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Class of 1977


Gary Briggs

Owner of Local Art Gallery

President of Royal Oak Board of Education

Leader to Restore Historic Murals in Middle School

Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2014

Gary Briggs is a 1977 graduate of Royal Oak Kimball High School. While in high school Gary excelled in the graphic arts classroom and earned varsity letters in both track and football. His senior year he received first team all-county honors in football and was awarded the Vince Lombardi “block of granite” trophy as one of the outstanding linemen in the area. Mr. Briggs is also a graduate of Albion College where he played some football, met his wife Nancy and formally developed his interest and skills in visual arts.

In 1983 Gary Briggs returned to Royal Oak and opened an art gallery. He continues to be a successful part of the business community. What makes him worthy of Hall of Fame membership is his love for Royal Oak and the countless hours of volunteer time he has spent preserving our history, involving the public and improving the Royal Oak schools.

Gary Briggs was elected to the Royal Oak School Board in 2003. While serving on the board, he held the positions of vice-president and president. Several community projects were the direct results of Gary’s leadership. He was the driving force in the discovery and restoration of three large murals. These 11 by 23 foot works of art were created for the high school during the depression, but placed in storage in the 1970’s. Gary used his knowledge and appreciation of art and his organizing skills. He put together a team that found the murals, raised some money, restored the murals to their original beauty, and then hung them on the walls of the auditorium in the Royal Oak Middle School. This project brought the community together and enhanced the pride of Royal Oak people in their history. The project was featured in a television special on PBS.

Another major accomplishment under the leadership of Mr. Briggs involved the conversion of the old high school building on Washington Avenue into an outstanding modern middle school. It was but one of the many facility improvements he promoted in the school district. Gary also forged the plan for school consolidation which met the needs of a changing community and improved the financial efficiency of school operations.

There are many other community causes and campaigns associated with the efforts and talents of Gary Briggs. These projects include the establishment of the Royal Oak Save Our Youth Task Force which provides support and guidance for young people dealing with drug and alcohol problems. A common theme with all of these community campaigns is that they each involve vision and public action and Gary Briggs is providing his time and energy to assure that positive results are achieved.

Class of 1977 


Cynthia DeAlmeida.... 

Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida

  • Principal Oboe of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

  • Associate Teaching Professor of Oboe at the School of Music of Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Featured on "The Early Show" (CBS) in 2003 featuring a story on the health benefits on oboe and asthma sufferers

  • Released solo CD recordings Classic Discoveries for Oboe (2002), Mist Over the Lake (2006), Silver and Gold (2015)





Class of 1977


Reverend Faith Fowler

A Social Entrepreneur

Established Cass Community Social Services in Detroit

Senior Pastor, Cass Community United Methodist Church

Distinguished Alumnus of Albion College, Boston University School of Theology, and UM Dearborn

Detroit News Michiganian of the Year, 2003

Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2006

Faith Fowler is a 1977 graduate of Dondero High School.  She went to Albion College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1981. She then earned a Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Michigan in Dearborn.

Rev. Fowler worked with the Catholic Chaplaincy Team at Walpole Maximum Security Prison in Massachusetts from 1983 to 1986. From 1986 to 1994 she served as Pastor at the William S. Ford Memorial United Methodist Church in Detroit.

Beginning in 1994 Faith Fowler served as the Senior Pastor of Cass Community United Methodist Church and Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services, which she helped to establish. As CEO her responsibilities include oversight of fiscal, administrative and program development for a human service agency that works with the hungry, homeless, seniors, at-risk youth and the mentally ill. She oversees the operation of two free medical clinics. She has been described as "relentless in her pursuit of help for those folks who need it and invested not only her time and talent, but all her worldly possessions in order to serve others."

Rev. Fowler has also served as an advisory board member of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging and the General Board of Church and Society and the Wayne State University's Institute of Gerontology Board of Advisers.

In 1999, Faith Fowler was presented with the Spirit of Detroit Award. In 2003, she was selected for the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award and was named a Michigianian of the Year by the Detroit News. That same year she was chosen the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In 2005 Rev. Fowler was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from both Albion College and Boston University School of Theology.

In 2006, Faith Fowler was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame and provided the Keynote Address at the induction ceremony.

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