Before Brian Mosallam was elected Nov. 6, 2012, to serve as a Michigan State University trustee; before he became chairman of the Dearborn Education Foundation and built a lucrative career in finance; before, even, he played football for MSU, he was one thing: A Fordson Tractor.
Fittingly, Mosallam returned to his high school—where he graduated in 1992 as captain of the football team and president of his class—to be sworn in as MSU trustee Wednesday evening.
Mosallam was elected with 1.9 million votes for the term, which lasts eight years. He was sworn in by another Fordson alum, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Charlene Elder, and flanked with fellow Tractors for the ceremony.
"Brian understands the power of community involvement and the power of knowing where one has come from," Fordson Principal Youssef Mosallam—who went to school with Brian—shared at the ceremony. "I know he began to bleed green and white, but he still believed in (Fordson's) maize and blue."
Fellow Fordson alum and President of the Fordson Alumni Association Rudah Saghir commended Mosallam's commitment to education, shown both through his history of good grades in high school and college, as well as his work with the Dearborn Education Foundation.
"He's a man of action and not just words," Saghir said. "You're a great role model for our youth ... and you have always put education first."
"Brian's character was molded in part by these very halls and these neighborhoods," added Dearborn City Council President Tom Tafelski—also a Fordson alum. "I could not be more proud of a fellow Dearbornite or Tractor than I am tonight."
Mosallam said he hopes to continue his passion for education as trustee, joking that he "had so much fun" in college that he's "going for eight years instead of four."
In all seriousness, Mosallam vowed to always serve students' needs.
"I've been selected to lead and run what amounts to a $2.8 billion corporation," he said. "I've never been more ready. I promise to lead based on the core values instilled in me in Dearborn Public Schools ... and by my parents."