a 12th grader, both from Detroit’s Cornerstone Health and Technology High School. Each year at the event, a national expert on Churchill gives the Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture, and new Churchill Fellows are inducted. Jared Davis, Cornerstone Health and Technlogy principal, and Ricardo Martin, Washington-Parks Academy principal, also attended.

“The two students and two principals who accompanied me from the Cornerstone schools had a rare treat to learn of the historical importance and current relevance of Winston Churchill at the very location of his historic address in 1946, given in the presence of President Harry S. Truman,” says Durant. “They also learned firsthand from the Hon. Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and a new Churchill Fellow, of the great support given by Churchill to the Jewish people in their struggle to create the state of Israel and in the continuing battle against anti-Semitism.”

Founded in 1969, the Association of Churchill Fellows is an honorary society of people dedicated to the development and use of the National Churchill Museum.  Winston Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech in 1949 at Westminster College, starting the Cold War with the then-Soviet Union.

Past recipients of the award include Churchill's grandson, Winston Churchill; Walter Cronkite; President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Sir David Cannadine; Lady Mary Soames; British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; Sir Martin Gilbert; International Churchill Society Chairman Laurence Geller; and the Right Honorable Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

This year’s lecture was given by his Excellency Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, on the topic of Churchill and Israel in the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a 17th-century Christopher Wren church in London that was bombed in 1940 during the German blitzkrieg at the start of World War II and re-dedicated in 1969 at Westminster College in Missouri to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Churchill’s now-famous speech.

“My experience during the Churchill Fellows Weekend was truly amazing,” says Mitchell. “The knowledge I gained on this trip will stay with me beyond high school. Learning about Winston Churchill has inspired me to work harder, help motivate others, and make a difference in the world. Israeli Ambassador Dermer is a remarkable individual and an incredible speaker. I was honored to hear his lecture, as well as meet a World War II veteran, Mr. Mort Harris, who shared with me details of his journey throughout the war.”

Alongside Durant, Dermer, and Harris, Sam Fox, former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, St. Louis business leader, and philanthropist; and Neal F. Perryman, a Westminster College alumnus and a member of the Lewis-Rice law firm in St. Louis, also were recognized.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, and Sadler Announce New Partner

Bloomfield Hills-based business law firm Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy, and Sadler PLC (Dawda Mann) has announced Neil Silver as a new partner.

Supply Chain Design Solutions Company LLamasoft Names New CEO and Member to the Board of Directors

Ann Arbor-based LLamasoft, a supply chain design solutions company, has announced Razat Gaurav as the company’s new CEO and member of the board of directors.

Tammy Carnrike Named New Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army to Represent Michigan’s Southern District

Mark T. Esper, U.S. Secretary of the Army, has selected Tammy Carnrike to represent Michigan’s southern district as the newest civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA). Carnrike was invested during a ceremony conducted this week at the Pentagon.

New Board Members Announced for the Automotive Hall of Fame

Located in Dearborn, the Automotive Hall of Fame has announced that its board of directors have unanimously approved five new additions to its board.

JLL Announces a Senior Vice President

JLL, a professional services firm, Tuesday announced the addition of Brett M. Suszek to the company as a senior vice president. Suszek is a 10-year appraisal veteran and the firm’s first valuations and advisory specialist in Detroit.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. CarbonTV in Southfield to Operate Under Sole Ownership, Redesign Coming in 2018
    Southfield’s CarbonTV, a global leader in offering OTT outdoor, online streaming content via a...
  2. Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Names Kevin Johnson as President and CEO
    Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a quasi-public development agency, today announced it has...
  3. Shield’s Restaurant and Pizzeria in Troy Slated for $1M Remodel, Gets New Partner
    Troy’s Shield’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, located at 1476 W. Maple Road, has added a new...
  4. Johan de Nysschen Leaving Cadillac, GM Announces New Senior Vice President and President
    Detroit’s General Motors Co. today announced the appointment of Steve Carlisle to senior vice...
  5. Ann Arbor’s Domino’s Pizza Activates Hotspots Across America for Delivery to Locations Without Addresses
    Domino’s Pizza Inc. in Ann Arbor Township today announced more than 150,000 Domino’s Wi-Fi...
  6. Hunter Pasteur Homes to Acquire Northville Downs Harness Racing Track, New Plans Call for up to 600 Residences
    Hunter Pasteur Homes, a developer and luxury home builder in Farmington Hills, is under contract...