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The Impact of One ...

Brad Simmons
Brad Simmons, ’79, ’84

Brad Simmons gives back to UDM as an advisor and donor

Professors of the College of Business Administration educated Brad Simmons ’79, ’84 not only about accounting and finance, but also about ethics as a way to assess and solve problems. Those attributes have served him well in his 30-plus years at Ford Motor Co.

After serving in roles that ranged from accounting and finance to government relations, Brad rose to the position of controller of the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of the company. For the past eight years, he has been director of the Office of Executive Chairman. This role takes Brad across the country and around the world as Bill Ford’s chief of staff. Brad advises his boss about events, speaking engagements and initiatives that he may wish to get involved with — at the company, in industry, and in the community.

“ I think it’s important to give back to institutions that have given to me and shaped me.”
— Brad Simmons ’79, ’84

Brad is a generous donor to UDM and has named the University in his estate plans. Keeping up the physical facilities of the UDM campuses is capital intensive and is critical to attracting new students,” he says. He wants his estate gift to continue the legacy of great instructors and deans, including his mentor Professor of Business Administration Gerald Cavanagh, S.J.

“I think it’s important to give back to institutions that have given to me and shaped me,” says Brad, who is chair of the College of Business Administration Advisory Board. Being a co-op student at Chrysler Corp. as an undergraduate opened many doors for him upon graduation, including his first job at Ford.

As a Detroit native, he forecasts a solid turnaround for the city and the state of Michigan. “I continue to be impressed by the spirit, attitude and commitment of the region and the state’s leaders. Our challenge is to retain or attract back the next generation of college graduates. Keeping UDM a vital part of the city helps in its renewal.”