Peters, Davis and Dow honored at 81st Commencement

Release Date: June 12, 2013

2013 Commencement Exercises

Prior to the 2013 Commencement Exercises, LTU President Virinder Moudgil and Provost Maria Vaz posed with commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Gary Peters and this year’s Alumni Achievement Award recipients, Frank Davis and Vincent Dow.


Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters (D-MI) received an honorary doctorate of humanities and gave the commencement address when Lawrence Tech’s 81st Commencement Exercises were held on May 11 at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac.

Frank Davis, BSME’84, and Vincent Dow, BSEE’79, were awarded the Alumni Achievement Award. LTU conferred almost 1,000 degrees for the 2012–13 academic year.

Peters represents the 14th congressional district that includes Southfield. Shortly after arriving in Congress in 2009, he worked with the Obama Administration to secure the survival of Michigan’s auto industry, making sure that manufacturers received the loans they needed. The auto industry has rebounded and thousands of new jobs have been created in southeastern Michigan.

As a member of the Financial Services Committee, Peters has worked to hold accountable those on Wall Street who caused the recession. As one of just 10 House Democrats selected to serve on the Wall Street Reform Conference Committee, he played a central role in shaping the toughest financial reform law since the Great Depression.

For 22 years Peters was an investment advisor, helping families save for retirement and provide for their children’s college education. He was elected to the Rochester Hills City Council in 1991 and to the Michigan State Senate in 1994. He later served as the Michigan State Lottery commissioner.

Peters served as a Seabee combat warfare specialist and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he signed up to again serve in the Reserve.

As executive director of North America Engineering at Ford, Davis oversees engineering for car, truck, SUV, and crossover design and development for all North American Ford and Lincoln brands. He also has the lead role among Ford’s Global Engineering directors in driving global engineering standards, policies, and practices.

Davis has been with Ford for 29 years and has held product development positions in North America, Europe, and Japan. He began his career in Ford Heavy Truck Operations as a chassis design engineer. He led the launch of the 2004 F-150, one of the most recognized vehicles in Ford’s history. As executive director of North America Product Programs from 2007–11, he led a team that overhauled the Ford product line-up from the Fiesta through the Super Duty truck line. [] BJA

Davis pursued his LTU degree first by attending evening classes and later as a full-time student. He credits LTU Professor Jerry Crist for inspiring him to “go above and beyond the task at hand and look to education as a journey of lifelong learning.”

“At Lawrence Tech, I learned that ‘good’ was never ‘good enough’ and the faculty always challenged me to go further. That’s what I do every day at Ford – Go further!” Davis said.

As vice president and chief engineer of Distribution Operations, Dow oversees DTE Energy’s electrical system, including new customer connections, engineering, power plant electrical equipment, and all distribution system construction. He also oversees asset optimization, distribution contract management, performance management, the Smart Grid efforts, and NERC standards and compliance.

Dow joined the company in 1979. He has served in a number of departments, including power delivery operations; customer service, billing, and meter reading; IT project management; energy distribution strategy; field services; construction and maintenance; engineering; and emergency preparedness.

Significantly involved in the community, Dow helped create DTE Energy Farms, a cooperative with Gleaners that grows food on DTE property and donates 50,000 pounds of food a year to needy residents in southeastern Michigan. He also developed Employee Resource Network groups at DTE to sponsor diversity efforts throughout the company.

Dow has also worked with a small team of LTU faculty and DTE employees to identify potential areas of engagement. He volunteered to be the executive sponsor and is credited with creating DTE Energy’s first formal university partnership.


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