On May 14, David Fike (KNFP-15), President of Marygrove College in Detroit, Mich., presented an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to La June Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The full text of her citation follows:
Citation given to La June Montgomery Tabron on the occasion of her serving as Commencement Speaker to the Marygrove College class of 2014
Native Detroiter, President and CEO, accountant, philanthropist, civic leader, educator, champion for children and families. We honor you for nearly three decades of service, for your pursuit of justice and equality, for using your gifts and inspiring us to advocate on behalf of society’s most vulnerable citizens: our children.
We recognize you for the commitment to academic excellence that you showed in earning your bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and your master of business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. We applaud your graduation from the inaugural class of the Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways Program. The time you spent as a student imbued you with the ideals that you have carried with you and promoted throughout your every endeavor.
We recognize your service as controller, treasurer, vice president for finance, and executive vice president of operations at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States.
We honor you for breaking ground as the first female and first African-American to lead the Foundation in its 84 year history. Your oversight of the Foundation’s plans, policies and relationships within the financial community, coupled with your extraordinary ability to connect and integrate leadership committees, enabled the Foundation to carry on its proud mission of stewardship—a mission that demands fidelity to the spirit, prudence, selflessness, and unswerving determination.
We laud the many years you have spent in service to others as you took on leadership roles for professional organizations and boards such as the Western Michigan University Foundation; the Kalamazoo Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; Battle Creek Community Health Partners; Southwest Michigan First; Bronson Healthcare Group; the Douglass Community Association, the Mississippi Center for Education Innovation; and the Kellogg Company.
We honor your commitment to the domestic and international community and commend you for recognizing the interconnectedness of social justice and education. Your leadership launched a strategic focus to enhance the educational achievements of young males of color in Michigan, Mississippi, New Orleans and New Mexico. Your initiative traversed borders and defied lines of demarcation, arriving in highly concentrated areas of poverty in Mexico and Haiti.
Above all, we esteem you for dedicating your life to your mission: Helping people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources; creating a world in which all children thrive.
For your extraordinary leadership and dedication to humanity, Marygrove College is proud to confer on you with honor and privilege the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on The Honorable La June Montgomery Tabron on this 10th day of May, in the year of faith, 2014.