Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame
Richard Letts Community Service Award
Joel Ferguson - 2013
A successful business and civic leader, Joel
Ferguson has been an effective coalition
builder throughout his life.  A 1956 graduate of
Lansing Sexton High School, Joel enlisted in
the U.S. Marine Corps after high school,
serving two years and then enrolled at
Michigan State University in 1959.  A dedicated
student and hard worker, Joel financed his
education by working nights on the Oldsmobile
assembly line in Lansing for six years.  
Wanting to make a contribution to his
community and to young people, he spent the
next two years teaching and later became the
director of the Greater Lansing Urban League
OJT program.

Throughout his life, Joel has been active in
Michigan civic affairs.  In 1967, he was the first
African-American and youngest member to be
elected to the Lansing City Council.  He was
also the first African-American to serve on the
Ingham County Board of Supervisors.  Joel is a
Golden Heritage member of the NAACP and he
has sat on the Boards of the Lansing YMCA,
Boy's Club, Arthritis Foundation and Junior
Achievement.  Joel has mentored many of
Lansing's young people, both athletes and
non-athletes, about the importance of
education and civic duty, and the value of
each in one's personal and professional lives.  
Joel is currently the Chairperson of the
Michigan State University Board of Trustees.