Io Triumphe! THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF ALBION COLLEGE
MAURI DITZLER’S ‘AUDACIOUS’ PRESIDENCY BEGINS INSIDE 16 Doug Parker, ’84: Riding High at American Airlines 20 Anna Howard Shaw’s Fight for Women’s Rights 24 Sam Shaheen, ’88: Propelling Growth on Home Turf 28 A D-Day Remembrance for Albion’s Veterans VOL. LXXIX, NO. 1
D. TRUMPIE PHOTO
Features PROGRAMMED FOR GROWTH Cultivating vision and collaboration makes an institution thrive.
AT THE CONTROLS 16 Doug Parker, ’84, ascends to the top of the airline business. DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE 20 It’s time to revisit the legacy of women’s rights activist Anna Howard Shaw. JUST WHAT THE 24 DOCTOR ORDERED Sam Shaheen, ’88, takes a grassroots approach to economic revitalization. HITTING HOME 28 World War II offers lessons for a new generation of students.
Departments BRITON BITS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWS
24 COVER PHOTO: DAVID TRUMPIE
2 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
Alumni, parents, and friends are invited to join in the festivities as we celebrate Albion College’s past, present, and future Friday-Saturday, Sept. 12-13. We’ll officially mark the beginning of Mauri Ditzler’s presidency at his inauguration, and recognize our Albion families and our community connections at Family Weekend and Community Day.
SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS Thursday, September 11 7 p.m. Panel Discussion: “Albion Tomorrow: The Liberal Arts College as Partner in Community Revitalization” Bobbitt Visual Arts Center Auditorium Friday, September 12 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Albion College Showcase: An Interactive Exhibit of Faculty and Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Science Complex Atrium 2 p.m. Presidential Inauguration Ceremony Campus Quadrangle; Rain Location: Goodrich Chapel (Ticketed event if held indoors.) 3:30 p.m. Inaugural Reception Campus Quadrangle; Rain Location: Science Complex Atrium 7 p.m. “Celebrate Albion” Evening Entertainment: Javier Colon Band Shell, Victory Park, Hannah Street Saturday, September 13 9 a.m. “Muffins with Mauri” Conversation (Family Weekend) The President’s Home, 501 East Michigan Avenue 10 a.m. “Celebrate Albion” Service Project 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Picnic Lunch (Family Weekend) Campus Quadrangle; Rain Location: Lower Baldwin 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Department/Student Organization Showcase (Family Weekend) Campus Quadrangle; Rain Location: Upper Baldwin 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pre-game Family Tailgate (Community Day and Family Weekend) Outside the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Football Game: Albion vs. Illinois Wesleyan Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium
FIND A DETAILED SCHEDULE AT: WWW.ALBION.EDU/CELEBRATE. Spring-Summer 2014 | 3
So says communication studies professor Andy Boyan about Google Glass. This summer Boyan is using the new wearable device as a teaching tool for everything from archiving in-class work to recording and uploading class presentations onto YouTube. “What can we do with these things and what should we do with them?” he asks. “This project is designed to try and get ahead of the students and be a resource for faculty.” H. KUMCHAI PHOTO / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Oak wainscoting panels were refinished as part of the restoration of the historic house at 501 East Michigan Avenue that is now home for President Mauri Ditzler and his wife, Judi. Some 135 intricate spindles lining the grand staircase were also returned to their original look, and fluted oak columns found in the attic were reinstalled in the upper hall landing. The home, purchased by the College in 1941, previously served presidents from John Seaton through Bernard Lomas.
students packed the house for this year’s “Big Show” with rap/pop star Mike Posner, whose songs have also been recorded by Justin Bieber and Big Sean. Before the concert some 40 students had a chance for an “up close and personal” Q&A with the Southfield, Michigan native who talked about living out his dream as a musician.
HEARD ON CAMPUS “We continue to push modern agriculture past the limits of ethical and environmental acceptability. The current system to ensure the safety of our food is disjointed and dysfunctional. . . . We never voted or had a conscious say on the transformation of agriculture from what it used to be to what it has become. . . . While the challenges are extraordinary, you can make a contribution towards a safer and healthier world. You have the freedom to think and work expansively, . . . take risks, and make a significant difference.”
COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER FEDELE BAUCCIO, CEO OF BON APPÉTIT, BRINGING ALBION’S YEAR OF SUSTAINABILITY TO AN INSPIRING CLOSE.
4 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
D. TRUMPIE PHOTO
“It’s like magic.”
That’s the number of consecutive days Albion’s grounds crew worked in December and January to clear snow and ice during the “winter that was.” The endless snow even prompted a “Death of Winter” prediction pool among the College’s staff. The winning entry was April 11, the day the last smidge of snow disappeared from the Ferguson Building parking lot.
A Frandsen Farewell Mike Frandsen’s mantra for his year as Albion’s interim president was “Just One More.” It was his way of encouraging every member of the campus community to be more engaged than ever in College events, programs, and activities.
D. LAWRENCE PHOTO
But as he noted at May’s commencement, the year has been anything but “just one more.” He leaves a campus that has renewed optimism for the future, bolstered by positive accomplishments in student recruitment and fundraising. The campus also witnessed some significant facilities upgrades during 2013-14, notably in Baldwin Hall and Kresge Gymnasium.
For Mike and Sharon Frandsen, “just one more” meant everything from hauling one more box during new student move-in day to distributing one more dozen of Sharon’s hand-decorated cookies. And they managed to be ubiquitous on campus, attending nearly every major event during the year.
Now Frandsen heads off to become vice president for finance and administration at Oberlin College. He held a similar position at Albion from 2009 to mid-2013, when he became interim president for the 201314 academic year upon Donna Randall’s transition from president to chancellor. From 2006 to 2009, Frandsen was the director of the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management after two years as assistant professor of economics and management. “We are grateful to Mike for all he has done for Albion during his nearly 10-year tenure at the College,” said Don Sheets, ’82, chair of Albion’s Board of Trustees. “He has shown exemplary leadership during this past year as interim president. And throughout his time on campus, we have benefited from his wise insights, skillful financial management, and deep appreciation for liberal arts education. “It is good to know he is remaining within the Great Lakes Colleges Association ‘family,’” Sheets added.
‘Always Brits’ An excerpt from Mike Frandsen’s remarks at commencement 2014. Together, we have set the tone for a brighter future for Albion and set the stage for Dr. Mauri Ditzler’s arrival on July 1 [as the College’s new president]. I want to thank Don Sheets and the entire Board of Trustees for trusting me to lead our College during this important year of transition. I am truly grateful for the board’s support of me and of all of us. Thank you to the faculty and staff for the amazing ways in which you enrich the lives of our students, your colleagues, and this community each and every day. I appreciate your commitment to keep Albion moving forward during this year. The people of this place are the true Albion Advantage. Students, you are why we are here, not just today, but every day. I know our pride in you will only grow as you go out and change the world. Nothing I have done this year has been better than sharing things with you—concerts and athletic contests, plays and pizza, t-shirts, and, of course, cookies—specially made by my wife, Sharon. She has been an amazing partner in my service as interim president. Truly, it has been our service. We will miss this place and these people and will always be Brits.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 5
D. LAWRENCE PHOTO
Closing the Books
When a ‘sheepskin’ really was . . . Printed on sheepskin. This bachelor of arts diploma (all in Latin, of course) was awarded to Reuben Clark June 27, 1872. It’s just one of many diplomas preserved in the Albion College archives. The oldest in the collection are two dated from July 28, 1852 and awarded to Ellen French and Sarah Maynard by the Albion Female Collegiate Institute, back in the days when women and men had separate courses of study. Minnie Grimes’ diploma, dated June 15, 1864, is the oldest in the collection from the period after Albion College began granting full four-year degrees to both men and women. Also included are diplomas from the Albion College School of Art and the Commercial Department, both of which offered specialized training in the late 19th-century.
6 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
Daniel Christiansen, professor of economics and management, concluded 33 years of service at Albion College at May’s commencement ceremony and was named professor emeritus. After working at the University of Rochester and the University of Northern Iowa, he says he found the perfect balance of research and teaching at Albion. Trained at Stanford University as a mathematical economist primarily developing theoretical models, Christiansen created classes focused on financial and environmental-issue forecasting and decision-making. A Fulbright fellowship took him to the Norwegian Institute of Technology, where he taught graduate and undergraduate students. Many of his former students now work in banking and finance. For more on Christiansen’s career at Albion, go to: www.albion.edu/news.
Semester Snapshots SMALL INSECT, BIG IMPACT Drosophila looks harmless enough, but this common fruit fly can transmit bacteria to humans, often with devastating effects. Albion biology professor Roger Albertson and and students Marissa Cloutier, ’14, Jack Manquen, ’15, and Allison McClish, ’15, recently presented their research on Wolbachia, one of these bacterial strains, at the 55th Drosophila Research Conference. They believe their findings could improve human health in developing countries.
WHEN IN ROMANIA . . .
“Most people were impressed that we were presenting research, as less than 10 percent of attendees were undergraduates,” Cloutier says. “People were very receptive. It was a great feeling to present new data to people who are experts in the field.” Wolbachia is the causative agent of several tropical diseases, including elephantiasis and river blindness. More than 200 million people are infected, according to Albertson. “This research conducted at Albion College is part of an international effort to control Wolbachia,” he says. The University of California, Florida International University, and the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, are among other research institution collaborators.
It’s a story to warm a teacher’s heart:
AuH20 FOR CHEM MAJOR
D. LAWRENCE PHOTOS
The nanoparticles did it. Stephanie Sanders’ two years of research on nanoparticles so impressed the judges that this spring she was one of only six students in Michigan to receive a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for 2014-15. Sanders, ’15, joins the 286 science, math, and engineering students selected from among 1,166 applicants nationally. After working at Albion with chemistry professor Kevin Metz, the chemistry and math major next will spend fall 2014 on a research semester at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory. “The Goldwater is incredibly competitive, and it rewards the top students in the STEM disciplines,” notes Albion chemistry professor Vanessa McCaffrey. “Stephanie really excels in everything she does. I’m not at all surprised she was chosen for this award.”
As a middle-school student, Logan Woods, ’14, randomly chose the country of Romania for a social studies project. From that assignment, he gained an abiding interest in the country. Now, as the recipient of a 2014-15 Fulbright Student Award, Woods, who graduated in May with majors in English and history, will spend nine months in Romania teaching English in a school setting. “I’m very honored to be a representative of our country and of Albion College,” says Woods, the fourth Albion Fulbright recipient in the past three years. “This is a confluence of interests I’ve had for a long time. . . . My goal is to not just teach English—I want to learn Romanian as well.” Woods stands a good chance of being placed in a city on the Black Sea. “Politically, with what’s going on in Eastern Europe at this time, Romania could be a very interesting place,” he says. “I’m expecting there may be some heightened emotion in people and students around me.”
Spring-Summer 2014 | 7
Pressprich Scores an NCAA Cover Story Carl Pressprich’s successful career as an Albion College student-athlete has often found him in key back-end roles—from his computer programming to help protect wireless networks as an Oak Ridge National Laboratory intern to bolstering the defense of the Briton men’s lacrosse team.
To learn what else is new in the world of Briton sports, check out: gobrits.com.
Now, the physics major and third-year preengineering student has taken a star turn: Pressprich is featured on the cover of the spring 2014 NCAA Champion magazine. An NCAA crew visited campus and Albion-based manufacturer Caster Concepts for the photo shoot. In the story, Pressprich talks about his hope to work in the auto industry like his grandfathers did, as electrical engineers at Ford and General Motors, and help write the next chapter in Detroit’s future.
“Why would I stay in the auto industry,” he says in the story, “when they’re struggling and companies are going bankrupt? I see it as a new problem to solve. How do you make new cars more efficient? How do you make them lighter, cheaper, safer?” Pressprich will attend the University of Michigan next fall, where in two years he plans to graduate with two bachelor’s degrees— one in physics from Albion, the other in engineering from Michigan. The men’s lacrosse team finished the spring season at 6-2 in the league, with Pressprich as a regular starter for the Britons. To read the full story, go to: www.ncaachampionmagazine.org/.
International Initiatives Win Simon Award The innovative ‘glocal’ relationship between Albion College, the City of Albion, and two communities in France made a big impression on the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA), which honored Albion College with a 2014 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award for Campus Internationalization. “We are the only private institution to be awarded this honor, maybe because we have a bright example of a special place that has merged campus internationalization with the local community and international partners. This triangular relationship may be a model for others,” noted Provost Susan Conner. The Simon award specifically recognizes the College’s role in fostering the Albion community’s sister-city relationships with Noisy-le-Roi and Bailly, France. The sister cities sponsor annual exchanges for dozens of middle
8 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
school and high school students, college interns, senior citizens, and government officials. Albion College faculty and staff have added a number of programs on both sides of the Atlantic. In 201314 alone, Albion College faculty and students in modern languages, music, art, business, sustainability studies, and education hosted and participated in exchanges enhancing academic programs at Albion and French institutions. Among the College’s many other international connections is a new Education Department partnership with the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica that is engaging Albion students in teaching English to Costa Rican schoolchildren. Education professor Kyle Shanton has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Fellowship that supports related teaching and research he will do in Costa Rica this summer, and four Albion students have just completed a teaching practicum in the schools there.
Albion education students teach in Noisy-le-Roi, France, for a week in January.
Two Minutes with . . . SUSAN CONNER
Susan Conner retired as Albion’s provost in June, but will stay on to teach an occasional course in history at the College. She and her husband, Ron, will remain in the Albion community. Io Triumphe!: As you were interviewing for the provost’s position here at Albion in 2008, what impressed you about the College? Conner: When I first started researching Albion, I was certainly impressed with the facilities, and then the more I learned, the more I was impressed by the faculty— Albion has a distinguished faculty and strong academic programs. And the College has had many illustrious alumni who have made a difference in the world. Taken all together, it was the perfect package. You oversaw the reaffirmation of accreditation for Albion in 2010. What stands out for you in that self-study process? I really enjoyed the accreditation process—which some people might suggest is a little perverse—but the reason I enjoyed doing it was to show how Albion is so accomplished and to provide the evidence for the successes of the College. It was also a project that brought everyone together—people learned from each other. It was a wonderfully strengthening experience.
What do you see as the chief accomplishments during your time as provost? I’ve worked hard to articulate and give shape to the Albion Advantage. An important step in that process was to bring our career development program into Academic Affairs—it is very much an integral part of our students’ academic experience. We have added new majors to our curriculum, created a systematic program review process, and initiated some important Faculty Handbook changes. I am very proud of our Paul Simon Spotlight Award for Internationalization that we received earlier this year, and the efforts of so many faculty to make it a reality. What opportunities lie ahead for Albion? We need to continue to develop the Albion Advantage. We know that we have strengths in our academic departments and programs of distinction, in the wealth of internships and other opportunities we offer, and we know we have a wonderful product inside the classroom. What we really want is to fulfill the promise that says the Albion Advantage is a fully
integrated experience, and it is for everyone. All students should have the opportunity to build a great portfolio across their four years here. You’ve continued to conduct research throughout your career. How did your interest in the period of the French Revolution lead to research on some pretty unusual topics for an academic historian: woman soldiers, prostitution, venereal disease, the sale of cadavers? For my dissertation, I wrote a biography of a French noblewoman. She was incredibly interesting— very engaged in the politics of the time. She married one of Napoleon’s generals and traveled with her husband on campaign. In her memoirs, she talked about the many women who served in the military as foot soldiers. Eventually, I became interested in what occupations were open to single women during this period. For many of them, prostitution became an economic choice in a depressed economy. So then I began to look at all the surrounding social issues in these women’s lives. I spent many hours poring through the police archives
During her six years as Albion’s provost, Susan Conner has significantly expanded the international study and research opportunities for Albion’s students and faculty, including new programs developed through the Great Lakes Colleges Association and additional partnerships growing from Albion’s powerful sister-city relationship in France.
in Paris, as well as hospital records, and the Napoleonic records at the Archives nationales. As you look ahead to your retirement from Albion, what’s next? I have another book I want to write—and perhaps two. I have written a number of articles on women’s social history but have never organized that research into a book. And I would like to publish the biography of the woman who was the subject of my dissertation.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 9
Mauri Ditzler’s lifelong connection to the land continues at his family farm in Indiana, where his wife, Judi, oversees their strawberry fields and apple orchards. “There’s something aesthetically beautiful about working in the fields,” he says. “You feel like an artist—you have painted the landscape. . . . You have this wonderful sense of accomplishment looking out on what you’ve done.”
Programmed for Growth
J. AMIDON PHOTO
By Sarah Briggs
D. TRUMPIE PHOTO
PRESIDENT MAURI DITZLER SAYS CULTIVATING VISION AND COLLABORATION MAKES AN INSTITUTION THRIVE. Mauri Ditzler’s Midwestern roots run deep. You can see it in his love for the land that began with a boyhood spent pulling potatoes and feeding chickens and is manifested today in his pride in the plentiful apple harvests at Cherrywood Farm, owned with his wife, Judi. And it is evident in his affection for America’s ‘heartland’ colleges that were formed in the 19th century to educate young people along the expanding frontier and today have claimed a place on the national stage.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 11
These little colleges scattered across the Midwestern landscape, Ditzler says, helped their home communities flourish. “One of the oldest traditions of the liberal arts,” he says, “is that we prepare people to be active citizens. . . . Part of what liberal arts colleges were intended to do was to make communities work. Their founders believed they needed a college to make their community thrive. A national vision is terribly important for an institution—we should always think about what is going on nationally and internationally—but along with that we can’t forget that we are a member of a community. That’s central to our heritage.” As he moves into the Albion College presidency, Ditzler says liberal arts colleges continue to have an impact on our national life far beyond what their numbers of graduates might suggest. “You can find research universities anywhere in the world,” he observes. “But residential liberal arts colleges are a distinctly American invention, and I’m convinced that these colleges have given our country an advantage.” By educating young people who can solve problems, learn from each other, and lead effectively, he says, these colleges have greatly contributed to the success of our democracy and the growth of our economy. Ditzler’s own liberal arts experience began at Wabash College where he majored in chemistry and speech and was involved in debate and student government. Married to his high school sweetheart, Judi, during his senior year, he graduated summa cum laude in 1975 and headed on to graduate studies in analytical chemistry at Duke University where he would win fellowships from the American Chemical Society and the National Institutes of Health. When he began his teaching career at the College of the Holy Cross in 1979 after earning his Ph.D., he drew on the examples set by the faculty members he studied with at Wabash. They modeled the kind of teacher he wanted to be in the way they both challenged and encouraged their students. His scientist’s
12 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
fascination with experimentation also came into play. Recognizing the need to find new ways to engage students in their education, he led his colleagues in developing a novel discovery-based approach to teaching chemistry that was soon adopted by institutions all over the country and was honored with a national award. Ditzler’s penchant for innovation continued as he moved into academic administration, first at Millikin University and later at Wabash. During his tenure as dean of arts and sciences at Millikin, he shepherded broad changes in the curriculum and expanded the opportunities for undergraduate research. As dean of the college at Wabash, he led the development of a national Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, which has earned national recognition for research on improving student learning, and he established an immersion program that now takes faculty and students to locales around the world. He says a mind-set for innovation is critical in today’s fiercely competitive higher education environment—both for our students and for our institutions. “If we’re not willing to be innovative and creative,” he notes, “we are not likely to pass that approach to life along to our students. I believe that the strongest colleges are the ones where faculty are encouraged to try new ideas on a regular basis.” As Monmouth College’s president for the past nine years, Ditzler championed integrated learning, most notably illustrated in a new $40-million facility that links teaching in science and business. He also led a strategic planning process that heightened the college’s commitment to education for citizenship, and he launched an initiative titled “Midwest Matters,” highlighting how the region can address the problem of global food security. Successful innovation depends on both leadership and collaboration, Ditzler maintains. “Being a president has taught me that the only lasting changes that you can effect are changes
the campus community wants to make. The job of the president is to discover a match between what the community wants to happen and what the president knows how to make happen. “The president can have some impact on that by articulating a vision and doing so forcefully in many different venues,” he adds. “It’s a two-way street—at Monmouth, as I became more effective in articulating my vision, then the vision was shared more broadly in the community. But as I became better at listening to the community about what its vision was, I also became more effective. “When there is an alignment between what the board sees as the mission of the college, the president’s vision, and the passion of the faculty and students remarkable things can happen in a very short period of time. The hard work is achieving that alignment.” Ditzler says he has already found a sense of common purpose at Albion. “I am encouraged by the shared vision I have seen on campus,” he says. “I sense a fierce commitment to the liberal arts and a deep understanding of how a liberal arts education can lead to a strong entry-level job and then provide a path for our graduates to advance to the highest level of their professions. I am pleased that our trustees have endorsed the desire of our faculty and staff to support economic, cultural, and social growth for our region and our neighbors. This common spirit bodes well for our future.” If past practice is any indication, Ditzler is likely to be highly visible on campus—striking up impromptu conversations with visitors, stopping by faculty offices, inviting students into his home. He wants every member of the campus community to know that his or her contributions are valued. “I am a devotee,” he says, “of ‘management by walking around.’ It can be an opportunity to just listen or encourage. It can also be the most direct way to find common ground on a contentious issue.”
D. TRUMPIE PHOTO
Interacting with students on campus and inviting them into his home for informal conversation has been a Ditzler tradition, and one he plans to continue at Albion. “I learn a great deal from students,” he says. “I enjoy watching the goals of a liberal arts education unfold from their perspective.”
Spring-Summer 2014 | 13
D. TRUMPIE PHOTO
Mauri and Judi Ditzler plan to become engaged residents of the city of Albion, and will live in the red-brick home on Michigan Avenue that served Albion presidents from John Seaton to Bernard Lomas.
Ditzler intends to build relationships that extend into the city of Albion as well. He sees “remarkable potential” in the local community, and as he did in his previous roles at Millikin and Monmouth, he plans to create new grassroots partnerships and promote economic development. These moves also make sense educationally. He insists, “To get young people ready to be good citizens of the world, we must first be good citizens of our town.” He also will reach out to alumni and parents and listen to their hopes and
concerns for Albion. “I have had such a positive response from our alumni. Clearly they have a deep love for their alma mater. Their understanding of the College’s proud traditions causes them to be confident of our bright future. Our alumni and friends definitely should be listed among Albion’s competitive advantages.” Ditzler says his chief source of inspiration as a president continues to be the magic that happens on a college campus each day.
“Every person who teaches at a college—and that’s really all of us who work there—witnesses flashes of insight in a student. Very often a single conversation or a single experience will change a young person’s life. For those who see that happen regularly, it’s such a rewarding and fulfilling experience. The more time you spend on a college campus, the more you see those remarkable transitions in young people’s lives, and you know they are going to go out and change the world. . . . That is joyous to watch.”
To learn more about President Mauri Ditzler and the plans for his inauguration Sept. 12, 2014, please go to: www.albion.edu/inauguration.
14 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
WHAT WE CAN EXPECT: DITZLER DEFINED Liberal Arts Advocate
“Liberal arts colleges in the Midwest were founded at a time when college attendance was rare; students were being educated for the good of the entire community as well as for their own personal benefit. That sense of special responsibility for making the world better, that sense of idealism, is still appealing to the young people we seek for our colleges.
“It is increasingly important to have a global brand. There must be something special about an institution that will cause students to drive (or fly) past other fine liberal arts colleges on a cross country trip to Albion. It is critically important that all constituencies understand and promote those elements (like Albion’s Institutes) that are differentiating.”
“If we are the places where students discern a vocation, where they practice the civil discourse that underpins our democracy, where they grapple with ambiguity and difference, where they are inspired to think and act, and lead and live, then we will thrive in [today’s] exciting new environment.”
Insightful Leader “A leader should envision that which most consider impossible and articulate a believable means for accomplishing it. Describing a path is as important as navigating the path. Some leaders invent the ideas that make up the path ahead. As much as I would like to claim to be creative, I find that my strength is in recognizing and then expanding on the best ideas of the community.”
Strategic Thinker “Since a successful college will engage in strategic thinking, nothing is more important for a president than to articulate a clear vision. It needs to be done often and for every audience. It needs to be clear, concise, and consistent. It needs to honor those who care deeply about the golden past and excite those who dream of a better future. Almost as important as the vision, there must be a small number of core values or guiding principles that are linked to the vision.”
“‘Sympathetic imagination,’ a phrase borrowed from Phi Beta Kappa’s national secretary, reminds us of the value of looking at issues from multiple perspectives and doing so with an expectation that there will be value in opposing views. Even if their motives are noble, wise people often disagree. . . . Passionate differences often contain the basis of a creative idea that transcends the disagreement and is more effective than either point of view.”
Local Community Partner “There are compelling pragmatic reasons for working with our host communities. We lose credibility to our claim that we are a central player in building a civil society if those who are our closest neighbors don’t enjoy the benefits of a solid economy, safe communities, and a dignified and rewarding life.”
Mauri Ditzler’s All-Time Favorites: Car/truck: It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. I loved my silver and red 1971 Gremlin by American Motors. It was a fun little car with a big engine. It got me through graduate school. It broke down often but could always be fixed with a wrench, a pair of pliers, and a screw driver. The best deal ever was an old blue Ford pickup that I bought for $1,000 with nearly 200,000 miles on the odometer; it seemed to run forever without a complaint. Movie: Hoosiers. Scenes from the movie bring back fond memories of playing junior high basketball in those same communities and maybe even in the same gyms. Book: Mother Night. Kurt Vonnegut is a great Hoosier storyteller, and Mother Night is his best. Course taken outside of my majors: American History I and II. Great professors and interesting texts. Course taught: General Chemistry. Nothing is more rewarding than watching bright young people respond to their first college challenges. Leisure: I love cultivating strawberries, spreading nets over blueberries, picking apples, or just about anything associated with growing fruit. You can see immediately the results of your efforts and know that those efforts will make someone happy. Activity with family: Making and decorating Christmas cookies. This annual tradition ties together over 30 years of happiness with children and grandchildren.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 15
AT THE CONTROLS
16 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
CHRIS PARYPA PHOTOGRAPHY / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
By John Perney
Doug Parker, ’84, hasn’t let industry turbulence stall his ascent to the top of the airline business. It’s a late November night in 2001, and 40-year-old Doug Parker, who not even three months earlier had become the youngest CEO of a major airline, was traveling from Washington, D.C., to Phoenix, his home base with America West Airlines. As he describes it, he “wasn’t in the best mood.” At first that doesn’t sound all that surprising, given the time: a stubborn post-9/11 rawness lingered, and the U.S. was roughly six weeks into its military action in Afghanistan. But for Parker, his fellow CEOs, and everyone who worked in the commercial airline business, it was a compounding problem: many people simply weren’t ready to fly again, and it was costing carriers dearly—to the point that the federal government had instituted an emergency loan program to get them through the tough times. An airline industry lifer whose climb to the top began at American and Northwest, Parker was prepared to tackle America West’s already notable financial challenges when he moved into the executive suite September 1. Now, with the 2001 holiday season approaching, he was trying to flat-out save the airline. Bankruptcy talk swirled, and a daylong meeting with federal loan officials hadn’t gone well. “I was flying back and forth a lot to D.C., and I would end up talking with the flight attendants,” says Parker, who did so on this flight as well, “because I always do, and they’ll know something is up if I don’t.” The unsuccessful attempt at securing a loan wasn’t public knowledge yet. “So I go back there to the flight attendant, and she asks what’s going on, and I can’t really tell her, and I’m not giving her the confidence she’s looking for. And she says, ‘You don’t understand . . . I have to have this job. I’m a single mom. I changed my whole lifestyle to do this. I’m good at what I do,’—which I had seen, she was great at it—and she says, ‘I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and if we go out of business, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’”
Spring-Summer 2014 | 17
D. MCWILLIAM PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES
Doug Parker (left) masterminded the merger between American Airlines and US Airways that was finalized in December 2013. It came after more than a year of negotiations between the two companies and an antitrust challenge from the U.S. Department of Justice. Parker was joined by former American CEO Tom Horton on the day of the merger announcement.
Return Flight More than a dozen topsy-turvy years later, Doug Parker is still chief executive officer. Of his third airline. And it’s at the place where it all began. “I’m in the building where I started my career back in ’86,” he says a few minutes into a phone conversation from American Airlines’ Fort Worth headquarters. “It’s nice to be back. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming.” A lot has happened en route. Parker and his leadership team eventually did secure that government loan for America West, and in 2005 he led a successful merger with US Airways. His deal-making had Fortune touting him as an “aviation wunderkind.” But then two years later, as US Airways CEO, he attempted to merge with Delta Air Lines and was rebuffed. With spiraling costs still plaguing carriers, and understanding that further industry consolidation was needed, he tried again, this time with United Airlines, in 2010. Again, he was turned down.
18 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
And in what could be described from an airline executive’s perspective as throwing salt on the wound, just months after each attempt, Delta and United did decide to pair up, with Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines, respectively. So when it was bigfish American’s turn to fight for survival, filing for Chapter 11 protection in November 2011, Parker knew it was his last chance to keep US Airways from being relegated to a second- or even third-tier player in the market. This despite just setting company records in on-time performance and profits, and outpacing all Fortune 500 companies in total shareholder return. In February 2013, after more than a year of planning, he struck a deal to create a company with a market capitalization of nearly $11 billion. “Some people seem to think that business is about being cutthroat, cutting people down. They’re wrong,” Parker says. “Business people understand other people and form relationships and get people working as a team.”
Those words were spoken last October at Homecoming after he received the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The context? He and US Airways leadership were still in talks with the U.S. Department of Justice after it blocked the pending merger in August, citing antitrust concerns. A settlement was reached in November, and on December 9, Doug Parker became CEO of the world’s largest commercial carrier. The new American Airlines offers more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries, and employs more than 100,000 people. The crazy thing about Parker’s last 18 months? That may have been the easy part. “We don’t have our heads in the sand about how hard this [integration] is,” he says. “The biggest risk to it not going well is if we don’t pull these two teams together. It’s not just making sure the systems get integrated. . . . It’s really bigger than that. We’re bringing together two different teams, two different cultures that evolved into very different
histories. And if we don’t get people working together and pulling in the same direction, none of the other stuff is going to work. “I view myself as a coach, with an outstanding team of people,” Parker adds, referring to his leadership group, “and our job right now is getting these teams really feeling like one team instead of two.”
Britons, Brotherhood, Brilliance It has always been about the team to Parker. When playing sports growing up, if he was picking teams, he was “always very careful to be on the winning team, rather than be the best player on the team.” At Albion, he played tight end for the Briton football squad for two seasons. “One thing that has made Doug very successful is his basic friendliness and positive attitude. He just comes across as a regular guy,” says fellow Sigma Nu Mark Riashi, ’84, general counsel for OnStar in Detroit. “And yet he is a genius. A lot of people get described as brilliant who aren’t really brilliant. But Doug is brilliant.” Parker arrived at Albion with aptitude in math but unsure of a career path. “People were telling me, ‘You should really get into computers,’” he recalls. He quickly realized computer science wasn’t for him, but a spark was lit in a microeconomics class. “However my mind worked, I had never seen the world described that way,” Parker says. “It seemed to explain everything to me—supplyand-demand curves, how prices are set and things like that. A little bit of math, but really about how our economy works. I remember sitting in class thinking, ‘Wow, this is really neat.’” He credits the class and his overall liberal arts education for charting his course: to his M.B.A. at Vanderbilt, his first job in finance at American and beyond. At Albion, Psychology 101 also stood out, and eventually he minored in philosophy, “of all things,” he says, adding that logic always factors into his decision-making. He says the keys to his success are simple: open communication and building relationships.
“I’ve found over time in business that the riskreward concepts we learn about in college—that higher risks mean higher rewards—are true.” And Parker, who served in Albion’s Student Senate, has always had a knack for those two things. “It didn’t seem to matter if it was an upperclassman, underclassman, member of a different fraternity, or whomever, Doug was able to create a rapport and relationship that was genuine and lasting,” says fraternity brother Jeff DeLosh, ’84, a senior manufacturing engineer at Ford Motor.
All the Right Moves Perhaps that helps explain the 10 years of US Airways Halloween costume parties, with Parker, President Scott Kirby, and the rest of the executive team serving as the headlining act (Parker was the rapper Psy in 2012—light blue tux, shades, and all; it’s on YouTube). They’re taking the show with them to Texas, but at the moment they’re in the middle of a much more intricate performance, in front of a much more demanding audience—customers, employees, and investors. “We’re the biggest airline in the world, and we should be the most profitable,” Parker muses. “We’re not right now, but we plan to be.”
unclear to what extent he’ll be able to continue the “bias for action,” as he puts it, that he and his team were known for at America West and US Airways, he is convinced it’s sound economic theory. “I’ve found over time in business that the riskreward concepts we learn about in college—that higher risks mean higher rewards—are true,” he says. “But it’s really hard to do in practice because people don’t like to fail. It results in people being more risk-averse than they should be for the benefit of their organization.” Whether he’s planning strategy or just catching up on current projects, Parker admits he has brought the office home with him more than he would like, particularly in the last year. “I’m still working on this one,” he says. “Even when I’m home or away with the family [wife Gwen and children Eliza, Jackson, and Luke], I spend more time than I’d like on work issues, and the kids make fun of me for e-mailing so much when I’m home.
Of course, he doesn’t want to run just the biggest airline, but the best.
“But it is really important to me to be with them so I do things like ensure business trips have as little time away from home as possible, and I almost never agree to business dinners in my hometown—I’d much prefer to have dinner with my family.”
“What the greatest airline in the world means to us is an airline that people want to fly, an airline where employees want to work, an airline where investors want to invest, and we’ve got a lot to work on still to do that, to know we can say we’re the best.”
At least on takeoffs and landings, when electronics are shut down, Doug Parker has that rare moment to pause, and appreciate. “I’m a window-seat guy,” he says. “I like looking outside and seeing what we’re flying over. I think it’s cool.”
To get there will take time, to say the least. It’ll be at least another year before the livery changes on the US Airways fleet. And even if the new American’s back-end operations do come together by then, for Parker, maneuvering the new American won’t be anything like heading up his previous airlines, much smaller entities by comparison. While it’s
In between, with the seatbelt sign off, at cruising altitude and on top of his industry, pardon the regular-guy CEO if you see or hear him cutting it up with the crew. “I don’t know if I’ve gotten the hang of it,” Parker quips, “but I enjoy it. It’s a great business. We’re having fun doing it.”
Spring-Summer 2014 | 19
Anna Howard Shaw (foreground, in black) was one of the suffrage movement’s most visible leaders. She gave thousands of speeches in the U.S. and internationally promoting women’s right to vote.
Declaration of Independence PROFESSOR TRISHA FRANZEN REVISITS THE UNHERALDED ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST— AND ALBION ALUMNA—ANNA HOWARD SHAW.
20 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
Albion alumna Anna Howard Shaw, a pioneer girl who put herself through college, seminary, and medical school, eventually rising to the national stage as a suffragist, is the focus of a groundbreaking new book by Trisha Franzen, professor of women’s and gender studies, Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage (University of Illinois Press). The protégé and longtime friend of Susan B. Anthony, Shaw served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1904 to 1915, and her efforts were instrumental in the passage of the 19th Amendment. The amendment was finally ratified in 1920, a year after her death. Shaw was posthumously awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at Albion’s commencement ceremony this May. Io Triumphe!: What were the key elements in her early years that gave Anna Howard Shaw her strength in combatting adversity throughout her life? Trisha Franzen: Anna Howard Shaw was always an extrovert. Though she was the youngest in her family, she seemed to have a lot of freedom, and even as a child she was comfortable in the adult world. When her family moved to Michigan in 1859, her father remained on the East Coast, which meant his wife and children had to carve out their farmstead in the wilderness north of Big Rapids. It was then she learned that she couldn’t necessarily depend on the adults in her life. But she found that she loved to work— she loved physical activity. They had to clear the land—pulling out the stumps in order to grow crops. She helped dig a well that served them for the next 12 years. The combination of her personality and her embrace of an active life prepared her for the life she led. In her mid-twenties, Shaw entered the Methodist ministry over her family’s strong objections. It was considered outrageous. Her sister stopped speaking to her, and at one point, her brother-in-law took out an ad in the local newspaper telling people not to support her
involvement in the ministry. Shaw’s character was such that these obstacles only made her more committed to her path. Becoming a licensed minister gave her real freedom—she preached in locations across northern Michigan. What was Shaw’s experience at Albion College and how did her time at Albion prepare her for what came next? Shaw was 26 when she arrived at Albion. It turned out to be a truly supportive environment. Even though she had not had much advanced schooling, she had read a great deal on her own. In her autobiography, she talks about a conversation she had with President Jocelyn—he was so impressed that he exempted her from all history requirements because she had read so much. She ended up living with Jocelyn and his wife for the first year she was on campus. That was the kind of acceptance she found at Albion. She made friends that she kept for the rest of her life. She tested her talents in this new environment. She had lots of lecturing and preaching opportunities. Even then, people saw that Shaw had the gift of being able to reach her audience. The literary societies that were on campus then had a contest to determine who would
give a lecture at the end of the year, and the winner had always been a male student. Shaw challenged that, and later said it was her first attempt at organizing women. In the end, she won and gave the lecture. How radical was it for Shaw to advocate for universal suffrage, that is, voting rights without regard to gender or race? And what are the parallels to today’s voting rights debates? Shaw was more open than many of her contemporaries on the issue of race, and I think it shows how different she was. That was a radical stance. Shaw came from an abolitionist family. When she started gaining a national reputation, she not only met the leaders in the women’s suffrage movement, but also African-American leaders like Frederick Douglass. In the last decades of the 19th century, the U.S. was going through this transition from Reconstruction to the introduction of the Jim Crow laws that disenfranchised African-American men in the South. In the North, the white majority had concerns about the impact of immigration in political life. Those two factors combined to produce a change in attitudes among many people who came from elite backgrounds. Many suffragists were willing to sacrifice racial equality to get women’s suffrage—promoting the vote only for white women. There was a split between those who supported universal suffrage and those who favored the exclusion of non-whites. Shaw, an immigrant herself, always thought everyone should have the opportunity to vote. As president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, in 1912 Shaw invited the African-American leader W.E.B. Dubois to speak to their national convention. In defiance of a strong conservative southern element on the organization’s board, Shaw and Dubois were trying to move the association—and the country—toward universal suffrage. It was intensely political.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 21
There are parallels to today. Shaw said we cannot claim that we have lived up to the ideals of our founding documents until we have a representative government. Even now, we know that women and people of color are not represented in the government as they should be. We see gerrymandering carried to an extreme. In the U.S., we do not support the act of voting as much as we could—we don’t give people time off to vote; we don’t educate our young people well about voting. We are still struggling with how to truly achieve “one person, one vote.” How did Shaw challenge convention with regard to women’s roles? Shaw proudly proclaimed that she wasn’t “a lady.” She defied 19th-century conventions about being reserved, passive, delicate. Studying Shaw’s life has made me consider what percentage of the women of her day were more like Shaw in some ways. In historical accounts, we generally get the views and the images of the elite. Most of the women leaders in the suffrage movement were wealthy—they did not have to work. They had control of a lot of money and could devote themselves to philanthropy. Unlike most women of their day, they had a kind of freedom to pursue their interests.
22 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
Shaw was unusual compared to these women. Because of her background growing up on the farm, Shaw could identify with working women. She was able to bridge the two worlds—the range of womanhood. She was against setting up women as something separate—that they needed to be put on a pedestal, that they couldn’t do certain things because they were weaker. She thought it was important to focus on personhood, rather than womanhood. Shaw argued that women’s work within the home was essential—it was real work, productive work—and that it should be recognized as such. She believed that women’s work, including raising children, served the nation. Still, she didn’t want women restricted to certain professions. She brought working women into the suffrage movement. Without Shaw, I am convinced that the suffrage movement would not have succeeded when it did. She pushed the movement to become more inclusive of all women and not just those who were privileged. Again, there are parallels to today. Middleclass, educated women have made great progress. But we still have so many women
SCHLESINGER LIBRARY PHOTO
Growing up in rural Michigan, Anna Howard Shaw relished physical labor, a trait that continued throughout her life.
(and their children) living in poverty. One of the big questions is: How do we lift everyone? Shaw had concerns about that too. She was a self-made woman who lived independently throughout her life. Just how novel was this? Independent women were emerging on the scene in the last half of the 19th century. Interestingly, transportation—especially railroad travel—enabled this development. It was now acceptable for women to travel alone, and starting in the mid-1800s, you see increasing numbers of women on the lecture circuit. Women had more access to advanced education. As Shaw moved into adulthood, these opportunities were becoming available to women, particularly in the Midwest. It was a real opening of possibilities that didn’t exist before. Shaw was also a shrewd financial manager. She supported herself, first as a minister and later as a paid lecturer traveling across the country on behalf of the temperance movement and then women’s suffrage. Shaw would go off on speaking engagements for several weeks—even months—at a time.
“Anna Howard Shaw was far ahead of her times. She led her life as if she already had all the rights that she was fighting to extend to all women. Only by reintegrating the lessons from Shaw’s life into women’s history, and U.S. history, can we understand the barriers women faced then and since, and the resourcefulness women have employed to create their own opportunities.” —Trisha Franzen She also earned a salary as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She was very frugal—there was no unemployment insurance, no Social Security—so she invested her earnings to create her own safety net. In the late 19th century, more women were working independently, in fields like social work—people like Jane Addams—though most of these women came from well-to-do families. However, there were also workingclass women, many of them immigrants, who were active in women’s trade unions and who went on to national prominence in government and other roles. Shaw was a representative leader for all of these women. However, she also advocated for women to have roles in
organizations that were predominantly male. Shaw saw the world coming to equality. Shaw also had some alternative ideas about defining family. Though single, she lived for many years with Susan B. Anthony’s niece, Lucy. Today we have families taking many different forms, and we are recognizing the diversity of families. Shaw was ahead of her time in that regard as well.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PHOTO
In 1919 Secretary of War Newton Baker presented Shaw with the Distinguished Service Medal for her leadership of the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense, which coordinated the domestic efforts supporting U.S. involvement in World War I. She was the first woman to receive that honor.
responsible for our communities, however we define them. Each of us needs to find what we can do well—and then do it. We have to pay attention to government, to take it seriously and educate ourselves about the workings of government and about our elected officials. We should be looking at all people’s opportunities, to learn what the issues are from everybody. Shaw was very much exceptional in this, but she hoped that somehow the doors could be opened so that even people who didn’t have her stamina or talent would be able to fully participate in society.
Trisha Franzen is also the author of Spinsters and Lesbians: Independent Womanhood in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.
How would Shaw be challenging women (and men) today? If she were alive, what would she be telling us? Shaw was concerned with what we now call civic engagement. She saw citizenship as something we don’t talk about enough—that we are all
Spring-Summer 2014 | 23
Downtown Saginaw reborn.
D. DENARDO PHOTOS
Sam Shaheenâ€™s Uptown Bay City takes shape.
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED Sam Shaheen, M.D., ’88, applies his prescription for economic health in his home community—with results that could benefit all of Michigan. By Sarah Briggs Anyone who has doubts about the resurgence of the Michigan economy should meet Sam Shaheen. The Saginaw native, through his real-estate development firm SSP Associates and numerous local partners, is driving new growth throughout the state’s Great Lakes Bay region—and with it restoring economic vitality and confidence in an area that has seen its share of setbacks over the past four decades. “Even though we are based in Saginaw, we are a regional company,” Shaheen explains. “We do business in Saginaw, Bay City, and Midland, and think of ourselves as regional supporters, participating in the arts groups and charitable organizations and doing transactional business throughout the region. . . . This is our home, and we want to reinvest in our home—to make the place that has been good to our family for the last two generations a better place to live.” Shaheen’s latest venture—launched in 2012 and on track to become his largest to date—is Uptown Bay City, a redevelopment of a 43-acre former industrial site in the heart of Bay City. Over the previous decade the city had cleared the land along the Saginaw River and completed its environmental remediation. Searching for an investor whose ideas matched their vision for the site, city officials found what they were looking for in Shaheen’s plan for an upscale mix of commercial and residential development. Investment in the initial phase of the project could total $100 million, and that figure may double as the full plan is realized.
It helps to have powerful partners in any new enterprise, and Shaheen has them at Uptown. Dow Corning will bring 400 employees to its new four-story office building to be completed early this summer. Also opening this summer is another structure housing Chemical Bank offices along with retail and residential spaces. And McLaren Bay Region will construct a health care complex on nine acres that will include medical offices as well as ambulatory surgery and lab facilities. Those anchor tenants in turn were instrumental in attracting a Courtyard by Marriott, owned and operated coincidentally by Asad Malik, ’94, and a restaurant, The Real Seafood Company, which will sit right on the waterfront. Those are slated to open later this year. Ground will be broken in July for 24 brownstone-style condominiums as well. The development makes the most of its riverside location, providing day dock facilities for recreational boaters and tying in to the city’s public walkway along the river.
SSP Associates had exactly the vision Dow Corning was looking for in a partner to rejuvenate the economy in the Great Lakes Bay region,” says Don Sheets, ’82, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Dow Corning. “They listen and then work hard to build strong offerings that can attract large corporations and small businesses at the same time. With this approach, they create compelling development strategies for attracting the world-class people we need in our region.”
Ultimately, Shaheen is creating a walkable community—with residences, shopping, and restaurants on site, and just a short walk from Bay City’s downtown—and he believes it will draw residents of all ages, but particularly young professionals.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 25
“Urban renewal efforts are trendy today,” Shaheen says. “Young people are desirous of urban living opportunities, and walk-to-work opportunities.” City officials have said the impact of the venture on the local economy is historic, creating hundreds of new jobs in Bay City. “It’s the most significant [development] in the past 50 years,” Bay City Mayor Chris Shannon said in October 2012 when the anchor tenants were announced. “It’s not just the jobs; it’s the intangible . . . that, after decades of economic decline and jobs loss, this brings a level of confidence that investment in Bay City has returned.”
GOOD MEDICINE The real estate development work comes on top of Shaheen’s other career—as a surgeon and faculty member for Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine. At the medical school’s Saginaw location, Shaheen’s 11-person surgical group now provides clinical training for medical students and physicians completing a surgical residency. After graduating from Albion, Shaheen earned his M.D. degree from the University of Michigan and did his residency at Northwestern University. While in Chicago, he witnessed the renaissance that was under way in some of the city’s economically depressed neighborhoods and brought those ideas back to Saginaw where he opened a solo practice in 1998. He believed that the city’s hospitals, which were heavily invested in their downtown locations, could be the centerpieces for real estate development focused on health care. “As I was coming to the hospital to work every day,” Shaheen recalls,
26 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
“I couldn’t help but think that the vacant properties I saw could be repurposed to serve the medical community and local businesses. . . . I began vigorously pursuing economic redevelopment—in an area that hadn’t seen reinvestment for 50 years.”
medical and commercial office buildings that brought 800 jobs—and new life—to downtown Saginaw. The initial development has created a second wave of investment with new restaurants, retail shops, and residential complexes nearby.
His father, who had also combined a medical practice with real estate investment in the city, wasn’t so sure about his son’s plans.
“There has been significant tangential benefit for others who now feel they can take a risk and make an investment because others have done it before them and been successful,” Shaheen says.
“My father was as contrarian as anyone,” Shaheen says with a grin. “He saw opportunity in places that other people didn’t—he would take vacant buildings and turn them into something special, but he was very cautionary about my plans at first. He put me through his own test in terms of having me defend my position and what I was willing to risk. After I met that challenge he was supportive and allowed me to go after my dreams.” Shaheen encountered headwinds elsewhere too. “There are always naysayers in every community,” he notes. “Unfortunately, a community can become accustomed to failure.” In the past, many Michigan cities depended on a few large employers as drivers of the local economy. Today, economic growth must be more diversified, Shaheen maintains, and it often starts incrementally and builds from there. “We need to do it ourselves,” he says. “As a community we have to get to work and create opportunity for people who are already here. That will help ignite the fire in order to get development done.” Working with his fellow physicians and local business owners, Shaheen soon was launching new real estate ventures including the Michigan Cardiovascular Institute and other
Shaheen’s high-energy approach to development comes as no surprise to his longtime friend John Ahee, ’86, vice president of Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers in Grosse Pointe Woods. “When I first met Sam,” Ahee recalls, “I knew that there was something special about him—and as I got to know him better, I realized that he is beyond special. He’s a mega-achiever who is also humble. He’s a motivator who is also warm-hearted. During Sam’s college years at Albion, he made so many things better including his fraternity, the Union Board, and his classmates.”
SHARED VISION Shaheen says his family’s vision has always extended beyond the financial investments they have made—understanding that to bring a community back you have to restore its soul as well as its economic health. That philosophy is exemplified in the Shaheens’ restoration of the historic Temple Theatre in downtown Saginaw. Built in 1927 and billed as the largest theatre in Michigan outside Detroit, it was a showplace in its heyday with marble staircases and gilded finishes, as well as a magnificent Barton organ. However, by the early 2000s, it had fallen into disrepair with a failing roof and crumbling plaster walls. The
Shaheen family bought the property in 2002 after it went into foreclosure and faced an uncertain future. “The theatre restoration encompassed all of the things we had been doing simultaneously throughout the community,” Shaheen explains. “There was an opportunity to take all of that energy along with the business expertise and the financial wherewithal to do a project that wasn’t able to be done by the nonprofit sector.” His father oversaw the $7-million project, with support from Sam and his brother, Peter, who is also involved in the family business. “The idea was to preserve this masterpiece and at the same time have it serve as a cultural arts center that could bring the performing arts groups together in one location,” Shaheen says. Restored to its former opulence, the Temple Theatre reopened in 2003 and now sponsors classic film showings and more than a hundred performances annually, featuring local and national artists. It received a Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation in 2005. The Shaheen family has since donated the theatre back to the community, establishing it as a nonprofit organization with an endowment to support its operation.
“We always envisioned it as a community asset,” Shaheen says. “When the project was done, and the true value to the community was realized, the community’s outpouring of support was measured in over $5-million in endowment for the theatre. That was a testimonial that everyone felt it was the right thing to do.” The Temple Theatre and the other entertainment, sports, and cultural venues now available in the heart of the city are attracting more people downtown on a regular basis. “That’s my strategy—and that of my family as well,” Shaheen reflects. “All of these things have helped to stabilize the downtown area. It’s all been around the philosophy of rebuilding your foundation, your urban core.”
A CATALYST FOR CHANGE Shaheen says that his Albion education gave him the background needed to succeed in such diverse pursuits. Professors like Ewell “Doc” Stowell, Ruth Schmitter, and Jack Crump in the sciences and Len Berkey in sociology challenged him to think critically and value different perspectives.
arts education at Albion gave me the opportunity to be able to do these two different professions and do them well. . . . Albion was a very special place for me. I developed personal relationships with many faculty members and fellow students and classmates—some of them are my closest friends today.” Shaheen is now a member of Albion’s Board of Trustees, and is also an active admission volunteer in his home region. While the Uptown project in Bay City is still a work-in-progress, Shaheen has a number of other ventures under way in Saginaw and Midland as well. He believes his work will be a catalyst for further downtown development—and could serve as a model statewide. “These efforts are taking place across the country,” he observes. “These communities in our region have not seen this kind of development before so it is extra-special. We hope that people from other parts of the state will take notice. . . . At this point we’re going to continue to focus on the Great Lakes Bay region and become an epicenter for development in the state of Michigan.”
“I’m very appreciative of what they provided me,” he adds. “My liberal
Spring-Summer 2014 | 27
By Chris Blaker, ’14
The sacrifices of Albionians in World War II provide lessons for a new generation of students.
In honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day this year, Io Triumphe! is offering these reflections by history major Chris Blaker who graduated in May. Blaker’s honors thesis, completed under the guidance of Wesley Dick, professor of history, examined the war’s impact in Michigan, depicted through the experiences of four servicemen and one home-front campus, Albion College. This article, focused primarily on Albion and its students in wartime, is based on Blaker’s presentation during the Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium April 24, 2014. As news reports of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 began to circulate on the Albion College campus, students knew instantly that everything in their lives was about to change. President John Seaton advised that “the college and the students should hold steady and should continue their work with calmness and deepened devotion,” but to ignore the largest American conflict since the Civil War would not be easy for young men and women to do. In the aftermath of the attack, they were torn between self and country, scholarship and service, and, in fact, life and death. However, the massive buildup of America’s military that occurred after Pearl Harbor enveloped the College just as it did every place else. During a time when nationalism and patriotism were among the most respected qualities a young American could have, it was never a question of whether they were going to serve their country; it was how they were going to do it. What I want to talk about today isn’t what I was able to find during my thesis research, but instead what I couldn’t find. During all my years researching, I never found a comprehensive list of Albion students or graduates who served during the war. However,
in the final days of the thesis process, Dr. Wes Dick found a document in the College archives that provided a list of 41 Albion alumni who had lost their lives in the war. Albion College President William Whitehouse, who succeeded President John Seaton in 1945, wrote in the Report of the President that, “Over 1,000 alumni participated as members of the armed forces in this global struggle. In addition, a large number were in the war effort filling nonmilitary appointments.” The total number of Albion alumni, men and women alike, involved in the war was declared in 1945 to be 1,024. College publications paid attention to the war, as well—the cover of the January 1945 edition of Io Triumphe featured Lieutenant John Garlent, ’40. And while the 1943 Albionian yearbook provided a list of 316 Albion men enlisted in service, no complete list has been released to my knowledge. However, the 41 names of those killed or missing really sparked my interest in discovering all I could about the men who had once shared an experience so similar to mine but would go on to a completely different one after their departure from Albion. Basic wartime documentation and online databases provided me with rudimentary information on these men. Dates and places
of birth, class at Albion, and the date in which they enlisted into a branch of the armed forces gave me the facts needed to begin fleshing out this skeletal list. From what I have been able to find, sixteen of these men served in the Army Air Corps, eight in the Army infantry, four in the Navy, and three in the Marine Corps. Not surprisingly, 23 of them were officers. The rapid buildup of the military forces between 1942 and 1945 ensured that Albion graduates would become leaders of America’s fighting forces. Twelve enlisted men, many of them corporals and sergeants, had either declined an officer’s commission in favor of getting into the war sooner, or joined up before they earned their degree. The graduating classes of 1943, 1944, and 1945 were sorely lacking men, even resulting in a ratio of 36 women to 1 man at the 1944 commencement. This is not only because men were choosing to join the military as opposed to entering college, but because many Albion students left school to enter the war before finishing their degrees. Seventeen of the Albion men who lost their lives during the war years were scheduled to graduate between 1943 and 1946. Only a handful of the ’44 alumni had earned their degrees; the rest left school to answer their country’s call.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 29
These World War II posters are part of a collection of 112 posters from the war years donated to the Albion College Archives by Russell Babcock, ’27. The posters were among many strategies the government used to build support for the war effort.
Simpson was at first declared missing in action in the summer of 1944. However, his family was later notified that he had been killed in action, most likely shot down during a dogfight with the German Luftwaffe.
The oldest Albion alumnus to be killed in the war was Sergeant Dwight Barney, ’33, who was lost at sea when the USS Houston went down during the Battle of the Java Sea. The youngest were John Hoffman, Donald McCall, Jack Poppen, and Donald Wright, all members of the Class of 1946. Poppen was killed at Iwo Jima in February 1945, serving in the same Marine division as the famous Marines who raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi. What these documents couldn’t tell me, however, were the individual wartime experiences of these men. For those stories, I had to dig deeper. When I began reading of the exploits of these men, I was thrilled to find such rich history in their stories. Lieutenant Harry Allchin, ’44, was serving as a co-pilot on a B-29 bomber when his plane was shot down over France. His bomber squadron, the 532nd, was preparing for the invasion of Normandy. Lieutenant Arthur Blanchard, ’41, served on board a C-47 troop plane, which would carry units of paratroopers over the French mainland during the invasion. However, he never made it to D-Day; he died when his plane crashed in late 1943.
30 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
Lieutenant Bruce Handeyside, ’39, a platoon leader in the infantry, had only just entered Luxembourg with the rest of his division when he was hit by a German sniper, dying in the arms of his platoon sergeant and relinquishing command of the unit with his dying breath. Major Herman Lord, ’34, served as a surgeon with the 45th Field Hospital Battalion on the western front in Europe. He was killed in Belgium. Ensign William Cuthbertson, ’38, was serving on board a submarine, the USS Grunion, when it was sunk by a Japanese freighter off the coast of Alaska. Perhaps the most dramatic story is that of Lieutenant Robert Simpson, ’43, a fighter pilot flying a P-38 Mustang in the European Theater. At Albion, he had served as the president of Sigma Chi fraternity, was a member of the French Club, and played on the varsity football team as the quarterback. The leadership experience gained through his fraternity and football team would have helped him lead the men under his command, and his daring personality and natural athleticism are qualities common in fighter pilots. Having failed to return to his air base in Italy after his third mission over France,
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that each of these men cherished their time at Albion, and I’m sure that what they learned in college inevitably helped them in many ways during the war. Many of them commanded others, providing the armed forces with confident and capable leaders who would go on to win the most important conflict in modern history. These men from our College community made the ultimate sacrifice for the right to enjoy the freedoms we have today.
Creating a Fitting Memorial Wes Dick and Chris Blaker have begun a campaign for formal recognition of Albion’s World War II veterans, and especially those who were killed in action, through a permanent memorial on campus. They note that an impressive bronze plaque, on display in the College library, honors all of the Albionians who served during World War I, and believe a similar honor should be accorded to the World War II veterans. The names of the 41 servicemembers from Albion who gave their lives is available at: www.albion.edu/iotriumphe. Alumni are encouraged to send the names and class years, and, if possible, details of service of any other alumni who were in the military during World War II, via e-mail to communications@albion. edu or via postal mail to: Editor, Io Triumphe!, Albion College, 611 E. Porter St., Albion, MI 49224. This information will be used for the purpose of preparing an enduring memorial.
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWS
Extend Albion’s Reach in Your Hometown As an Albion College alumnus/alumna or a parent of a current Albion student (or both!), you can play a special role as an Admission Ambassador.
Your connection to Albion already runs deep, and one of the best ways to show it is by reaching out to the next class of Albion students and their families. Your perspective and passion can make a profound difference in a student’s decision to choose Albion.
Angela Scott Sheets, ’82, newly appointed Admission Ambassador chair for the Alumni/Parent Referral Program, welcomes your involvement in support of Albion’s student recruitment effort.
You can make an impact in a number of ways: • Refer prospective students through the Alumni and Parent Scholarship Program. • Represent Albion at a local college fair. • Host or attend an admitted student reception at your home or in your area. • Serve on alumni and/or parent panels at on-campus visit programs. • Call prospective students who have indicated a strong interest in Albion. Get things started by completing the online volunteer form at www.albion.edu/ambassador, and an Admission Office representative will be in touch with you promptly. If you have questions about the program, call the Admission Office at 800/858-6770. The online referral form for the Alumni and Parent Scholarship Program is available at: www.albion.edu/referral.
Our 2014 Young Alumni Award winners are already making an impact in their respective professions. Congratulations to (from left) Andrew Beck, ’04, Steve Gordon, ’04, Jennifer Swindlehurst Howland, ’04, William Green, ’05, and Daniella Frank, ’05, on their achievements. To learn more about our 2014 honorees or submit a nomination for the 2015 Young Alumni Awards, go to: www.albion.edu/alumni.
THEY’RE ON BOARD Join Albion alumni, parents, friends, and students at your favorite ballpark. Home team listed first.
Sunday, July 13—Chicago Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Sunday, July 20—Midland Great Lakes Loons vs. Kane County Cougars Tuesday, July 29—Detroit Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox
The Alumni Association Board of Directors welcomes these newly named members: Steve Gordon, ’04 Eileen Smith Hamm, ’86 Ann McCulloch, ’93 Karen Holcomb Merrill, ’83 Jay Snodgrass, ’95 More information may be found at: www.albion.edu/alumni.
More information about the games and ticket prices can be found online at: www.albion.edu/alumni/grandslam.
And visit www.albion.edu/alumni to learn more about upcoming chapter events in your area.
Spring-Summer 2014 | 31
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWS
Homecoming — OCTOBER 3-5, 2014 — Homecoming Weekend 2014 will be a fantastic time to reconnect with your classmates, friends, and former faculty. But this year you can also connect with current students. In addition to our Distinguished Alumni Award winners sharing their expertise in the classroom, alumni are invited to talk with students about their career paths, professional rewards, and current employment opportunities at our Briton Career Connections fair. Other highlights include the traditional Homecoming parade and lunch on the Quad, family activities and welcome tent, the football game vs. Hope, and the Distinguished Alumni Award and Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies. Look for a detailed schedule of events in your mail as the weekend approaches. We look forward to welcoming all of our alumni back to celebrate our love for our alma mater, cheer on the Brits, share old memories, and create new ones.
Weekend Highlights FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4
12 Noon Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon and Ceremony Science Complex Atrium
9-10 a.m. Class Giving Celebration
3-5 p.m. Briton Career Connections Kellogg Center To participate, contact email@example.com. 6 p.m. Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony Baldwin Hall
11 a.m. Homecoming Parade 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Pep Rally Lunch for Alumni, Parents, Faculty, and Students Campus Quadrangle 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Family Activities Dow Recreation and Wellness Center/Athletic Complex
12 Noon Women’s Volleyball vs. Kalamazoo College Kresge Gymnasium 1 p.m. Football vs. Hope College Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium 2:30 p.m. Men’s Soccer vs. Calvin College Alumni Field 8 p.m. Music Department: Homecoming Collage Concert Goodrich Chapel
Go to www.albion.edu/homecoming for more information on the weekend events. 32 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
Class Reunions 2014 Homecoming Award Recipients
Classes celebrating reunions this year will receive event details. Information, including reunion locations, will also be available at www.albion.edu/homecoming.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Shari Parker Burgess, ’80 Vice President and Treasurer Lear Corporation Southfield, Michigan
CLASS OF 1954 Coordinated by Albion College
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Paul R. Dixon, ’83 ASCEM Multi-Lab Program Manager Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, New Mexico Distinguished Alumni Service Award Carolyn Aishton Ouderkirk, ’64 Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Retired Avon Products New York, New York Please see www.albion.edu/alumni for more information on our 2014 honorees. ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME Individuals Christopher D. Barnett, ’97 (Football) Jason R. Beglin, ’97 (Football) John S. Bennink, ’02 (Football, Track and Field) Timothy P. Czarnecki, ’00 (Basketball) Paul E. Holdren, ’74 (Wrestling) J. Matthew Lowman, ’97 (Golf) Nicholas E. Morgan, ’04 (Track and Field) Virgil L. Petty, ’99 (Football, Track and Field) Christopher L. Schuurman, ’94 (Baseball) Katherine Waters Sobolewski, ’00 (Swimming and Diving) Team 1996 Football Team
CLASS OF 1959 Event Chair: John Eman Giving Leader: Daniel Chapman CLASS OF 1964 Event Chair: Bob Hetler Giving Leaders: Bob Hetler, Carolyn Aishton Ouderkirk
CLASS OF 1969 Event Chairs: Wynn Miller, Tom Tarvis
“FINDING A WAY IN: EXPLORATIONS IN CLAY”
CLASS OF 1974 Event Chair and Giving Leader: Lynne Futter Gilmore
Lynne Chytilo, Professor of Art Anne Beyer, ’10 Ken Shenstone, ’84
CLASS OF 1979 Event Chair: Jay Pyper CLASS OF 1984 Event Chairs: Gayle Good-Vassallo, Nancy Nicholson Giving Leaders: Kimberly Frick Arndts, Raymond Davis CLASS OF 1989 Event Chairs: Mary Buday, Paula Prevost-Blank Giving Leader: Charles Drier CLASS OF 1994 Event Chairs: Diane Jackson, Elizabeth Weisenbach Giving Leader: Mark Neisler
Elsie Munro Gallery, Bobbitt Visual Arts Center Alumni and friends are welcome to visit this exhibition 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday of Homecoming weekend, and to attend a reception with the artists Saturday at 4 p.m. The show runs from August 25 to October 10, 2014. Ashley Feagin, visiting assistant professor of art, also will have an exhibition of her photographic works in the Martha Dickinson Gallery in Bobbitt Visual Arts Center.
CLASS OF 1999 Event Chair: Davia Cox Downey Giving Leader: Amy Kenaga Routhier CLASS OF 2004 Event Chairs and Giving Leaders: Emily Ernsberger Brady, Libby Crabb, Liz Vogel CLASS OF 2009 Event Chairs: Laura Snearly Elliott, Baily Wyant Giving Leader: Lizzy Thornton King CLASS OF 2014 Event Chairs: Dannie Fountain, Lindsey Lubanski
Spring-Summer 2014 | 33
Io Triumphe! EDITOR Sarah Briggs CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Lawrence, Bobby Lee, John Perney, Jake Weber CLASS NOTES WRITERS Luann Shepherd, James Fiorvento, Matthew Kleinow DESIGNER Katherine Mueting Hibbs MARKETING/COMMUNICATIONS John Thompson, John Perney, David Lawrence Io Triumphe! is published twice annually by the Office of Marketing and Communications.It is distributed free to alumni and friends of the College. Letters to the editor may be sent to: Office of Marketing and Communications Albion College 611 E. Porter Street Albion, MI 49224 firstname.lastname@example.org www.albion.edu ABOUT OUR NAME The unusual name for this publication comes from a yell written by members of the Class of 1900. The beginning words of the yell, “Io Triumphe!,” were probably borrowed from the poems of the Roman writer, Horace. In 1936, the alumni of Albion College voted to name their magazine after the yell which by then had become a College tradition. For years, Albion’s incoming students have learned these lines by heart: Io Triumphe! Io Triumphe! Haben swaben rebecca le animor Whoop te whoop te sheller de-vere De-boom de ral de-i de-pa— Hooneka henaka whack a whack A-hob dob balde bora bolde bara Con slomade hob dob rah! Al-bi-on Rah! FIND MORE ONLINE: www.albion.edu
Connect with students, faculty, staff, and alumni through Albion College’s social media channels.
Make a difference today that will last forever. When you document your intent to make a future gift, you will realize immediate benefits. Not only will you become a member of The Stockwell Society, but we will also work closely with you to ensure your gift fulfills your intentions and has a lasting impact. There are many ways that our planned giving program can improve the Albion experience for our students in the future and provide you with benefits today. To learn more, contact Matthew vandenBerg, associate vice president for development. 517/629-0446 | email@example.com | www.albion.edu/plannedgiving
Office of Marketing and Communications 611 East Porter Street Albion, MI 49224
Purple and Gold Pizzazz
D. LAWRENCE PHOTO
Historic Kresge Gym got a facelift this spring with installation of dramatic new signage, bold wall graphics, and a photo gallery featuring outstanding Briton athletes who once played there. The upgrades create a more exciting place to play and a more fan-friendly experience. Coming this summer is a completely redesigned main entrance, making the building more inviting and accessible.