Awards & Winners

UMBA Leonard F. Sain Esteemed Alumni Award

Dr. Leonard F. Sain was one of the earliest and foremost African American educators in Michigan. He has a historically significant career as one of the first African Americans in the field of educational administration in the Detroit Public School system. Dr. Sain was an educator and a leader, who left a legacy of human service and achievement. The Leonard F. Sain Esteemed Alumni Award is given each year to someone who, like Dr. Sain, has shown outstanding achievements and service in their field of human endeavor.

All awardees have attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Dearborn or Flint campus) for at least one semester, demonstrate extraordinary interest and/or commitment to Black students at the University through outreach efforts, recruitment or supportive interest over a period of years,

Honorees exhibit distinguished service or accomplishment in any field of human endeavor and/or provide unusual and singular contributions to the development of the cultural and/or spiritual life of any community.

Past Winners

1977 Hon. George W. Crockett, Jr.

1978 The Baker Family

1979 Dr. Alvin D. Loving

1980 Dr. Barbara S. Anderson

1981 Dr. Robert L. Marion

1982 Dr. Donald H. Godbold

1983 Prof. Willis C. Patterson

1984 Lenoir B. Steward

1985 William T. Patrick, Jr.

1986 Dr. Donald Deskins, Jr.

1987 Dr. Margaret Grigsby

1988 Dr. Harriette Pipes McAdoo

1989 Dr. Benjamin Carson

1990 Dr. Alexa Canady

1991 Hon. Geraldine Bledsoe Ford

1992 Reginald McKenzie

1993 Myron Wahls

1994 Saul Green

1995 Carole Simpson

1996 Joann Watson

1997 Hon.Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

1998 Ronald Thompson

1999 Pamela Rodgers

2000 Tom Goss

2001 Godfrey Dillard& Charles Beckham

2002 Hon. Cynthia Stephens

2003 Keith W. Cooley

2004 Hon. Wade McCree, Jr.

2005 Hon. Harold Hood

2006 Dr. Charles Adams

2007 Jeron T. Campbell

2008 Dr. John Matlock

2009 William Collins, PhD

2010 Carol Goss

2011 Jean Fairfax, Aaron Dworkin, and Nicole Lamb-Hale

2012 Raynard S. Kington

2013 Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey

2014 Beverly Tatum

2015 Beverly G. Jones 

2016: Dr. Lee Jones & Lola Jones

2017: Dr. Lynn Perry & Dr. David Wooten

2018: Nyshourn Price


Five Under Ten Young Alumni Recognition Award

This award is bestowed annually to five recent U-M graduates for their professional achievements and/or contributions to the community-at-large. In order to be recognized for the “Five Under Ten” award, an alumnus must have received an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan within the last ten years.

Past Five Under Ten Winners 

2006: Megan Pitts; Jason Wood; Palencia Mobley; Larry Brinker Jr.; Toni Webb

2007: Sterling R. Howard; Brian V. Rhodes; Marcus Collins; Michael N. Berger; Ebony Kelley

2009: Regina Jai Webb; John L. Williams II; Jason Timothy Robinson; Chantal R. Cotton; Kristen M.J. Harris

2010: Daniella D. Borum; Christian-Bethany Reed; Nicholas Robinson; Travis T. Townsend; Lamar Willis

2011: Barika M. Butler,;Erroll S. Gardner; Evette Hollins; Kurt Johnson; Dayna J. Le Platte

2012: Jade A. Burns; Aisha E. Chappell; Robynne A. Henry; Adrian J. Walker; Tiffany C. Williams

2013: Tiffani Abrams; Monique Claiborne; Brian Frey; Ramone Reese

2014: Portia Jackson PhD; Ayana Richardson; Kelly E. Slay; Kyra Watts; Marcus Williams

2015: Ash Arder; Caleb Moss; James Logan; Seun Phillips; David Merritt 

2016: Darren Craddieth; Justin Washington; Josie Hall - Morris; Marcus Burrel; Nina Idemudia

2017: Dr. Tamika Cross; Arthur Edge III;  Chanel Hampton;  Katila Howard; Rama Mwensi

2018: Dr. Danielle Busby; Phillip Gray; Laura Kupe; Randal Seriguchi Jr.; Briana Stuart

Making a difference (m.a.d.) award 

The "Making A Difference (M.A.D.)" Award honors alum who have made significant contributions to their community and or career through their time, actions, talents and dedication. This award breaks into categories such as Law, Education, Social Action and many more to show that our black alumni are truly apart of the Michigan difference by affecting change. In order to be recognized for the "M.A.D." Award, an alum must be a graduate from any school, college or division of the University of Michigan.

Past M.A.D. Award Winners

2015: Erika James PhD; Betty Brown-Chappell, PhD; LMSW, Brandy R. McMillion Esq.; Rodney A. Brown; LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH; Ruth C. Browne, SCD; David Harris; Jenny Lee;

2016: Ugochi Emenaha; Judge Paula Humphries; Gail Patterson; Riana Anderson; Danielle Jolie Dale; Rev. Horace Sheffield III

2017: Joshua Kennedy; Erin B. Knight PhD; Robyn McCoy; Lester K. Spence PhD.; Lauren Underwood; Dr. Amira & Dr. Warren Woodruff

2018: Aramis Ayala; Dr. Ebere Azumah; Anise Hayes; Ashley Jones; Jasmine Sadler; Trinity Townsend; Travis Townsend

More Notable UMBA

James Earl Jones

(1955, HHLD 1970)

American Actor, known for his portrayal of roles such as Darth Vader in Star Wars &  Mufasa in Disney's Lion King.

Valerie Jarrett

(JD 1981)

Senior advisor to President Obama and assistant to the President for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs.

Mary Frances Berry

(PhD 1966, JD 1970, HHLD 1997)

Former chair for the Commission on Civil Rights under President Jimmy Carter.

Amalya Lyle Kearse

(JD 1962)

Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Senior judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, she was the first woman to sit on the Federal Appeals Court in Manhattan

Sarah-Elizabeth Langford


Competed as Miss District of Columbia in the 2002 Miss America Competition

Carole Simpson


 American broadcast journalist, news anchor, and author; Simpson became the first minority woman to moderate a presidential debate when she moderated the debate held between George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot, at Richmond, Virginia, in 1992.

Alexa Canady

(BS 1971, MD 1975)

 First female and first African-American to pursue a residency in neurology; first African-American woman certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Donna Britt

(MA 1978)

Syndicated columnist for the Washington Post.

David Allen Grier


An American actor and comedian known for his work on the sketch comedy television show In Living Color.