Class of 1977
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.