WMU News

WMU alumnus serves as Boy Scouts national president

Aug. 7, 2002

DALLAS -- Western Michigan University business graduate Roy S. Roberts recently began a two-year term as national president of the Boy Scouts of America. He is the first African-American to serve as president of the 92 year-old organization.

Roberts' involvement with scouting spans more than 35 years. He has served on the advisory board of the Detroit Area Council, as chairman of the 1997 National Scout Jamboree, as vice president of Venturing--scouting's coed program--and, most recently, as executive vice president of the national organization. He was named to BSA's National Executive Board in 1992. He is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, scouting's highest commendation, awarded annually for exemplary volunteer service and dedication to helping young people succeed.

A longtime executive with General Motors Corp., Roberts retired from GM in February 2000, and now serves as managing director for Reliant Equity Investors, a venture capital and investment firm in Chicago. His career at GM spanned 23 years, and he served in a variety of top positions, including vice president and general manager in charge of vehicle sales, service and parts distribution in the United States and, prior to that, as general manager of the Pontiac-GMC Division.

The recipient of honorary doctorates from three universities, Roberts also received the American Success Award in 1989, which was presented by then President George Bush in the White House Rose Garden. He serves on several corporate and charitable boards of directors.

Roberts earned a bachelor of business administration degree from WMU in 1970. He is a past trustee of the University and a former director of the WMU Foundation. In 1995, he received the WMU Alumni Association's highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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