Joseph Champagne, PhD, a member of the Lawrence Technological University Board of Trustees since 2001, died Tuesday, Dec. 11 at age 80. He was a member of the academic affairs and executive committees.
Champagne had a broad background of achievement in education before joining the LTU board. He served as the third president of Oakland University from 1981 to 1991, where he was one of the main forces behind the technology park that now surrounds the university. He served as president of Crittenton Hospital Corp. 1991-93. He moved to Beaumont, Texas in 1994 to become chancellor of the Lamar University System. Later, he returned to Michigan to start an education consulting business.
Champagne did his undergraduate work at St. Mary’s and St. Thomas University, earned his master’s degree at Fordham University, and earned a PhD in industrial psychology at Purdue University. His early work for the state of South Carolina involved improving the lives of the underprivileged through education and job training. He then moved to Houston, Texas, to become the associate director of the Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations at the College of Business Administration at the University of Houston. He led a feasibility study for establishing a community college in Houston, and became the founding president of Houston Community College in 1970. He later returned to the University of Houston as vice president of academic affairs, before coming to Oakland University.
Douglas Ebert, chairman of the Lawrence Tech Board of Trustees, said that “Dr. Champagne leaves an indelible mark on our institution from his years of dedicated service. We will miss him, but his legacy will never leave us.”
Said LTU President Virinder Moudgil: “On behalf of the entire Lawrence Tech community, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Champagne’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
A visitation will be held Sunday, Dec. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. at Pixley Funeral Home, 322 W. University Drive, Rochester, and on Monday, Dec. 17 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, 1400 Inglewood Ave., Rochester, until the funeral mass at noon.