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Longtime WSU supporters, philanthropists honored with Max Fisher Award

November 3, 2013

Health. The arts. Education. These are just three of the giving areas close to the hearts of Mort and Brigitte Harris. David Ripple, Wayne State University's vice president of development and alumni affairs, cites the couple's acts of giving, the types of programs they support and the impact of their generosity on the daily lives of individuals in the community as just a few reasons they fit the very definition of the word "philanthropist." "They give to and support initiatives that are close to their heart that have a direct impact on the lives of individuals in our community," Ripple said. "They also have inspired numerous others to follow their lead in growing and strengthening our community through charitable giving." They have had an impact on daily life at Wayne State. For starters, the school's Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center bears the patriarch's name. The couple also give to scholarships, lectureships and community programs. Mort Harris is a lifetime member of the Wayne State University Alumni Association, a charter member of the Wayne State University Foundation board, one of the founding members of the Anthony Wayne Society and a member of the WSU Fund board in the mid-1980s. "For more than 40 years," Ripple said, Mort Harris "has been one of the university's best and most dedicated supporters."