A new school is named after a retired dealer, Richard Duncan.
The honor stems from Duncan's “strong and positive” 40-year presence in the community, according to the Utica (MI) Community Schools' Board of Education.
Along with partner Larry Jerome, Duncan opened the Jerome-Duncan Ford dealership in 1956.
Daughter Gail Duncan now operates the dealership in Sterling Heights.
“It's still hard to realize this honor,” Duncan says. “To think about the years ahead, and the hundreds of children who will walk the halls and learn about the quality of life in a school that bears my name is truly awesome.”
He's a founding member and five-time president of the Utica Community Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. During his association, the Foundation has raised more than $250,000 for additional classroom programming and scholarships.
A Career Focus Luncheon was conceived by Duncan nine years ago as an opportunity for sixth grade students to meet over lunch with area business professionals.
Since it started, nearly 20,000 sixth graders have participated. Many have indicated that their interest in a particular career was sparked at the luncheon.
Duncan has also worked behind the scenes to provide funding for drug abuse prevention awareness programs, fine arts opportunities for students and theatrical performances for the community.
Since his retirement, Duncan has devoted time to his volunteer work and his growing interest in the history of Ford Motor Co. His research has led to the creation of “Memories,” a museum of Ford memorabilia tucked behind the dealership that, unlike the school, only partially bears his name.