Brandon Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp.- At 5 p.m., Oct. 7, three Brandon graduates will be honored with a place on the Ed and Diane Donaldson Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame at Brandon High School.
Fran Moore Hotchkiss, who graduated in 1979, is being honored for distinguished achievement in civil service. Hotchkiss has had more than 45 yearsof service to the community at the Brandon Township Public Library.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be chosen as one of this year’s distinguished Blackhawk alumni,” said Hotchkiss. “I absolutely loved all of my years attending classes in the Brandon school district. From kindergarten to my senior year I was blessed with the best teachers ever.”
Hotchkiss was also honored by the state of Michigan with the 2020 Outstanding Small/Rural Librarian Award for outstanding leadership, with the 2016 Wayne State University Professional Service Award, 2004 Children’s Librarian of the Year Award from the Michigan Library Association and the 2004 Village of Ortonville Honor for Continuous Service to the Community.
“Brandon has the most caring, dedicated teachers,” she said. “I am extremely thankful to all of the amazing teachers for my 46 years working at the Brandon Township Public Library. One of my favorite things that I enjoy most is the outreach programs for the preschools, elementary schools and daycares. Thank you to the teachers for sharing your students with me all of these years. You are all my heroes.”
Mary Wilson (formerly Wills), who graduated in 1976, is being honored for distinguished achievement in education. She has over 35 years with

Michigan State University, pioneering innovative approaches to educating the public and industry professionals on science-based, environmentally responsible horticulture practices. 

“This award is a great honor. It also makes me very humble to be in the company of previous recipients who have been very accomplished. It’s pretty amazing,” she said “This award is also very special to me as a fifth generation resident of Ortonville.”
She also spearheaded state-wide efforts to combat emerging invasive insect pests and received numerous state and national awards.
The third honoree is John Maxwell, who graduated in 1987, for distinguished achievement in service to the nation.

“Being honored on the Ed and Diane Donaldson Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame is a true testament to the quality of the education at Brandon High School,” he said. “I had many teachers who were invested in me and wanted me to succeed. Without them, I never would have been admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy and had a successful career in the Navy. I’m also incredibly grateful for my mom and dad, John

and Marilyn Maxwell, for guiding me and supporting me, especially in my years with Brandon schools.”
Maxwell is the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veteran Services and currently leads the executive leadership team, and 850 person agency assisting Virginia’s veterans. He is also a 28-year navy veteran and trained as a P-3C Naval Flight Officer. He culminated his career as a navy captain while serving as a carrier strike group chief of staff.
See both honorees on Oct. 7, 5-7 p.m. RSVP to at (248) 627-1802 or by emailing

2 Responses to "Brandon Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame"

  1. Jim Schroeder   October 5, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Congrats to all three and my thanks to each for their contributions and service to our community, state and country. It was a pleasure getting to know them at Brandon High School where it was clear they have what takes. We’ll deserved recognition.

  2. Cynthia H McDermott   October 7, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Congratulations to all! Welcome to the Wall!


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