Israeli Ambassador, Two Prominent St. Louisans, a Detroit Education Leader, and a World War II Hero to be Named Churchill Fellows

Five prominent leaders—Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, two prominent St. Louisans, a Detroit educator, and a highly decorated World War II hero—will be inducted into the Association of Churchill Fellows later this week at Westminster College, home of the National Churchill Museum.

The inductees will become members of the prestigious association in a solemn ceremony at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, March 25, during Churchill Fellows Weekend in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, which is part of the National Churchill Museum located on Westminster’s campus. 

Acting Senior Churchill Fellow Jean-Paul Montupet, of St. Louis, Missouri, a retired Emerson Electric Co. executive, will bestow the honor on the new inductees. Montupet also is a past Senior Fellow and board member of the International Churchill Society 

The inductees are: 

  • His Excellency Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., who also will deliver the Museum’s 2018 Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture
  • Sam Fox, former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, St. Louis business leader and noted philanthropist; 
  • Neal F. Perryman ’88 KA, a Westminster College alumnus and a member of the prestigious Lewis-Rice law firm in St. Louis; 
  • Morton E. “Mort” Harris, of Detroit, a World War II bomber pilot and entrepreneur; and,
  • William Clark Durant III, also of Detroit, an education leader and the co-founder and former CEO of charter and independent schools in Detroit’s urban core.

In his lecture, Ambassador Dermer will discuss the topic of “Churchill and Israel.” 

Churchill Fellows Weekend is an annual event where a national expert on Churchill delivers the Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture, and new Churchill Fellows are inducted. The lectureship was established in 1979 through a grant from the Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. It is intended to provide lectures by authorities on Sir Winston Churchill or on British History at the National Churchill Museum. 

The Association of Churchill Fellows is an honorary society of people dedicated to the development and use of the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College, where Sir Winston Churchill delivered his historic “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946, which predicted the Cold War with what was then the Soviet Union.

Since the Association was started 49 years ago, more than 300 Fellows have been recognized for their support and service to the Museum, the only museum in North America that is fully dedicated to commemorating the life and times of Churchill, one of the greatest world leaders of the 20th Century. 

Past inductees include former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth, author Jon Meacham, Winston Churchill (Sir Winston Churchill’s namesake grandson), Lady Mary Soames (Churchill’s daughter), artist-sculptor Edwina Sandys (Churchill’s granddaughter), Gen. David H. Petraeus, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, International Churchill Society Chairman Laurence Geller, the Right Honorable Earl Mountbatten of Burma, legendary newsman Walter Cronkite, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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