As the former president of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, Gary Russi oversaw a $300 million annual budget and more than 3,000 staff and faculty members. He came to the position after acting as interim president for a year. In 2010, Gary Russi’s achievements in giving back to the Oakland County community earned him a Quality People, Quality County Award.
Otherwise known as the Q2 Award, the Quality People, Quality County Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals who enhance the quality of life in Oakland County by making a concerted effort to help its residents. Since its inception in 1993, this award has been given to such local luminaries as baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell, radio personality Dick Purtan, and Free Press sports writer Joe Falls.
The 21st annual Q2 Awards were bestowed during a breakfast ceremony in September of 2013. Led by Oakland County executive L. Brooks Patterson, the proceedings honored three American heroes who have shown exceptional dedication to their nation: Tuskegee airman Lt. Col. Harry Stewart, Jr.; Franklin-Bingham Farms Fire Chief Tony Averbuch; and Vietnam veteran Vito Pampalona.