William F. Pickard Living Center
There are 11 suite-style living centers named for Grand Valley Board of Trustees members Richard M. DeVos, Icie Macy Hoobler, Paul A. Johnson, William A. Kirkpatrick, Arnold C. Ott, Robert C. Pew, William F. Pickard, Bill & Sally Seidman, Dale Stafford, Maxine M. Swanson, and Ella Koeze Weed. All the buildings are divided into suites consisting of two double-bed rooms and a bath.
The eminent Detroit businessman William F. Pickard was born in La Grange, Georgia, on January 28, 1941. He moved north with his family to Flint, MI in 1958 and was active in the NAACP while earning a bachelor's degree in sociology from Western Michigan University and a master's in social work at University of Michigan. He was also a working man early in life, employed with a record store as well as McDonald's as a teenager and later with the Urban League in Cleveland as a civil rights worker. Pickard became a well-known leader in the black community as well as an entrepreneur and college teacher. Pickard received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1971, and in 1972 moved to Detroit to oversee his investment in a McDonald's franchise. He taught at Wayne State University in addition to managing his McDonald's, and eventually acquired six restaurants. He also bought Regal Plastics, which became one of the areas biggest black-owned businesses. In 1972 Pickard received an honorary degree from Grand Valley State Colleges; in 1976 he was appointed by the governor to the Board of Control. He was re-appointed for a second term in 1981 and served until 1988. Pickard has remained active in the NAACP, and lives in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
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Page last modified December 12, 2012