Michigan Ross Weekend MBA Student, State Rep. Receives Distinguished Service Award
The day after graduating from the Ross School of Business with his MBA, State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud will be receiving a 2019 Henry Ford College (HFC) Distinguished Service Award during the college’s commencement on May 4.
The HFC Distinguished Service Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward excellence in education, outstanding civic accomplishments, and for their support of the college. As state representative for Michigan’s 15th House District, Hammoud helped establish a new entrepreneurship center at HFC in Dearborn, where he also took classes while in high school.
Hammoud will join an impressive list of award recipients, including Henry Ford III (great-great-grandson of the college’s namesake) in 2017, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell in 2014, and her late husband and long-serving U.S. Rep. John Dingell in 2011.
“I’m humbled to be recognized for this award by Henry Ford College,” said Hammoud. “This institution has a special place in my family’s and in my heart because it provided my mother with a pathway to a dignified job.”
Family is important to Hammoud. In fact, he decided to pursue his MBA at Michigan Ross with his brother in 2015 — with the goal to one day go into business together. Tragically, his brother passed away before they could both apply. But, Hammoud resolved to carry on their shared dream and applied for the Ross Weekend MBA program while running for election to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2016.
As fate would have it, Hammoud won the election, and took his oath of office on December 20 of that year, his brother’s birthday. That same day he got an email from Patti Russo, managing director of Part-time MBA programs at Ross, for an interview.
With graduation from Ross less than two weeks away, Hammoud said his favorite part of the Weekend MBA program has been the people — from the professors to the administration staff, and especially his fellow students.
“My journey through this program has been more than just about learning in the classroom, it’s also been a journey of rediscovery. Each person I’ve met provided value on that path of self-reflection,” said Hammoud. “My classmates and I have become one big family, and even though we don’t see each other every day or every weekend, as soon as we’re together again, it’s like no time has passed.”
Besides building a strong Ross network, Hammoud said the MBA curriculum has greatly benefited his work as a state representative.
“I utilize what I’ve learned in my classes in everything I do,” he said. “Being able to talk about economic impact has been invaluable because it’s key to gaining support for new proposals, and Ross provided me with the skillset to do so.”
The HFC Distinguished Service Award will be the latest prestigious recognition Hammoud has earned for his work. In 2018, he received the National Progressive Leadership Award, which honors one young elected official across the country each year for advancing progressive solutions.