Io Triumphe! THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF ALBION COLLEGE
LIGHT OUR PATHWAY FAR FROM HOME
VOL. LXXXIV, NO. 2
Features LIGHTING OUR PATHWAYS Through the distant days and often far from home, Albion’s illuminating residential experience stays with you.
DEEP-ROOTED COMMITMENT The Center for Sustainability and the Environment continues to sow seeds for advocacy and action.
HOME: WHERE MY PEOPLE ARE A student explores her evolving ties to Albion through connections with the Black Alumni Chapter.
JUST THE RIGHT SCALE 32 Albion’s residential essence has empowered generations of Brits to pursue their musical passions beyond any curriculum.
Special Section PURPLE & BOLD 49 Our campaign will ensure Albion is ready to conquer challenges that tomorrow might bring, and poised to pursue opportunities.
Departments BRITON BITS 3 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWS 36 ALBIONOTES 40
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Cover photo: Katherine Hibbs
Advancing a Goal When I arrived at Albion in 2014, I shared my belief that “Albion—the College and the town—is filled with people who give us reason to hope.” Faculty who see their work as more than a job. Staff who are deeply engaged. Students who are eager to learn. Community members who are ready to partner. Alumni who are prepared to offer their support. Nearly six years later, there’s a certain swagger I love to see when I am on campus these days. And you have only to walk through downtown Albion to see signs of all the improvements the College has supported—and there are still more to come. As many of you know, I grew up in the Midwest and have spent the majority of my life here. When I was six, my family moved to a farm with an abandoned orchard and plot for a large garden, and I fell in love with farming. Six years later, we moved to southern Indiana, and I met Judi Martin in my Sunday school class and fell in love with her. Six years later, I enrolled in Wabash College as a freshman and fell in love with the liberal arts. Some people never find a great love in their life, and I’ve been fortunate to find three. It’s been my joy to spend the last 49 years on the campus of a liberal arts college. But it’s time for my next transition—back to Indiana where I can spend more time with Judi and more time farming. I have told the Board of Trustees that I would like to retire effective June 30, 2020. Albion College Board Chair Don Sheets, ’82, has asked Trustee Mike Harrington, ’85, to chair a search committee to identify Albion’s 17th president. That work is already under way.
Our Hedgehog Concept During my introduction to the Albion College community I talked about the importance of a shared understanding of what we did uniquely well. Some people would describe that as being able to articulate the value proposition. In his classic book Good to Great, Jim Collins calls it finding the hedgehog concept. An institution’s hedgehog concept is something that it does better than anyone else, something that it is passionate about, and something that can drive a sustainable business model. I am increasingly confident that our community understands our value proposition. We know what we want to do better than anyone else, we are passionate about making it happen, and the task of converting it into a viable business model is well begun. This edition of Io Triumphe! describes our emerging hedgehog concept. If we have met, you have almost certainly heard me talk about the basic ideas. When we tell prospective students that we may be the best possible college for them, we mean that our faculty and staff will be the best teachers and mentors they will find. What we mean by best is that they will be the most accessible. What does any other measure of success mean if our students don’t have in-depth conversations with their professors and mentors?
This fall I began using the phrase “dramatically residential” to describe what we are doing on campus. We value the residential character of our College because we believe that much of our learning occurs outside the classroom. The more time our students spend with each other and with faculty and staff, the more they learn. This issue’s cover story highlights some of the things we have done to make the City of Albion a desirable place for our employees to live. In doing that we support the growing number who are choosing to live within an easy walk of campus. In doing so, they are advancing our goal of becoming dramatically residential.
Mauri Ditzler President
Ditzler in the President’s Home, at 501 E. Michigan Ave. His decision in 2014 to once again make that address the home of the College president spurred a wave of revitalization activity in Albion that continues today. He wrote about that activity in a chapter of The New American College Town (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
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A New Resource for Navigating College An $8 million gift from Sally, ’75, and Sandy Cutler will establish the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Center for Student Success and Academic Achievement. Scheduled to be up and running next fall, the Cutler Center will help students overcome obstacles to degree completion and empower them through graduation.
The largest gift in the history of Albion College has a goal equally as large—providing students of greatest need with every opportunity possible to successfully navigate, and thrive, in the demanding and turbulent waters that are the college experience. Impressed by Albion’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Sarah Cutler (known to most as Sally), ’75, and her husband, Alexander (better known as Sandy), have given a landmark $8 million gift to create the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Center for Student Success and Academic Achievement to help smooth the path toward graduation for underrepresented, first-generation and other students in need. “Albion College is a very special school and we want to help ensure that more young men and women have the opportunity to successfully navigate through their years at Albion toward a timely graduation,” Sally Cutler said. “Many young students, without any fault of their own, do
not have college readiness skills and simply require additional help to move forward. We want to be part of the solution.” The Cutler Center will commit to helping students in all stages of their college life, both large and small. A particular focus will be on individual mentoring that begins immediately after admission to Albion, before the student formally enrolls. The concentrated mentoring and advising, beyond academics, continues throughout and following the student’s first year, as they choose a major, explore experiential learning opportunities and prepare for their next steps after Albion. “Successful matriculation is crucial in today’s competitive environment,” Cutler said. “With so many competing forces for the attention and priorities of young people today, we find the concept of programs that provide the necessary support to ensure a successful college experience critically important.”
“Both of us have always been mindful of wanting to make this world a better place for having been here, and we think that helping Albion with this effort fits that desire perfectly.” – Sandy Cutler 4 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
“Every graduate of Albion College has a chance to make a positive difference in our world. They will have the ability to enhance their families as well as their communities at large. First-generation college graduates can begin to create a tradition of graduating from college for their own children and grandchildren.” – Sally (Stark) Cutler, ’75 The Center, which will also provide faculty curriculum support, is scheduled to be in operation by the start of the 2020-21 academic year and will be administered by a fulltime director. “This gift allows us to take all the factors that are standing in the way of making students successful and smoothing the road for them,” said Pamela Schwartz, director of the College’s Learning Support Center. “It is a very unusual gift and this is a very unusual school in its commitment to diversity. And this is something these students need.” The Cutlers’ gift follows the last four years of Albion’s commitment to making the College, in the words of President Mauri Ditzler, “look more like America.” In the 2015 fall semester, 15 percent of Albion’s students were from underrepresented groups. This fall, that number is nearly 40 percent.
Meanwhile, Washington Monthly magazine, in its annual college rankings, lauded Albion for its contribution to the public good across three categories—social mobility, research, and promoting public service. “Our students come from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of needs,” said Leroy Wright, Albion’s vice president for student development and dean of students. “With the support of the Cutler gift, this will assist Albion College in continuing to provide a network of strong support that aids in removing barriers and increasing access for students to succeed academically and socially.”
And Albion’s focus on diversity and inclusion has been recognized nationally.
Wright emphasized that the gift, and the Center, will aid students throughout their total college experience at Albion. Of primary importance: finishing in four years. “This generation of students needs us more than ever to help rise above the challenges that may prevent them from persisting to graduation,” he said.
In the latest U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges ranking, Albion tied for 63rd among national liberal arts colleges in the Top Performers on Social Mobility category and was also cited for its First-Year Experience program.
Added President Ditzler: “This generous and timely gift goes to the heart of what a liberal arts education can and must be. It provides real opportunities for many students to continue their education, to complete
their degree and to begin their next chapter as prepared and motivated graduates.” For Sally Cutler, whose Albion degree is in English, this moment offers another way for her to recall and appreciate her undergraduate experience. “The concept of this Center is so very much an expression of what Albion is, and always has been, all about,” she said. “Albion cares for
its students, teaches responsibility toward others, and provides a safe and caring environment for everyone it serves. Every graduate of Albion College has a chance to make a positive difference in our world. They will have the ability to enhance their families as well as their communities at large.” And Sandy Cutler believes the effort can go even further. “We would love to see the Center for Student Success and Academic Achievement serve as a template for other institutions,” he said. “Positive change can happen in our country, and it is our sincere hope that this Center can act as a catalyst for those kind of changes. It is our privilege to be able to fund this effort.”
Announced in October, Sally (right) and Sandy Cutler’s gift creating the Cutler Center for Student Success and Academic Achievement follows the couple’s major gift in 2011 that renovated the first floor of Stockwell Library into what is known today as Cutler Commons.
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New Leader in Enrollment Management from Notre Dame de Namur University with a concentration in communications and organizational leadership. Before that he was vice provost for enrollment and communications at Saint Mary’s College of California, vice president of enrollment and external affairs at Notre Dame de Namur, and assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and student affairs at Chapman University. Dr. Hernan Bucheli brought with him more than 25 years of higher education enrollment experience when he officially joined Albion College on October 1 as vice president for enrollment management. “Throughout my career I have focused on providing access to quality education for students to enroll in higher education institutions,” said Bucheli, who was born in Ecuador and grew up in a farming family in rural Clear Lake, California. “I lived it as a first-generation college student myself and that’s what drives my vocation.” After earning his B.A. in international relations from San Francisco State University, Bucheli completed his Master’s in communication from Barry University and his Doctorate in education from Northeastern University. He comes to Albion
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Dr. Bucheli currently serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Hispanic Education in Silicon Valley California and is an Emeritus board member of the Peninsula College Fund. “The pool of candidates was very strong, reflecting Albion’s growing reputation in the higher education community,” President Mauri Ditzler said. The Midwest is a new destination for Bucheli, who describes Albion as “a special place” and “an exemplar residential liberal arts institution. It’s very appealing that the College is taking a journey toward being diverse and inclusive. It’s an institution that’s making a difference and that’s exciting to be a part of as the chief enrollment officer.”
The Team’s Rock rebound that has welcomed more than 400 first-year students each year while maintaining a strong academic profile of entering classes. Additionally, Albion students are coming from more parts of the country and world (a 90 percent Michigan student population is now approximately 70 percent) and are more socioeconomically diverse (from 12 percent underrepresented students in 2014-15 to 31 percent in 2018-19).
For more than two decades, Mandy Dubiel has been an admission leader in Albion’s continuing evolution as an exemplary and nationally ranked liberal arts college. In October, the College formally recognized her efforts through a promotion to Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management. Since 2015, as director of admission, Dubiel has been at the forefront of an enrollment
“Albion College has always supported my career growth,” said Dubiel, an Albion native who also is vice president of the Albion Community Foundation and will continue to serve as recruitment lead for the College’s Build Albion Fellows Program. “We are all in this field because we love impacting students, making a difference for students, and I’m excited to see this next chapter unfold for Albion College.”
Did you know... Albion students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Currently the student population comprises 53 percent women and 47 percent men. More than 90 percent of the students live in the residential halls and apartments on campus. They come from 33 states and 14 countries, and approximately 30 percent come from outside of Michigan. Typically, around one quarter of the entering class will rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class and half are in the top 25 percent.
Your Referrals = Their Scholarships!
Referred students who enroll at Albion will receive an alumni scholarship valued at $4,000 total, $1,000 per year for four years! Spread the word, we are still accepting applications for Fall 2020. Prospective students whom you refer can apply to Albion at no cost at albion.edu.
Visit albion.edu/referral to get started. High school seniors must be referred before April 1 of their senior year to qualify.
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# Albion College named Incredible Liberal Arts College on the Rise by College Gazette.
Albion Ranked % TOP 14 of U.S. colleges and universities for return on investment over the course of a career in a recent Georgetown University study.
Albion College is listed as one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes and included in its Grateful Grads index of the top 200 private colleges and universities with the happiest, most successful alumni (2019).
in graduate earnings among Michigan small colleges. zippia, 2018
Albion is one of the
TOP LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES IN THE UNITED STATES according to The Wall Street Journal and the U.K.’s Times Higher Education (2020).
of our students are in jobs, graduate school, or volunteer service within six months of graduation.
Purple & Bold 8 | Albion College Io Triumphe!
A How-To on Taking Action Carrie Booth Walling, associate professor and chair of political science, is the kind of academic expert who can explain the complicated interplay between human rights movements and international politics. She is also the kind of innovative professor who gives her students opportunities to make it real for a wider audience. Three Albion students—Marco Colmenares, ’20, Morgan Armstrong, ’21, and Caitlin Cummings, ’22—are assisting Walling on a forthcoming book, writing a “toolkit” chapter specifically aimed at developing student activism. During the fall, Walling took them to a national conference in Dayton, Ohio, where the students heard from a founder of Black Lives Matter along with other activists, policymakers, and researchers. “I learned how some people use media, like music and video, to uplift underrepresented people while others use it to exploit the same people,” says Armstrong, a Build Albion Fellow. “It’s typical for both these types of media to exist in the same place and it’s important to identify the intent of each message.” “Each student brings their individual passions and personal experiences to the project, and having that diversity of voices is what will make our human rights toolkit more effective,” says Walling, who is also associate director of the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program. “Who knows better how to equip students with the tools that will empower them than students themselves?” —Jake Weber
Albion Authors Chicago Católico: Making Catholic Parishes Mexican Deborah Kanter, professor of history University of Illinois Press In 1960, metropolitan Chicago had just two predominantly Mexican parishes. Today, more than 100 Chicago-area churches offer a Spanish-language mass. Kanter’s book, due out in February*, tells the story of neighborhood change and rebirth in Chicago, as remembered by laity and clergy, schoolchildren and their religious teachers, parish athletes and coaches, European American neighbors, and church-focused immigrant community activists and organizers. Kanter shows how immigrants and Mexican-Americans mixed memories of home, the ways of Chicago, and a devotion to Catholicism in creating new identities and transforming their city. Harry and the Hurricane: A Boy Faces Terror … and Finds the Power of Love Gordon Berg, ’72, Mission Point Press (Traverse City, Michigan)
From left: Colmenares, Cummings, and Armstrong at the conference at the University of Dayton.
Berg combines historical documents with his father’s firsthand memories to create an adventure story set during the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. Kirkus Reviews
calls the book “a dramatic and absorbing tale” and a story that “effectively emphasizes faith and mutual support.” Harry and the Hurricane is Berg’s first book for children. The Revisionaries Andrew Moxon, ’96 (writing as A. R. Moxon) Melville House (Brooklyn, New York) “It’s a good thing The Revisionaries is so funny,” says Patton Oswalt of Moxon’s first novel, an imaginative tale of suspense involving a phony street preacher, a decommissioned mental institution, and mysterious religious figures. The work is picking up steam: in what “might be the weirdest novel of the year,” according to a recent review in The Washington Post, critic Ron Charles writes: “I was baffled, dazzled, angered, and awed. In between bouts of hating it, I adored it. … It’s a modernday classic.” Moxon, who lives in Grand Rapids, runs the popular Twitter handle @JuliusGoat. *A book-signing event is scheduled for February 8, 2-4 p.m., at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. For more information, contact Dr. Kanter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Albion 24/7 $300,000
Albion students over the last decade have won Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation honors at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting. The latest: Alex Horman, ’20—find a link to her story at albion.edu/iotriumphe.
A pair of storied Albion championship football teams were honored with reunion events this fall.
Albion ranks in the
of Michigan Colleges in ROI Georgetown Study.
of salt is on hand to help keep the College safe this winter.
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in the form of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women will go toward preventing and responding to interpersonal violence on campus.
students in the Wilson Institute for Medicine delivered a developmentally appropriate curriculum on emergency preparedness and response at Harrington Elementary School. The two-day program in October ranged from kindergartners recognizing an emergency and calling 9-1-1 to fifth graders learning CPR.
The Britons won the NCAA Division III national title. Team members reunited September 21 to mark the silver anniversary of their achievement.
Albion went undefeated in winning the MIAA. The golden anniversary of that special season was celebrated on October 26.
Little Bug, Big Discovery Mathematics and computer science professor emerita Martha O’Kennon is something of a Renaissance woman. Her interests include Ojibwe and Xhosa grammar, jewelry and wooden puzzlemaking, creating CAD popup paper sculptures, and raising luna moths. But her fascination with her own backyard recently put O’Kennon “in the books” with her discovery of a new species of treehopper, Membracis okennonae, in that very yard just steps from Wesley Hall. For the past several years, O’Kennon has written “Martha’s Backyard Blog,” chronicling her observations of the flora and fauna right outside her door. In 2015, with her then-newest digital camera, O’Kennon was able to see a tiny yet very interesting bug on her redbud tree. It was shaped like a thorn, presumably as a form of camouflage, and reminded her of a photo of a similar
Growth in Greek Life
“amazing insect” she had seen as a child in a library book.
Not so fast. “They turned out to be a hitherto unknown species, and they would be named after me … to my shock and awe and amazement and joy,” she writes, adding, “I’d like to say to kids who get interested in bugs and take it seriously enough to photograph or draw or describe in writing what they see. You just never know what you’ll find.”
O’Kennon’s patient study, aided with her highresolution photographs, yielded an intriguing creature that is actually bright blue in color for a day or two before changing to black with yellow spots. Many species of ants are attracted to the “honeydew” excreted by the immature insects, and O’Kennon learned that often, looking for ants would lead her to the tinier treehopper. She also learned that shaking the leaf could be quite entertaining, as the nymphs scattered and the ants worked to round them up again.
O’Kennon has regularly written and published entries to “Martha’s Backyard Blog” since 2013. Find a link to her blog at albion.edu/iotriumphe. —Jake Weber
Eventually, O’Kennon’s correspondence with a Canadian entomologist led to DNA testing of specimens she collected. “I had figured that my ‘guys’ would be shown by DNA to fit into the species of redbud eaters,” O’Kennon writes in a summer 2019 blog post.
Albion’s Greek system looks forward to expansion as Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc., a Latinx sorority, makes plans to start a chapter. With the renaissance of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., an AfricanAmerican sorority, Albion will for the first
Martha O’Kennon joined the Albion faculty in 1985 and retired in 2004. (Photo: Gabby Henriksen, ’20) Membracis okennonae, photographed by O’Kennon in her backyard redbud tree, given to her 25-30 years ago as a sapling by longtime Albion English professor John Hart.
time have two culturally focused social Greek organizations on campus. Kristen Sarniak, assistant director for Greek life and student organizations, says that adding more Greek chapters (she is working to attract culturally
based fraternities as well) benefits the entire campus. “Greek life gives students an opportunity for community that they might not otherwise have,” she says, noting that like all Greeks on campus, SIA and AKA are open to everyone, regardless of racial or ethnic identity.
“I tell my students, ‘Be inclusive first and diversity will follow,’” Sarniak says. “If you make people feel welcome, they’re going to want to spend time with you. Make people feel like they belong, and they’ll come back.” —Jake Weber
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Constructive Plans and Progress Across campus and in downtown Albion, capital projects are helping to ring in a new decade with added excitement. Frank Bonta Welcome Center: The 800-square-foot expansion of the Office of Admission’s space began in January 2019 and was completed in time to welcome students in August. Spearheaded by a gift from Chuck, ’77, and Julie (Bonta) Frayer, ’77, the $600,000 project features a new conference room, three prospective-student interview rooms, a larger lobby, and a new expanded space for admission counselors.
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Richard and Marilyn Vitek Center for Musical Arts: Progress continues on plans for a new music building that received its lead gift from the 1956 graduates and longtime Albion supporters. A new original design is being developed that will offer the best placement for the Vitek Center and Goodrich Chapel. Fundraising continues as well. “Every gift makes a difference,” said Bob Anderson, vice president for alumni relations and advancement. “We need strong support from donors to make sure this important project happens. Alumni stepping up will help change the College.” Impetus has been provided through a recent challenge gift from Ellen Ferguson Keleman, ’80, that will name the Center’s choir room for longtime Albion music professor Melvin Larimer.
Dow Center and Kresge Gym Expansion: The $5 million gift from Julie and Joe Serra, ’82, announced in March 2019, is moving toward its first goal: an 18,000-square-foot extension of the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center that is slated to open this summer as anticipated. Included will be a new weight and cardio room, a multipurpose room for theatre and dance classes, new locker rooms, a gathering space that will include a smoothie bar, and more. “This is for all students because fitness has become such an important part of their experience,” Anderson said, adding that architectural plans are in development for a reimagined Kresge Gymnasium, an ambitious project that will create an updated competition arena while maintaining the history and feel of the original 1925 structure.
Downtown Albion Theatre Project: The College has purchased the vacant building that most recently housed Huntington Bank at 207 S. Superior St. Through a $500,000 grant from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, plans are moving forward to turn it into a shared-use studio/theater facility that will serve both the on- and off-campus theatre communities. –Chuck Carlson
Two Minutes with . . . ELIZABETH PALMER
The 2010 alumna returned to the College last June as the Marilyn Crandell Schleg Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. Io Triumphe!: You majored in music and communication at Albion. How did you make the step to become the College’s new archivist? Palmer: During my time at Albion, I had planned to major in music education and realized that wasn’t the path for me. I figured communication was beneficial to any kind of path that I decided to go on and I really enjoyed those classes. I also enjoyed music. After I graduated, I worked for a year and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself, so I started looking at graduate program options and found Eastern Michigan’s historic preservation program, which has a lot of focus in museum studies and historic interpretation. And it was like a light bulb turned on … why have I never thought about working with historical objects as a career? During that time, I also worked for the university archives at Eastern’s library, so I kind of got thrown head first into that area of expertise and got a ton of handson experience. I found something I really enjoy doing.
As a college archivist, what do you see as your main responsibilities? The care and keeping of the collection is number one—making sure everything here is safe and preserved, because if it’s not it won’t be here in the future. But also it’s making sure those collections are accessible to people. At past jobs I’ve had I’ve asked why do we have it if people can’t see it, if they can’t enjoy it, if they can’t look at it and learn from it? Why are rare books and digitized photos so important to a College? It’s our history. It’s who we are, especially if you don’t know what happened at the College before you got here. Why did people paint the Rock? Where did “Io Triumphe!” come from? What were the school’s original colors? Why did we end up in Albion and not in Spring Arbor? It gives you a sense of self to know who came before you and to be able to look in the collection and say, “I was in this organization, and look who was in it one hundred years ago.” To have that connection to someone is pretty cool. It shows you where you fit in with the College in the big picture.
What has been the most unusual, significant, or surprising thing you’ve found so far as you go through Albion’s archives? While not necessarily the most historically significant, I think our scrapbook collection is one of our most historically valuable collections. Each is completely unique from one another. The scrapbooks provide the perfect glimpse of what it was like to attend Albion College through the decades. They feature a variety of time periods, student activities, photographs, and ephemera that all make the Albion College experience unique to any other college or university. You’re now working for the College you graduated from nearly a decade ago. What did Albion do for you then, and what is it doing for you today, now that you’re back? I love Albion. I loved my time here. I have most everything I have today after going here. I have some of the best friends around. I met my husband here. So we have the life we have together because of this school. And I learned how
Elizabeth Palmer, ’10, joined the team in Stockwell-Mudd Libraries after four and a half years at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, where she served as archives manager, museum manager, and curator of the collection.
I wanted to live my life—how to prioritize things. It’s a little strange being back in some ways but I do like it. Albion gave me everything. I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t gone here. Interview by Chuck Carlson.
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Lighting Our P athw ay s
BY CH U
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For generations of alumni, that luminary source—that home—described in the College hymn is more than a campus and, indeed, more than a college. It’s the people. And with more Albion faculty and staff choosing to live in the place where they teach and work—many mere steps from their classrooms and offices—students are discovering, and embracing, a neighborly richness that enhances their residential liberal arts experience.
Michael Harrington, ’85, smiles at the memory, still so fresh and still so vibrant in his mind that he can almost reach out and touch it. “I remember a group of us sitting on the floor in the living room of Jack and Kathy Padgett’s house on Superior Street,” he says, recalling the late Albion philosophy professor and his wife who made him, and so many other students over the years, feel welcome and comfortable and important. “We’d sit on that floor and talk about everything and it was almost never about philosophy.” Those are the memories that linger, the memories that transcend education and assigned readings and midterm grades, and go to the heart of why students go to college: to be a part of something special and to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Harrington learned that, in part, thanks to those days on the floor of Dr. Padgett’s house talking about anything and everything and nothing at all.
, S Y A D T N A T . . . THROUGH THE DIS AND OFTEN FAR FROM HOME.
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President Mauri Ditzler (right) with local electrician Gus Dickerson in the Harrington Neighborhood.
And it has stayed with him all these years later. “That was an important part of the education we got at Albion,” says Harrington, who would go on to earn his bachelor’s degree in English and later gain his law degree at Columbia University. Just recently, he retired as senior vice president and general counsel for Eli Lilly and Co.
more to the college experience than the four sterile walls of a classroom or the often fleeting time to meet with professors during office hours. “I think of other larger schools where you can be in some building with a Nobel Prize winner but you never see them,” Ditzler says. “There are degrees of accessibility.”
Deep in Albion’s DNA has resided the belief that as much learning takes place outside the classroom as in it. There is a familiar, informal, inviting air that comes from a professor opening their home to students, and often for no other reason than for them to get away from campus.
For him, the idea of a residential college inside a residential community has always been too good and too important to ignore. He recalls listening to another college president in a similar situation and who was advancing a similar idea of accessibility between faculty and students.
President Mauri Ditzler has understood this principle for years as a professor and administrator at various institutions of higher learning where he has worked. It’s the same principle he brought with him to Albion five and a half years ago, a belief that there is
“She said, ‘We have to be radically residential,’” Ditzler remembers.
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Finding that phrase a bit too much, he decided he would try to make Albion College “dramatically residential.”
“Having faculty live close by so students can see them walking their dog,” Ditzler says. “Inviting students to dinner. It’s the thing that’s going to separate us from other small liberal arts colleges. We can sell that.” He also saw that need when he came to Albion and made the decision to move the president’s residence, which for years had been more than a mile southeast of campus, back to campus at 501 E. Michigan Ave. (the former home of William W. Whitehouse, president from 1945-60). In that time, it has become a focal point for student meetings, faculty/staff get-togethers, and as a centerpiece for the College. And his reason for the move was simple. “College life is a lot more fun on campus,” Ditzler says. “It’s as true for presidents as it is for students.”
‘A Purpose to Being Here’ For Ditzler, a “dramatically residential” Albion College is simply a return to what was and not what he hopes will be. For decades, there was a spirit among the students that class work did not end at the stroke of a clock. Education was ongoing and evolving, and visiting a professor who lived two blocks away from campus was just another way to learn something else. Students for years have cherished their memories of visiting the home of history professor Wesley Dick and his wife, Leslie, who still live across from Wesley Hall and welcome students to visit. There are retired professors who are still in town and keep in touch with their former students while keeping an eye on those currently enrolled.
College Trustee Michael Harrington, ’85, near campus at the corner of Cass and Berrien streets.
But as the City of Albion suffered through an economic downturn— dating to the start of the century and even earlier—that saw the loss of industry, its hospital, and even its school district, new College hires decided to live elsewhere and commute. The interaction was lessened, or even lost. Consequently, one of Ditzler’s earliest hopes as president was to rekindle that belief in the College’s host community. Harrington and his wife, Judy (Small) Harrington, ’86, liked what they heard—so much so that in early 2016 they funded a project that provides faculty and staff the financial help to either renovate and purchase an existing home or to build a new home of their own, literally within walking distance of campus. In the nearly four years since, Provost Marc Roy and his wife, Michelle, built a home at the corner of Cass and Berrien streets, and several faculty members have renovated homes and moved in.
Julie Cousins, assistant professor of kinesiology, lives nearby.
They have joined other longtime faculty—couples like English professors Jess Roberts and Nels Christensen, and geology professors Carrie Menold and Mick McRivette—who have made Albion their home for years. “I remember Jess and Nels telling new English Department faculty, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to live in Albion?’” recalls Bill Dobbins, ’74, head of the Albion Reinvestment Corporation that has worked closely with the College to help lure business back to town. “There’s a purpose to being here other than just to have a job. The Harrington Neighborhood is one of those things that have brought the College and the community together.” Indeed, new faculty members who haven’t taken advantage of the Harrington proposal have settled into other Albion neighborhoods close to campus because of its convenience.
That includes assistant history professor Laura Brade and her husband, visiting assistant mathematics professor Drew Ash, who moved into their home on East Elm Street in June. They welcomed their first child, Cameron Bruce Brade Ash, a few weeks later. “I timed it and it’s a 12-minute walk to campus,” says Brade, now in her third year at the College and who had rented a home before the chance to buy came up. “Drew did his Ph.D. in Denver and he walked to work. It’s always something we enjoyed doing. Neither of us particularly like to drive. Being in a house happened a little more suddenly than we anticipated because we weren’t actively looking. But it was an offer we couldn’t pass up.”
For them, it has worked out superbly on several levels. “We lived in Davidson, N.C., (outside Charlotte) for a year before we came to Albion, and that small-town experience just didn’t feel genuine in some ways,” Brade says. “Here, people introduce themselves. We felt very welcome in the community. It felt very authentic and special to have that community.” “Every night we’ll walk around campus,” Ash says. “And sometimes the students look at you kind of strange because it’s almost like you’re not a human being outside class. But for the most part they see you outside class and they see you as a human being. You can talk about other things other than academic subjects. There’s another layer of connection.”
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Kinesiology assistant professor Julie Cousins and her husband, Matt Jackson, have been in Albion for three years as well and, as native Midwesterners, made a point to live in the community in which they worked. (Matt, a teacher by profession, is currently employee coordinator for Jackson Public Libraries.) After several months of renting, they found a house at 200 N. Berrien St., used a $25,000 forgivable loan provided by the Harrington project, and purchased their first home. The process has connected them to the College and to the community in ways they had always imagined it would. “It’s neat to see the students outside of class,” says Cousins, who invites seniors from her classes over to her home for an end-of-year barbecue. “We hang out and talk about their experiences. It’s fun seeing them in a different setting. They’re more relaxed. And Albion is so small, you get to know your students a whole lot better.” Cousins also described the time she and her husband decided to train for an Ironman competition, a grueling race that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. “Students would see us training and they’d wave to us,” she recounts. “When we’d swim, they’d serve as lifeguards. I think it sort of inspired them and they’d come to class and say, ‘We saw you.’ I think professors here are outside their offices more than they’re in them, and students know we’ll talk to them more. I think they appreciate that and know we’re more interested with the entire college experience.”
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A Community Endeavor Bill Dobbins, a physician for years in Albion before shifting his focus to both the family manufacturing business, Caster Concepts, and downtown redevelopment, remembers a time in the not-sodistant past when most College faculty and staff would live just about anywhere but Albion, a town many saw as a classic Rust Belt casualty. “I get there are legitimate reasons to live out of town,” says Dobbins, who as recently as five years ago saw the number of faculty and staff living in Albion dip to a mere handful. “There are family issues and those types of things. But in many cases they chose to live in Marshall and Jackson (both roughly 15 miles from Albion).” As Dobbins saw it, that lack of involvement by College employees did nothing to help what was perceived by many as a growing chasm between the College and the Albion community. “How do these communities ever bridge their gaps if we don’t meet together and talk together and have coffee together?” he asks. But with the advent of the Harrington project, and the estimated 10 neighborhood homes that are now a part of it, he sees that changing. “The Harrington gift has helped bridge the gap,” Dobbins says. To be exact, as of fall 2019, out of 104 tenured and tenure-track professors, 61 live in Albion.
But they never once considered moving elsewhere.
“We like to have that interaction with students,” says the provost, who began teaching the class in his home last year and did so again this fall. “We try to reduce the barrier between a privileged white male and people of other ethnicities. My first year, I taught the class in the library and I’d come in and take off my coat but there was still this white male in a position of authority. That’s a barrier. I wanted to minimize barriers and make students feel comfortable.”
“If we can tell parents, ‘Albion College is a great place for your kids to come,’ why wouldn’t we?” she says. “They’ll say, ‘If it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me.’ By living in town, we contribute to the town.”
Luz Andrade, ’21, a sociology major with minors in communication and Spanish, arrived on campus from Yakima, Washington, and was understandably reticent during her first year at Albion.
And while she doesn’t often have students over to their home, she frequently connects with them outside the classroom when she walks her poodle, Brita, on campus (“They love my dog,” she says) and when the family eats meals in Lower Baldwin dining hall.
“I mean, it was Michigan,” she says. “I’d never been here before.”
“You can connect with students you sometimes haven’t seen for a couple of years,” she says.
“Marc said that he was a white male but that didn’t bother any of us, because with his approach you could feel the atmosphere shift,” she says. “It feels very comfortable.”
Sheila Lyons-Sobaski, associate professor of biology, has lived on Sunnyside Court, a mile or so from campus, for 14 years with her husband, Steve, and their two daughters, Grace and Stephanie. She has seen the best and the worst for both the College, when enrollment fell in the years immediately following The Great Recession, and for the community, during its long economic decline.
Finding a Comfort Level That connection is still at the heart of Albion College and its goal of being dramatically residential. A good example is the Thursday evening Briton Path class (which helps underrepresented students through their college experience) taught by Marc Roy in the home he and Michelle had built a block from campus.
She took Roy’s Briton Path class and is now his aide to help current students in a similar situation. She said moving the class to Roy’s home made a huge difference.
That comfort level can manifest itself in many ways. Take an early Briton Path class at Roy’s home in September: Arriving a little late, Roy, known around campus as a serious Green Bay Packers fan, noticed one of his students wearing a jersey of the Packers’ ancient rival, the Chicago Bears.
From left: Luz Andrade, ’21, Daishane Lyons, ’21, Tatiana Cheong, ’21, and Lizzy LaTorre, ’21, study in Provost Marc Roy’s home shortly before final exams.
“I said to her, ‘You threw down the gauntlet,’” Roy says with a laugh. “And I changed into my Bart Starr jersey and Packers cap. I saw another student on campus wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat the day the Packers played the Cowboys and he said, ‘We’re going to beat you tonight.’ But it’s fun. There’s a great interaction and that’s very special. And I have learned a lot from students.” Natalie Purcell, ’20, a native of Grand Blanc, Michigan, wasn’t sure Albion was the right fit as she began her first year. But she was in a First-Year Seminar, Hawaii and the Himalayas, taught by Geology’s Carrie Menold. “It had nothing to do with my major,” says Purcell, who is studying biology and sociology with a focus on pre-dentistry. But the course, and Menold, convinced Purcell that Albion was indeed where she belonged.
“The second weekend I was here I knew this was the best thing to happen to me,” she continues. “It felt like home. And that first semester we went to their house three times or so. And we still go down there.” And Purcell remains in touch with Menold and Mick McRivette. “She’s always walking her dog and she’s so much fun to talk to,” Purcell says. “It’s made Albion for me. And I think that [residential aspect] is unique to Albion.” Perhaps it is. But what it certainly provides is an opportunity for Albion to establish itself as a college with the ability to meet students’ needs anywhere on campus. “To see professors walking around like normal people is kind of nice,” Andrade says. And that’s exactly what Ditzler wants to hear. The president may have just announced his plans to retire at the end of June 2020
Coffee hour in Vulgamore Hall hosted by the Center for International Education and Director Cristen Casey.
(see page 3), but he will always carry with him the idea that a college’s sense of place is more—a lot more—than lecture halls, laboratories, and locker rooms. It’s also lunch lines in Lower Baldwin, Ludington Center study groups, and lounging away in conversation at Stirling Books and Brew, and bumping into their teachers— their neighbors—in each setting. “We believe in the student/faculty interaction outside the classroom,” Ditzler says. “We want to re-create something that existed in the past but isn’t done anywhere else. We want to be one of a kind.” The pieces to make Albion the dramatically residential campus of Ditzler’s dreams are increasingly coming into place and moving forward. The living-learning community at Munger Place created four years ago. The expansion of the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center. Conversations about the residence halls. But of course there is still much work to be done. For example, neither
Harrington nor Dobbins is ready to call the Harrington project a complete success. But they like where it’s going. “The trajectory is right,” Dobbins says. “The long-term significance I’m not sure of yet. But I think it’s going to be a big deal. Frankly, I think it’s going to be a bigger deal than Mauri and Mike thought it would be.” And that would be great with Harrington. “What I find most encouraging is that the people who have been working with the College on renovating homes are doing it because of pride in the community,” he says. “And it benefits the students because it can’t just be about what happens in the classroom. It’s got to be about the whole college experience. And the more time they spend outside the classroom, the richer that experience will be.”
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.C . .
E F I L R O F D E T EC N N O
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For five friends from the Class of 1964, who in many ways are still closer than sisters, there has seemingly never been a time when Barb Stowell wasn’t there for them.
As students, there were the woodland hikes around the Whitehouse Nature Center conducted by Stowell’s beloved husband and College botany professor, Ewell “Doc” Stowell, who passed away in 2009. There were the dinners at the Stowells’ home on Michigan Avenue, and the talks afterward that sometimes went deep into the night about every subject under the sun. As alumnae, the reunions and memories have continued for more than 55 years. And this past fall, Shirley Ruemele Bloomquist, Donna Gabehart Burk, Lois Skagerberg Heller, Carolyn Ashton Ouderkirk, and Joan DeShon Reichenbach organized an on-campus 90th birthday celebration for Stowell that brought together nearly 50 friends for an Upper Baldwin luncheon. Bloomquist describes Stowell’s forever impact succinctly: “She launched us into independence.” Read more about the gathering and special friendship at albion.edu/ iotriumphe.
Pictured from left to right: Burk, Reichenbach, Stowell, Bloomquist, Ouderkirk, Heller.
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His Job: Making Home Sweet Meet Marcus Dawson, director of residential life The stories can be found on every college campus everywhere in the country. Reticent 18-yearolds, many of whom are living on their own for the first time, move into a residence hall and find it’s everything, and nothing at all, like they expected. And then come the problems and the torrent of phone calls home to bemused parents. A new routine and a roommate who snores, stomach-churning homesickness and unhappiness with the food or the town or the weather. Marcus Dawson has heard it all. And he understands. “Students are learning about life,” he says simply. Dawson started in July as Albion College’s director of residential life. It’s a familiar direction; he’s been involved in the field for more than 15 years, from the time he was an undergraduate himself at the University of Toledo. And his goal at Albion is to make sure that the often daunting residential-life experience for students can be the best it can be. “For me, it’s all about the customer,” he says with an infectious grin. “Whatever I’ve got to do, I’ll do it. I want the students to see me as a resource.” A resident assistant at Toledo, Dawson graduated with a political
science degree and earned a master’s in education leadership from the University of Northern Colorado. This is his first stint leading a residential life team and, as he coordinates an environment in which 94 percent of students live in either the residence halls or apartments, he plans to make the position one of interaction and cooperation. “I’m taking my experience from all the other places I’ve been to help me here,” he says. “I want all students to see me as a role model in the community. I want the students to know who I am and I want to know who they are, because if you live on campus, chances are you stay in school.” He sees that as especially important at a college like Albion, with its emphasis on diversity and inclusion. “We’re shifting from Millennials to Generation Z,” Dawson says. “Generation Z students are the largest and most diverse ever. Many are too young to even remember 9/11. This generation has information thrown at them. So when they’re moving into residence halls, are they looking for information or are they expecting it to be given to them? More students are coming in with mental health issues but more are also seeking help. And we want to help them in any way we can.”
To that end, Dawson has organized events to help students mingle and get to know each other. There are “Soup and Stories” sessions coordinated with the College’s Learning Support Center, where students, over soup provided by dining-services partner Bon Appétit, can talk about their experiences, hopes, and futures. There have also been sushirolling parties, Iron Chef cooking competitions, and more. “Parents want to know what they’re paying for and they want to know that it’s working out,” says Dawson, who lives in Munger Place just two blocks from the Quad. “I feel it’s important that they know I’m part of the community.” He also has an open-door policy for any students who need to talk about their school situation. “I prop them on the sofa and we talk,” he says. “It’s important that they know they can come in and talk.” Dawson is also familiar with concerns raised by both parents and students regarding the residence halls—from room sizes to ages of buildings to cooling during spring and summer. “We need to work with our beloved alumni to improve the amenities within the residence halls,” he says, acknowledging that donors and financial contributions can make a meaningful impact on the residential experience.
Marcus Dawson brings to Albion wide-ranging experience in residential life. He has held positions at the University of Illinois, Case Western Reserve University, Lake Forest College, and most recently Morehouse College, where he was associate dean for residential education. With a charge of ensuring that student residences are as comfortable and welcoming as possible, Dawson and his team have combed the campus seeking RAs who can work with students, understand their needs, and help. It’s why he meets face-to-face with every prospective RA, to judge for himself if they can do what he believes needs to be done. “My goal is to focus on the mission of the College and help prepare students to translate critical thought into action,” he says. “People make the difference.” —Chuck Carlson
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Where Commitment Takes Root For generations, Albion students and faculty have cultivated and nurtured a lifelong dedication to, and advocacy for, our natural environment. As a new decade begins, facing fierce climate headwinds, the College’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment continues to plant the seeds. As it must.
By Chuck Carlson In the 20 years since Albion College professors Doug White and Tim Lincoln answered the call from then President Peter Mitchell to help form and advance an environmental studies program, that environment has, quite literally, changed. “I taught a course here years ago about whether climate change was real,” says White, who has taught courses on biology, the environment, and ecology at Albion since 1995. He pauses at the thought. “I wouldn’t teach that course the same way now.” Indeed, in the two decades since Lincoln, White, and numerous others helped form the College’s
Institute for the Study of the Environment (which was later changed to its current name, the Center for Sustainability and the Environment, or CSE) much has changed—with the topics, with the students, and, most assuredly, with the environment itself. The concerns about climate change have cemented in the minds of just about every American. There are many who point to study after study concluding that man-made climate change is already impacting the Earth. And there is another, not small, group just as convinced the Earth is going through what it’s gone through for eons. And somewhere, perched between hope and concern for the future, is White, a member of the Biology Department who took over as CSE
director from Lincoln three years ago, assisted by biology professor Sheila Lyons-Sobaski. Both are helping a new generation of Albion students deal with what lies ahead. “Scientists have given us a warning,” says White, who has been a passionate advocate for the environment for as long as he can remember. “The climate is changing and we’re doing it, so what can we do to address it? I think the mindset 20 years ago was climate change is the future, but now we’re in the midst of it. It’s here and it’s now, and if you don’t think it is you’re not paying attention.” So CSE, through a series of classes that focuses not only on planet stewardship but sustainability, has taken on the task of helping
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students pay attention. The Center’s curriculum—with majors and minors in environmental science, environmental studies, and sustainability studies—has a rich, proactive history in which much of the learning is done where it matters most: in the environment itself. Lincoln, who joined Albion’s Geological Sciences Department in 1981, White, and other passionate faculty members take CSE students on extended trips every May to a different part of the U.S. to focus on environmental issues that are of particular importance to that area. Non-CSE majors also can go on the two-week trip with approval from their department. “It’s firsthand experience,” says White, who has made 15 of these trips over the years, including to the Pacific Northwest three years ago, to Appalachia two years ago, and this past spring to southeastern Pennsylvania and the New Jersey coast. Planning is well under way for CSE’s May 2020 trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast. “I regard these trips as the jewel of the CSE experience,” White says. “I’ve had alumni come back and say, ‘I went on a trip 15 years ago and I still remember it.’ It’s impactful.”
A Valuable Gift As vital as that impact is for CSE, sustaining it (and acknowledging that touch of irony) is equally vital, of course. To that end, a recent $108,000 gift from 1967 alumnus Bruce Harper and his wife, Jane, is empowering more students to study climate change and, just maybe, find some elusive answers. “The environment has been of interest to me for quite a few years,” says Harper, who majored in biology at Albion and went on to earn his M.D. at the University of Michigan before embarking on a successful medical career in New York City. “And it’s become a much more urgent issue the last couple of decades.”
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In the end, though, it’s about a more realistic and determined effort to help a fragile planet. The couple hopes the R. Bruce, ’67, and Jane Harper Earth Day 50th Anniversary Gift will spur the College to not only celebrate the milestone anniversary in April but take steps to help the campus become more eco-friendly.
“It’s about getting people interested,” Harper says. “Albion students should be leaders in the country. They can go out and lead. My real hope is getting students excited and interested in the environment.”
White has already begun exploring ways to further that endeavor. In October, he joined English professor Nels Christensen, with whom he co-teaches the Fundamentals of Environmental Studies class, in the transplanting of several burr oak trees at a community dog-walk park in celebration of Half-Earth Day, the six-month lead-up to Earth Day on April 22 (see photo montage, pages 26-27). More tree plantings on campus and around town are planned, as are environmentally conscious guest speakers during the Spring 2020 semester.
But perhaps the most visible and tangible benefit of the Harpers’ gift has been the installation of nearly 60 water-bottle filling stations throughout campus to cut down on the amount of plastic bottles generated. Previously, there had been just six stations around campus. White has made a point of having students volunteer to go around campus and collect data on how many bottles have been refilled, and there are plans to place informational signs in front of the stations that have been used the most. He said at the station near his office in Putnam Hall more than 44,000 refills have been recorded since the start of the semester. To White, it’s the kind of start that seems small but makes a difference. “Everyday activities like this should have that mindset,” he explains. Harper also would like to see Albion once again on the Cool Schools list from Sierra magazine, which highlights the most environmentally green colleges in the country. Albion was last on the list in 2016.
In truth, “EI”—what students called the old institute—has excited and motivated students since its formation at the turn of the century. A number of alumni have gone on to careers in various fields that address sustainability and the environment. One such alum is Lisa Anderson, ’09, who earned her degree in chemistry with a concentration in environmental science and minors in biology and anthropology. She has since earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California-Davis, where she was also a graduate research fellow studying ways to turn algae into a new form of biofuel. “I love algae,” she says. From there, Anderson undertook postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s chemical engineering department and Synthetic Biology Center. And for the past two years she has been a research scientist at Amyris Labs in Emeryville, California, where she is working with yeast to produce items ranging from sweeteners to face products. For her, it all started at Albion with her First-Year Experience seminar, The Crucial Generation, taught by chemistry professor Cliff Harris. “That catalyzed my decision to pursue sustainability and the environment,” Anderson says. “[The seminar] focused on human impact on the environment, from energy to water use to greenhouse gases.”
With Harris’ support, Anderson joined Albion’s environmental institute. “That’s when I decided to major in chemistry,” she adds. “I saw an opportunity to pursue research to find solutions for the changing planet. I was really involved with advocacy organizations on campus and with climatechange rallies.” Anderson also lived at the corner of Cass and Huron streets in the “E House,” a living/ learning experience in which students actively engaged in sustainability practices, including managing their own garden, using a solar water heater, and more. More recently, the E House had been located behind Michigan Avenue’s Munger Place building in what was known as the Munger Annex. While the housing concept has been dormant the last few years, White recalls those houses with affection, adding that he hopes to revive the residential option in the near future. “For a while, it was the center of environmental action on campus,” he says. It certainly impacted Anderson, who changed her lifestyle at Albion (including becoming a vegetarian) and embarked on her first green chemistry projects through a research internship in New Mexico and a fellowship with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. That work has continued, and she credits Albion for sparking that passion. “I wanted to find real-world solutions,” says Anderson, who in 2017 received the College’s Young Alumni Award. “I wanted to find new products that are less toxic, more sustainable. What I really enjoyed at Albion was the liberal arts aspect. I knew I’d major in science, but with the courses I took, things like Environmental Ethics and Policy, I wouldn’t have taken it as part of my major. So it gave me a different perspective.”
Looking to the Future That problem-solving approach still exists with current CSE students. “I want to save the planet in simple, but big, terms,” says Alex Pearcy, ’21, an Indianapolis native who is majoring in biology and geology with a concentration in environmental science. In fact, she says it was the existence of CSE that convinced her Albion was the right college for her. Pearcy has seen the campus change in small ways as it pertains to the environment and, as president of the Environment Club (which has some 40 members), she understands it’s the small changes that can one day lead to the big ones.
“Doug and Sheila are great at influencing and helping us do something great,” Pearcy says. “I definitely think that not only does our generation have to figure this out, but previous generations do, too. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen for other generations.” “I think about it every day in the work I do,” Anderson says. “I try to reduce my environmental impact, and I started doing that at the environmental house at Albion. I drive an electric car. I bike as much as possible. It is a little disheartening, but I think people have enough passion, especially the Millennials, who want to make the world a better place.”
As an example, she mentions that the club will be distributing 250 sets of reusable bamboo cutlery to faculty and students to replace plastic. “We have to start with the little things to get to the large ones,” she says. “But we have to start quickly.” White believes CSE can also help in that effort and, perhaps, turn the tide in helping a fragile planet. “It’s a scary time to be an environmentalist,” he says, his words juxtaposed against a November 2019 United Nations greenhouse gas emissions report that stated, “The summary findings are bleak.” Continues White: “It’s a field where all your victories are temporary. You can stop pollution but it can start again. It requires constant vigilance.” But that vigilance resides, ultimately, with the future and with people like Anderson and Pearcy.
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In His Element “Research shows we retain 30 percent more information when we’re outside, because we’re wired to be outside,” he explains.
Jason Raddatz, the new director of the College’s 140-acre Whitehouse Nature Center, majored in economics and management at Albion but also studied British literature (“everything up to Shakespeare,” he says) and music composition.
From the porch of the Whitehouse Nature Center, its new director, Jason Raddatz, ’91, takes it all in.
From top right: Biology professor Doug White is the director of the College’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment. He joined Albion in 1995. Lisa Anderson, ’09, received Albion College’s Young Alumni Award in 2017. The award recognizes achievements in the first 10 years after graduation. A gift from Jane and Bruce Harper, ’67, is recognizing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in a variety of ways during the 2019-20 academic year; dozens of water-bottle filling stations were installed across campus this fall, already cutting back plastic-bottle use by tens of thousands, according to Facilities
Operations; the Harper gift also remembers and celebrates Albion’s national moment on the first Earth Day in 1970, when CBS News visited town and, in a prime-time special*, featured the student organization SEE (Save the Environment through Ecology); SEE lead Walt Pomeroy, ’70, who in 2010 received the Distinguished Alumni Award, sets a new tree in place nearly 50 years ago; English professor Nels Christensen follows suit in fall 2019, with Doug White (right) and students watching. *Go to albion.edu/iotriumphe for a YouTube link to watch the 1970 CBS News report from Albion, introduced by news legend Walter Cronkite.
The sun glints off the meandering Kalamazoo River as birds chirp and frogs croak and the leaves of early autumn start to change color. This is nature in its purest form, and for the Petoskey, Michigan, native, nothing could be better. “This is my morning every morning,” he says as he notices a red-bellied woodpecker fly by and eyes a pesky patch of invasive weed just beyond his reach. “I don’t need an office.” Similarly, Raddatz would like the Nature Center to become more of a second classroom, where instructors bring their classes to study outside on nice fall and spring days.
Raddatz returned to Albion in 2013 as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) coordinator for Albion Public Schools (APS), part of his 15 years in teaching. Following Marshall Public Schools’ annexation of APS, he revamped the science curriculum at Marshall Opportunity High School and was named Marshall’s Teacher of the Year in 2017-18. He was named a Michigan Innovative Educator in July, and in August, shortly before starting at the College, he was part of a nine-teacher national group that traveled to the United Arab Emirates to help teachers in that country incorporate STEM into their curriculum. Now in his new role at the Nature Center, Raddatz is boiling over with ideas: improved and more accessible trails; enclosing the riverside porch, making it threeseason; and more events for the community, including a science day he began at APS called “Geekend.” “I’d love to do a Shakespeare in the Park,” he says. “Why not?” He’s even got a plan to deal with the invasive plants—bringing in goats to eat them. “I don’t want to be director of the Whitehouse vine center,” Raddatz says. “I want to be director of the Whitehouse Nature Center.” –Chuck Carlson
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HOME IS W HERE MY PEOPLE ARE By Aura Ware,
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This year’s Homecoming festivities featured a gathering of Albion’s recently established Black Alumni Chapter. Current students had the opportunity to meet and connect with alums as well. Here, one student writes about her deepening ties with inspiring graduates, and an evolving relationship with her college. Walking into the Black Alumni Chapter event in Stockwell Library, I’m overwhelmed with a feeling of being at home—something I wish for every Black student that walks the campus of Albion College. It’s a room so full of life and melanin. It’s Homecoming Saturday, and I smell soul food and hear deep belly laughs. I watch women alumni offering students motherly love if they get homesick or the Albion Plague. I hear doctors telling future medical students how they were able to make it on a campus, dealing not only with the difficulty of pre-med classes, but also the challenge of learning in classrooms where so few others looked like them. One conversation sticks out between a medical doctor named Daniel Shungu, a 1967 Albion graduate, and Zoey, a senior art major. I overhear Dr. Shungu tell Zoey about his move from the Congo to the United States. His dedication is moving. He studied pre-med at Albion College, knowledge he would take to aid his homeland afterward. They talk for what seems like the entire event, which showed support and love for the success of that student regardless of her interests.
A Family, Always The Black Alumni Chapter (BAC) was founded by Milton Barnes, ’79, with the help of many other Black alums sharing his vision. The chapter is only about two years old; however, you’d never guess it was so new judging by the crowd in the library’s Weatherwax Foundation Study Commons. This community—this family—was around long before the BAC was officially established. I see it all around me: The Black people who have graduated from Albion College have always been a family and have always wanted to see the success of younger Black people on Albion College’s campus. For example, Keith James, ’86, offered his insight on the organization of the chapter as well as some food for thought for all alums and current Black students. I asked him, if he could say one thing to students on campus about the BAC, what would it be? “Participate,” he said. This is an action that has both a value and power that is often underestimated. James said the purpose of the BAC is to “form a group with substance
and take that and make things happen: employment, counseling, guidance, etcetera.” James also said, “The Black Alumni Chapter is a distinguished resource for current students, the College itself, and Black alums.” James also has high hopes for the BAC in the future. He says in 10 years the BAC will be “a multicultural group working to solve issues facing disadvantaged people around the world because history has proven we can’t do it alone.” I find it very important to know, always, where you’ve come from in order to have a better understanding of where you will be going. Black history is intertwined in the stories of the members of the Black Alumni Chapter. Black history is intertwined in struggles and accomplishments of the graduating classes of Black students. Black history starts with people like Dr. James L. Curtis, ’44. Dr. Curtis is the oldest member of the Black Alumni Chapter. During his time here at Albion College, he was the only Black student on campus. He was the only person on campus representing a culture that would bring a new story to Albion College. And yet he has also been a leading philanthropist at Albion for many years.
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1) Black Alumni Chapter members and current students gathered for an event at Stockwell Library during Homecoming on October 5. 2) From left: Local Albion resident Kay Knight-Parker, Stephanie Wilson Williams, ’95, and Lisa Harris, ’89. 3) Keena Williams, ’09, talks with Mike Culliver, ’08
I thank Dr. Curtis for his bravery. I thank him for his drive to push boundaries, both as an Albion student and as an incredibly successful psychiatrist in New York. I thank him for leading the way for the Black community, for my people. Stories like his have allowed space for the stories of many Black people from all across the country and parts of the world to spread across the Albion College campus. Also, it has allowed Black alums and students to be honored with an award named after Dr. James L. Curtis (see page 31) and Black students to be aided with scholarship money from his charitable donations. To me, the support of the Black alumni is the greatest gift of the BAC.
We Are Here
Talking to Judge Dannia Edwards, ’83, was a breath of fresh air. Ever since our first interaction during my first year at Albion,
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Judge Edwards has been someone I have looked to as a role model. She stood up at my first BAC event and looked us in the eyes while saying, “I tried for judgeship....I didn’t make it this year, but I will make it.” I talk to her now as the first Black woman on the bench in her district. Judge Edwards said, “God somehow dropped me here in Minnesota with great mentors who know how to play the game... my mentor was the first Black woman on the bench in her state!” This, to me, is why Judge Edwards fought through discrimination since the first day of her process into becoming a Judge. This is why she never stopped believing she was qualified. This is why she never stopped believing Black people were qualified. This is why she said, “No matter how many times it takes me, I will prevail...I will prevail.” Judge Edwards now
boldly takes up space. Judge Edwards now has her hand open and extended to us here on campus. She is now waiting to pull me and all Black students up to wherever we need to go. Black alums are our connections to the career paths we desire. They pause their lives not only to meet up with old friends and say hi to Dr. Wes Dick, who still plays a significant role in the supporting of Black students, but to guide the new generation of Black excellence. At the Homecoming event, Mr. Barnes said, “A lot of times people say, ‘Your organization exists just for the sake of us having an organization,’ but that’s not what we’ve created and are in the process of developing. This is a true Black Alumni Chapter that is here to support Albion College and all of our underrepresented students.”
When I heard these words I looked over at my friend group; I looked back at the various tables of alumni, and I could feel the gratitude coming from both generations. We are here and this is our home, too. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. Trevaleyus Harris, ’21, the current president of the Black Student Alliance (BSA), spoke with me about how the Black Alumni Chapter has impacted him despite it being a new organization. “I feel that I’m a distant impact of them being here and the work that they put in and whatever struggles they went through while being here, and I am a result of all their hard work.” He also mentioned that going to the event made him realize just how many Black alumni are willing to support him and students who look like him, which were more than he expected. A personal connection he made at the event was with Lisa Wilson Harris, ’89, a former BSA president who shared how she managed to maneuver through racial tension on Albion’s campus and still make things happen for the organization, which was encouraging for him as the new generation of leadership in BSA. Looking around the BAC event, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of role models right in front of me. I see mental wellness professionals, lawyers, doctors, and engineers. But that’s not the only sign of achievement I feel in the room. Black love fills my heart. I love seeing people in our future positions coming back to campus and bumping hips and high-fiving each other to the old Albion College theme songs. I love seeing my people looking and feeling so natural in a setting where at one point in history we weren’t welcomed with open arms. Thank you, Black Alumni Chapter, for guiding me and my people down Cass Street and into those classrooms that might seem scary at first, but now are our classrooms. Thank you for helping me make Albion home. Aura Ware, ’22, is a psychology and English major and Spanish minor from Memphis, Tennessee. She is a member of the Black Student Alliance and part of the mentoring program that volunteers at Harrington Elementary School; she is also a writer for The Pleiad and a Smooth Transitions mentor. Her involvement in the Albion community includes serving as director of public policy for Kids at Hope.
Recognizing Success. Honoring Greatness Dr. James Curtis, ’44, has inspired and impacted generations of Britons. Our Io Triumphe! profile in the Fall-Winter 2018-19 issue (pages 24-25) barely scratches the surface of that impact. Now, the groundbreaking New York psychiatrist and Albion retiree is seeing another dimension of his legacy take shape in the form of the Dr. James L. Curtis Leadership Award and Student Leadership Award. This new annual award program was created by Albion College’s Black Alumni Chapter in collaboration with the divisions of Institutional Advancement and Student Development, respectively. The first Curtis Leadership Award will be presented to an Albion alum during the College’s Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards event on Friday, April 17. The first Curtis Student Leadership Award will
be presented during the Honors Convocation in between sessions of the Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium on Thursday, April 16. “The College has made an obvious commitment to its diversity and a diverse campus,” said Milton Barnes, ’79, director of student success initiatives, “and I think in order to continue to support and reinforce that importance, the Black Alumni Chapter has decided it wants to be hands-on in trying to make sure that that legacy continues. Dr. Curtis exemplifies all the things that we want in our alums and in our students.” —John Perney
Above: Dr. Curtis shared insights and wisdom with fellow Brits during the Black Alumni Chapter’s Homecoming event October 5.
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JUST THE RIGHT SCALE Albion’s size and residential essence have always encouraged collaborations of all stripes (even zigzag). Combine that with music’s way of bringing people together, from all life backgrounds and academic pursuits, and it’s no surprise that Britons’ musical passion, talent, and drive continue to go well beyond any curriculum. By Jake Weber
Elvis was at the top of the charts in 1956, but right behind him was the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, a clear sign that American teens hadn’t yet abandoned the Big Band era.
You’re an Inspiration, Charlie Brown
That same year also saw the creation of Albion’s Charlie Brown Orchestra. Like its members, the Orchestra was on campus for only four years and used that time to make some pretty terrific memories. “It just happened that we had the right group of people. Once you find the right drummer, you’re all set,” says Bob Bartlett, ’60, recalling move-in day in Seaton Hall, when he and 10 of his classmates discovered they had the makings of a band. Forrest Heaton, ’60, also remembers that first day well: the soon-to-be ensemble congregated in his room.
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“I didn’t know a soul. I came from Bethesda, Maryland, and a lot of people knew each other from Michigan,” Heaton says. “I took out my guitar and started playing in my room. Within an hour or two, my room was filled with people who played instruments. Jim Wyse was one of the first to come with his sax. We eventually had so many people, we went downstairs and took over a portion of the lobby.” Only two players in the group were studying music and all were planning to join the College’s bands or orchestra. Nonetheless, Bartlett says, they had most of what eventually became a 17-piece dance band. And they were pretty sure they would find an audience, too.
in the Michigan marching band, but there was nothing there like the Charlie Brown Orchestra,” Beauchamp explains. “I just enjoyed playing with the guys in Albion. It was a terrific experience.”
Top left: The Charlie Brown Orchestra in 1957. Group “personnel” from a concert program included John M. Cord, James Wyse, Jeffery Barry, David Fowler, and Robert Findlay (saxophones); John Spears, James Beauchamp, Thomas Rollis, Stanley Thompson, and Keith Lepard (trumpets); Marvin Camber, Richard Turk, and James Kammert (trombones); Robert Barnard, Forrest Heaton, Grant Hamady, and Robert Bartlett (rhythm). Above: CBO players jam during a 1999 reunion. Top right: A CBO concert program.
After playing a few dances in Albion, invitations started coming from high schools and colleges in the area, and they realized the band needed a name. “We decided on the Charlie Brown Orchestra, because the kids loved that comic strip. We advertised that ‘the Charlie Brown Orchestra plays for peanuts,’” recalls Bartlett, who played bass. “We were a good band.” Good enough, in fact, that in 1957 Bartlett wrote to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who turned out to be quite in favor. Schulz not only gave them permission to use the name, he also supplied them with artwork to replace their own decidedly amateur reproductions.
“We put his characters on our music stands,” Bartlett says. “I think he was quite proud of the fact that Charlie Brown had a big band.” Trumpeter Jim Beauchamp, ’59, one of the few sophomores among the original members, recalled that during his first year at Albion, he and a pianist were hired out locally to play jazz music. “We got a gig at the Elks Club and my parents drove in from Detroit because they were concerned about me playing in an establishment that served alcohol,” he recalls. “They were happy when I joined the Charlie Brown Orchestra.” Beauchamp transferred to the University of Michigan’s engineering program in 1957 but continued to play in the CBO. “I played
Despite its popularity and the members’ commitment—many played all four years—the Charlie Brown Orchestra was disbanded as the Class of 1960 graduated. Lead alto John McCord, however, went on to become director of bands at the U.S. Air Force Academy, taking the Charlie Brown Orchestra’s 200 band arrangements with him. “We had a big impact on the Air Force Academy’s music program, beyond the fact that John studied in Albion,” Bartlett notes with a smile. In the end, Bartlett says, on a certain level it was the music that made the band. “We were all studying different things, we were in different fraternities and going in different directions,” he says. “We weren’t music majors, but we had more contact with [music faculty] Tony Taffs and Dave Strickler than with any other faculty except for our major professors. When you’re serious about music, it gets hold of you and it’s what you do. And it was a lot of fun.” Listen to the Charlie Brown Orchestra! Go to albion.edu/iotriumphe for a link to past recordings.
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Teacher. Performer. National Event Organizer. “We’ll have a session during the conference about degendering musical spaces and accepting transgender and nonbinary students in choirs—many of our groups now describe themselves as ‘tenor-bass ensembles,’” he explains. “I’m particularly interested in how we use choral ensembles to support the emotional life of men in a society where they don’t always have opportunities to express that.” The concert by Minneapolis-based Cantus will be co-sponsored by IMC and the Strickler Endowed Concert Series at Albion. It’s a project, according to Parr, that would be very difficult for either entity to sponsor on its own.
Members of the Michigan Educators Male Ensemble, pictured in Goodrich Chapel, clockwise from bottom left: Clayton Parr, ’80, Dustin Morris, Nathan Masterson, Marc Meyers, Ian Bäby, Thomas Kaiser, Jeff Cachero, Gaylord High School Principal Chris Hodges, ’07, Chris Ludwa, and Michael Peterson. The ensemble will perform in Albion on March 21 during the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses 2020 National Seminar.
Having students from Michigan and Ohio State on the same stage—not to mention students from Harvard—is always a momentous occasion. That gathering becomes even more so when it happens in a small south-central Michigan town. But it’s just one performance out of many taking place in March, as Albion College and Albion First United Methodist Church are sponsoring the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses 2020 National Seminar, a biennial event. “There’s going to be more than a thousand singers,” says Clayton Parr, ’80, professor of music and director of choral activities. He is also the executive secretary for Intercollegiate
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Men’s Choruses (IMC) and notes that along with some of the country’s top collegiate glee clubs, there also will be performances by professional group Cantus, adult choruses, and a mass high school group assembled from six Michigan schools. Also performing will be the Michigan Educators Male Ensemble (MEME) a chamber group founded by Parr shortly after he joined Albion’s faculty in 2012. Parr suggests that the conference could serve as a recruiting tool for Albion, and a way to raise its reputation among peers across the country. But he quickly also emphasizes the importance of supporting music for men.
“When I was a student at Albion, Mel Larimer and Dave Strickler emphasized the need for musicians to listen to other groups perform, in order to sharpen your ears and develop your craft,” Parr says. “The Strickler Endowed Concert Series has given us the means to bring fine concerts to campus.” Parr notes that he has been planning for this event since it was announced that a Courtyard by Marriott hotel would be built on Superior Street in downtown Albion. The hotel opened in spring 2018. “The opening of the hotel gave us the opportunity to host an event like this,” he says. “It’s going to be a great event and it’s also a chance for students to hear something they can’t hear anywhere else.” Visit imc2020.us for details on the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses 2020 National Seminar. This short web address will link to a page on the Albion College Music Department website.
Phonic Boom Orchestral Reprise Euphonics performed its “Starlight Serenades” concert in the Kellogg Center’s Gerstacker Commons on December 4. Visit the group’s Facebook page, facebook.com/aceuphonics, to watch the Facebook Live recording of the show.
“We had to become a recognized student organization to get funding and do everything we wanted to do,” says Beth Snyder, ’03, recalling her idea to start an a cappella group on campus. “There was so much paperwork involved. I remember thinking, ‘I just want to sing,’ and wondering if all these forms were worth it.” From that inauspicious start in 2001, Euphonics has become an Albion institution, one of the oldest student-founded and student-led organizations on campus. Nearly 100 alumni and current students have been members, most for multiple years. Euphonics shows are standing-room-only events; the members regularly perform for other campus and community programs, and host an annual “Sing Off” that draws collegiate groups from across the state. Snyder recalls that the original group was pulled mainly from her choir and theatre friends. Getting music to sing was likewise pulled from various places. “I had friends at the University of Michigan who were in a cappella groups and they gave me music,” she says. “Religious studies professor Ronney Mourad was in a group in college and had some music. We even commissioned some arrangements.” Their first performance surprised even them. “We hadn’t yet done our first concert, but we
won Battle of the Bands in 2002,” she says. “We were up against these groups that had been together for a while and no one knew who we were. It was pretty crazy.” Original member Jim Shilander, ’03, recalls that the challenge of finding music actually signaled the Euphonics’ viability. “Beth went off-campus in the fall of 2002 and Matt Meunier stepped in as music director,” he says. “It was hard losing Beth, but when Matt took the mantle, we were able to see that this was something that could go on.” “Being Euphonics music director was simultaneously the most stressful and most rewarding experience of my life so far, but every little success made me that much more invested,” reflects Anna Watson, ’19, a four-year member. “There were so many late nights, so many goofy conversations, and so much shared joy in music. You spend so much time with people, you have no other choice but to think of them as family, and you’d do anything for family. I think everyone who joins Euphonics feels that in some way.” “I’ve been astonished by how much Euphonics has grown and the way that the campus has embraced it,” says Shilander. “It’s amazing when you see that part of you is still at Albion, all these years later. I imagine there’s no end.”
They say you can’t go home again, but for several alumni members of Albion College’s Symphony Orchestra, this is happily not true. The orchestra’s hardest-to-fill chairs are regularly covered by alumni, many for several years. “There are other orchestras I could play with,” says trombonist Josh Austin, ’01, an elementary music teacher for Okemos Public Schools who performs regularly in the Lansing area. Austin cites as motivators his love of classical music and his friendship with James Ball, professor of music and orchestra director. Along with the fact that, well, it’s Albion. “My parents moved while I was in college,” Austin says, “so coming to orchestra is a bit of a homecoming and something I really enjoy.”
Clockwise from bottom: Josh Austin, ’01, Nick Laban, ’11, Jessi Fore, ’19, Megan Bourgling, ’11, Adam Stowe, ’11, Dave Fleming, ’03.
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ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWS
A Special Kickoff Cherished meetups, conversations, and memories could be found in the tailgate lot, Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium, the brand new Alumni Lounge on the Quad, and indeed all over campus October 4-5. But Homecoming 2019 also distinctly
celebrated Albion’s future as the College officially launched the public phase of a comprehensive campaign, Purple & Bold (see page 49). While it may have been a mixed bag on the scoreboard—a thrilling
overtime women’s soccer victory over Trine made up for a close football loss to Alma—for Britons everywhere it was a weekend win all around. And mark your calendars now for Homecoming 2020: see you back on campus October 16-17!
Honoring Athletic Achievement Eight individuals and three storied teams from Albion College’s past were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in an October 4 ceremony in Upper Baldwin. Individuals inductees Charles Aldrich, ’75 (men’s track and field, men’s cross country) Caitlin Bowman, ’10 (women’s soccer) Jason Bowman, ’07 (men’s track and field) Glen Brittich, ’94 (football) Kasy Davidson Lockhart, ’00 (women’s basketball, softball) Neil Forster, ’07 (men’s tennis) Julie Kamer Comfort, ’04 (women’s cross country, women’s track and field) Emily Stocker McAbier, ’07 (women’s tennis) Team inductees 1992 football, which won the program’s fourth consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship 2005-08 women’s tennis, winner of four straight MIAA tournaments 2007 men’s tennis, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament
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ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NEWS
Eleven Join Alumni Board The Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors welcomed the following alums in 2019:
Ann-Marie Anderson, ’88 (Phoenix, AZ)
Patrick Blakley, ’83 (Fraser, MI)
Charles Coutteau, ’16 (Chicago, IL)
Your Chance to Take Part Consider a nomination for the Alumni Association Board of Directors! Alumni are encouraged to nominate themselves or classmates. If selected, the term (beginning in May) runs three years and is renewable for a second consecutive term. The deadline for 2020 nominations is Friday, March 13. To see the current listing of Alumni Board members and submit a nomination, go to albion.edu/ alumniboard. The mission of the Albion College Alumni Association (of which all Albion graduates are a part) is to support Albion College’s pursuit of providing an excellent liberal arts education by encouraging communication between alumni and the College, engaging alumni to assist the College, and promoting the achievements of Albion’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Greg Coyne, ’97 (Plymouth, MI)
Kelly Houk, ’10 (West Bloomfield, MI)
Caroline Dobbins Hurteau, ’12 (Albion, MI)
Save the Date Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards Ceremony Friday, April 17, 2020 Robert Joerg, ’19 (Ann Arbor, MI)
Brian Longheier, ’00 (Toledo, OH)
Maralyn O’Brien, ’05 (Middletown, RI)
Each year, Albion College presents the Distinguished Alumni Award honoring alumni who have demonstrated excellence in career achievements and contributions to community and humanity. The Young Alumni Award honors alumni who have achieved great success in their first 10 years after graduation and/or service to the College. Each year, honorees offer inspiration and encouragement as models for principled leadership and a wholehearted commitment to serving others.
Andrew Smerczak-Zorza, ’02 (Chicago, IL)
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Lyssa Whiren Towl, ’94 (Golden, CO)
Learn more at albion.edu/alumni-awards.
Go Purple! Go Gold! Michigan State University green and white was joined by Albion College colors October 29 when the Britons men’s basketball team played the nation’s preseason No. 1-ranked Spartans in an exhibition game at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. And while Michigan State prevailed on the court, it was a night to remember for Albion students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends as a crowd of several thousand purple-and-gold-clad fans took up nearly half the arena to cheer on their team. (All photos by Anna Albaugh, ’22)
1) Albion in the house: The block A on the Breslin scoreboard above center court. 2) MJ Barnes, ’22, dribbles during warmups. 3) Jamezell Davis, Jr., ’21, follows the shot. 4) Caden Ebeling, ’20, works in the post. 5) The coaches chat: Albion’s Jody May and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. 6) Diane and Jim Carr, ’81 ’81, during a pregame reception. 7) Mark Garrison, ’71, and state Circuit Court Judge Duncan Beagle, ’70, watch the action.
Zachary Winston, ’22, was unable to play due to an injury but cheered on his Britons teammates as well as older brother Cassius Winston, the Spartans’ AllAmerican senior point guard. On November 9, 2019, the Albion family suffered a tragic loss with the passing of Zachary Winston. Please see page 46 for more information.
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THREE NEW TRUSTEES Last summer Albion College welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees.
Jim Klungness A member of the Albion College Board of Trustees from 1986-2004, who was appointed chair in 2000, James Alan Klungness passed away July 16, 2019 in Spread Eagle, WI. An engineer and entrepreneur with a special interest in higher education, Jim and his late wife, Verle Anderson Klungness, ’50, founded scholarships at Albion and Michigan Technological University, helping dozens of Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan students attend college. Jim worked in naval electronics during World War II, eventually earning a degree in electrical engineering. An early entrepreneur in the cable television industry through his founding of Klungness Electronic Supply, Jim served a term as president of the American Cable Television Association. He was co-founder and owner of two businesses that worked regionally and nationally to build cable systems and microwave transmission facilities. In addition to the James A. and Verle A. Klungness Scholarship at Albion, the College’s Information Technology office suite on the ground floor of the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building is named for the couple. Jim received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Albion in 2003, as well as an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Michigan Tech. He was also an Albion honorary trustee for the last 15 years. Jim is survived by his wife of 12 years, Jacqueline; son Kraig Klungness, ’76; daughter Barbara Klungness Anderson, ’79; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Jeffrey Youle, ’81, has more than 30 years of experience in the private equity industry and is head of U.S. Private Debt for Muzinich & Co., a corporate credit manager in New York. Prior to Muzinich, he co-founded Global Leverage Capital Management, a merchant banking and top 10 restructuring advisory firm. He also held a number of senior executive positions during an 18-year career with BNP Paribas, including head of North America Investment Banking; head of Acquisition Finance and Loan Structuring; managing director of the Private Capital Group; head of Media and Telecom; and cofounder and head of the New York Merchant Banking Group. He started his career as a consultant with Touche, Ross & Co. and with the M&A Development team of American Can. Youle earned his B.A. in economics from Albion and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. Allison Maki, ’97, has been senior vice president of administration and chief financial officer for the Detroit Lions since 2015. Prior to that, she was vice president of finance and director of finance for the Lions and has been with the organization for 15 years.
functions as well as facility operations for the Lions’ Allen Park practice facility. Maki currently is one of eight female CFOs in the 32-team National Football League. She graduated from Albion with a degree in economics and management and upon graduation worked with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young in Detroit for seven years. Maki received the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019. Chelsei Carpenter, ’19, graduated from Albion with a degree in psychology and a minor in business and organizations. A native of West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, she was involved in numerous activities at Albion including admission associate, peer mentor, a member of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, president of the Albion chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and treasurer of the Albion branch of the American Association of University Women. She was also a student intern at the global consulting firm Korn Ferry through The Philadelphia Center and was a management intern at The Kroger Company. She currently works as an application support analyst at Sparrow Health System in Lansing. The Albion College Board of Trustees consists of 27 members for the 2019-20 academic year. Recent graduate trustees serve two-year terms while all other trustees serve three-year terms.
In her current role she also oversees the team’s human resources and information technology
NEWS FOR ALBIONOTES Please send us your news about promotions, honors, appointments, marriages, births/adoptions, travels, and hobbies. Notes will be accepted through March 31, 2020 for the next issue.
Send to: Editor, Io Triumphe!, Office of Marketing and Communications, Albion College, 611 E. Porter St., Albion, MI 49224; send via e-mail to classnotes@albion. edu; or use the convenient
online form at albion.edu/ iotriumphe/classnotes. Be sure to include your full name, class year, address (postal and e-mail), and telephone number along with your message.
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Thursday, March 19, 2020 It’s Albion College’s 185th birthday and we’re celebrating with events on the same day throughout the nation. In celebration, we hope that you will join your local Albion College alumni for a social mixer in your area or host an Albion Everywhere event— it’s easy! Pick a location, let us send you swag, and spread the word.
“It was delightful to talk about our experiences at Albion, and I was inspired to learn more about the recent changes in the College. I also enjoyed meeting other alumni who live near me and the chance to make lasting connections.”
Visit albion.edu/everywhere, email email@example.com or call 517/629-1835 with questions or for more information.
Ellen Smith Konopaski, ’69 Albion Everywhere host in Tucson, AZ
Thursday, May 14 – Saturday, May 16, 2020
This on-campus experience will include dinner and dancing, faculty lectures and your own reunion celebration. We’re happy to provide free time for you to explore campus, shop downtown, and visit with alumni from the classes of 1958–1977. With accommodations ranging from residence halls to local hotels, there’s sure to be an option to fit your preference. The cost of meals is due at the time of registration, but activity sign-up will be available at the time of your arrival on campus.
Join us for the most immersive oncampus event of the year in celebration of your milestone reunion.
We hope you will join us for all meals and activities! The schedule has been set up so that you can completely customize your experience while on campus. Don’t forget to check the amenity list and build some of those into your schedule as well. Registration will open in early 2020!
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PURPLE & BOLD
Purple & Bold Lifeâ€™s greatest achievements are born of its greatest challenges. Those times that call us to unite and work toward needed solutions. At Albion College, our strength lies in our tireless passion to do just that. Making connections that make an impact. Connections between driven students and devoted educators. Between a visionary small school and a welcoming small city. And between bold dreams and the will to shape a better future. Yes, we believe colleges have an obligation to pursue a higher purpose. To serve the community and the world. And because the spread of knowledge benefits us all, this is a campus committed to embracing diverse beliefs and backgrounds. Not to emphasize differences, but to prosper from important perspectivesâ€”perspectives that can overcome uncertainty, and indifference, and the impossible. By connecting open minds and tenacious spirits from all walks of life, ours is a culture that believes that no challenge is too great to conquer.
To make certain that Albion College is prepared to conquer the challenges that tomorrow might bring, and poised to pursue its opportunities, we have launched Purple & Bold: A Campaign for Albion College. Comprising a diverse set of initiatives that will touch the lives of everyone who has called Albion College home, Purple & Bold will help us inspire big dreams and cultivate an environment that makes them real. For generations, Albion has prided itself on providing not only an exceptional education, but also formative life experiences that shape young minds into driven leaders who live meaningful lives of purpose. We call on alumni, students, faculty and staff, family, and friends to join us as we unite our passions and show the world just how powerful a small but infinitely determined liberal arts college can truly be. We are Purple & Bold.
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PURPLE & BOLD
A ‘Once-in-a-Generation’ Campaign It is ambitious. It is intrepid. It is challenging. And it is the next step in Albion College’s goal of creating a liberal arts experience for students to change the world. After a September 28 preview before more than 300 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends at the 10th annual Grand Getaway at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Purple & Bold: A Campaign for Albion College officially launched October 4 to kick off Homecoming 2019. “It’s a once-in-a-generation type of thing and it will change the whole institution,” said Bob Anderson, vice president for alumni relations and advancement. “Our alumni appreciate the difference Albion College has made in their lives. They know it’s a place that has a history and a future that enables dreams to come true.” The campaign features a $100 million fundraising goal and five priorities (see pages 53-55) that will provide the opportunity for Albion students and the College as a whole to grow, thrive, and evolve. “The Purple & Bold campaign presents an opportunity for alumni and friends to participate in ways that are most meaningful to them,” said Wendy Miller Bueche, Albion’s chief advancement officer – campaign. “In this campaign, all gifts have impact and support student success. Every dollar counts.” For President Mauri Ditzler, this campaign is yet another step in helping Albion College prepare students to compete in a constantly changing world. “Albion College helps engender big dreams in a small, welcoming town,” he said. “Together the College and community have been building a partnership that is gaining momentum and will strengthen our shared future. This campaign speaks to everyone who has been a part of this College over the years as well as to those students who will make it a part of their lives in the future.”
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Recognizing Leaders in Philanthropy The October 4 public launch of Purple & Bold included a morning standing-room-only crowd in the Kellogg Center’s Langbo Living Room as the College dedicated a new Leaders in Philanthropy Donor Recognition Wall. Located in the corner of the room across from the piano, the Wall recognizes nearly 400 individuals and organizations that have donated $100,000 or more over the course of their giving—gifts that have
underwritten scholarships, programs, special events, infrastructure, and the Albion College Fund. Conrad Sindt, ’69—who with his wife, Peggy Meyer Sindt, ’73, are two of the campaign’s six co-chairs (see page 56)—noted that over the years, he and Peggy supported Albion from a desire to “give back.” That’s still why they give, but Sindt also sees a growing sense of excitement for the alma mater they’ve loved for so long.
“What better place to support than Albion today?” he asked. “In our view, Albion College is doing everything right. There’s so much to be proud of. We have seen the transformation that’s occurred in the past few years and are proud of what’s happening.”
From left: Albion College Board of Trustees Chair Don Sheets, ’82, Peggy Sindt, ’73, Conrad Sindt, ’69, and Trustee Michael Williams, ’78, at the Leaders in Philanthropy Donor Recognition Wall unveiling October 4.
Number of Donors
Number of Gifts
Totals through December 1, 2019 and dating from September 12, 2014. Follow the Purple & Bold campaign at albion.edu/bold.
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PURPLE & BOLD
Dream No Small Dreams: Student Support At Albion College, the American Dream is alive and well and we welcome everyone with the determination to go after it. Because a diverse student body enhances the education of all students, we will continue our commitment to seek out and support undergraduate students from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds so all individuals can find an opportunity to make their mark on the world. Competition for the best and brightest students is more intense now than ever before, and private support will give Albion the ability to recruit top scholars while maintaining
excellence in our student population. Gifts for Student Support will provide financial aid for students, and your generosity will help ensure deserving students have access to an Albion education. Why do we believe in dreaming no small dreams? Because at Albion College we see big dreams come true every day.
Find Your Fire: Faculty Excellence and Engaged Learning What sets Albion College apart? Itâ€™s that we understand a quality education is about far more than textbooks. We are ever focused on cultivating an environment that celebrates open minds, engaged learning, and meaningful interactions. The Albion experience goes far beyond what happens in the classroom. We believe experiential learning and campus-wide opportunities ensure success as a student and beyond. Whether itâ€™s a student group that fosters lifelong friendships or a program that revolutionizes the liberal arts experience, we want to make it possible.
Gifts for Faculty Excellence and Engaged Learning will sustain support for visionary professors, create immersive research opportunities, and strengthen programs that enhance the oncampus experience. You can make a lasting impact by helping to inspire future generations of Britons to find their fire at Albion.
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Build With Purpose: Improvement Through Capital Projects Albion College is a special place…where new opportunities are explored, strong friendships are forged, and lasting memories are made. While it’s important we preserve tradition, we must also strive to keep pace with the fast-changing and highly competitive collegiate landscape.
and countless backdrops for individuals immersing themselves in the Albion College experience.
The educational spaces and places both on our campus and in our community—from buildings on the Quad to area parks and trails—serve many purposes. They provide homes away from home, classrooms that engage and inspire,
By supporting these improvements, you have the opportunity to build with purpose and shape the learning environment of tomorrow.
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Gifts toward Capital Projects will give our students access to innovative resources and spaces that enhance academic and student life experiences, both on and off campus.
Rise to the Moment: The Albion College Fund Albion College students and graduates set themselves apart by their willingness to go above and beyond. By championing critical thinking, we’re able to instill the conviction that no challenge is too big to overcome. Your support of our most urgent needs shows you believe in the power of an Albion College education and gives you the ability to make a real difference in the lives of our students and faculty in real time. Because all areas of the College rely on
regular replenishing of funds, a yearly contribution benefits the College in countless ways. Gifts for the Albion College Fund are a straightforward way to support all areas of Albion, from financial aid to classroom equipment to student activities. When you rise to the moment and give, you can make an immediate impact on the campus, as a whole when it is most needed.
PURPLE & BOLD
Unite and Ignite: Forging Strong Community Connections* From the very beginning, Albion College has been a vital part of our namesake city, just as it has been a vital part of our story. Our students, taking cues from their peers as well as their neighbors, learn the value of service, respect, and friendship. Today, the City of Albion is undergoing an amazing postindustrial revitalization. Its dynamic population is working hard breathing new life into its charming downtown as well as its idyllic residential neighborhoods. Understanding that our futures are forever intertwined, Albion College is eager to continue to play a crucial role in this rebirth.
Supporting and investing in our community through the Build Albion Fund will create new opportunities for cooperative outreach and enrichment, and will help strengthen the ties between Albion College and Albion, Michigan. You will help us keep alight a new era of progress and shared success. *Support for Unite and Ignite is counted outside of Albion College’s Purple & Bold campaign.
Be a Part of Our Tomorrow Here we stand. At the nexus of need and know-how. With a shared vision for creating an Albion College that is more vital and more capable than ever before. Join us and be a part of this unprecedented journey. Our goal to raise $100 million might be viewed by some as audacious. We suggest that audacious goals are the ones most worth pursuing.
but for the benefit of others. To be successful, but also to be good. We learned the importance of rising to the occasion, of paying forward our blessings, and of having the courage to follow our passion.
Albion College has touched each of our lives in a different way—you might say that’s the beauty of a liberal arts college— yet we are all united by one constant. Our experience instilled in us the drive to be our best. Not just for ourselves,
We are Purple & Bold.
Together, we will forge an exemplary future for Albion College. We are incomparable. We are unstoppable.
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Campaign Leadership These visionary leaders have propelled our College forward over the last five years to equip us with a remarkable foundation of gifts. With gratitude we launch the most transformative campaign in the history of Albion College. We celebrate all donors and salute those who contribute at the leadership level during this campaign period.
Campaign Co-Chairs Julie Serra
Margaret Meyer Sindt, ’73
Lisa Wilson, ’79
Joseph Serra, ’82
Conrad Sindt, ’69
James Wilson, ’77
Leaders in Giving Robert, ’70, and Deborah Armitage Anonymous Kevin, ’86, and Essie Asher Austin Baidas, ’92 Shirley, ’53, and Philip Battershall Sally Beal Weiss, ’74 Muriel, ’51*, and James Benedict, ’51 Helen, ’41*, and Charles Burns, ’40 Victor* and Margery Burstein Ruth, ’38*, and R. William Caldwell James Carr, ’81 and Diane Sentkeresty Carr, ’81 Roger Chope, ’68 Geoffrey and Sarah Cocks Glenn, ’61, and Nan Dalsimer Corliss, ’63 Lois Carpenter, ’83, and Keith Costello Karl, ’75, and Nancy Couyoumjian, ’75 Harold, ’21*, and Miriam Covert Nick Cucinella, ’01 Sarah S. ’75, and Alexander M. Cutler Brett Decker, ’93 Cedric, ’54, and June Luke Dempsey, ’54 William, ’74, and Karen Dobbins, ’74 Quince, ’75, and Patsy Donahey David, ’71, and Mary Ann Stokes Egnatuk, ’76
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Ernst & Young Foundation Ernst & Young LLP Edna Fairbanks, ’51* William C., ’52*, and Joyce G. Ferguson Faith Fowler, ’81 Charles, ’77, and Julie Frayer, ’77 Lynne Futter Gilmore, ’74 Robert Gamage, ’69 Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation Jane L. Gilmore, ’79 Beth Goebel, ’55 Meg Goebel, ’79 Janet Goudie, ’64 Stephen, ’74, and Susan Brochu Greenhalgh, ’75 Michael, ’63*, and Barbara Grice Harold R. Gronseth, ’52* Donald Haffner, ’72, and Carol Benson Beverly Hannett-Price, ’58 R. Bruce, ’67, and Jane Harper Michael, ’85, and Judy Harrington, ’86 Mark, ’63*, and Judith Hector Robert B. Hetler, ’64, and Gail Snyder Hetler, ’68 Larry, ’70, and Ann Shih Hoellwarth Spencer, ’62, and Nancy Holmes, ’62
PURPLE & BOLD
David, ’70, and Kate Johnson Michael, ’81, and Chris Kabot Timothy Kabot, ’76, and Linda Hime Bruce, ’53, and Peggy Kresge, ’53 Robert, ’71, and Sarah Kuehl Roger Landrum, ’59* Jean Laughlin, ’50 Kathy, ’77, and Brian Lee Ray Loeschner, ’53 Norris, ‘64, and Susan March, ’66 Katie Matick, ’62 C. Robert, ’63, and Sara Maxfield, ’64 Brian, ’78, and Janet McPheely, ’77 Michigan Colleges Alliance William Miller, ’66* Geoffrey Morris, ’66* Robert Musser, III, ’86, and Marlee Brown Mark, ’77, and Jo Ann Newell Gary, ’57, and Peggy Noble* Beverly, ’54, and Clark Noirot Arlene, ’33*, and Chauncey Norton, ’34 Jeffrey Ott, ’86, and Mary Ann Sabo Nancy Overholt, ’74 Jeffrey, ’85, and Gina Petherick Kip, ’59, and Wendy Petherick, ’60* Mark Sheldon Putnam, ’41*, and Mildred Plate Putnam, ’41 Elizabeth Huckle Rader* William, ’70, and Barbara Rafaill, ’72 George, ’65, and Rebecca Ristow Keith Roberts, ’81
Larry, ’59, and Sally Robson, ’59 Lawrence, ’72, and Frances Schook Jeffrey Schragg, ’82 Joseph, ’82, and Julie Serra Samuel, ’88, and Holly Shaheen J. Donald, ’82, and Angela Sheets, ’82 Katherine Shindel, ’67 Jacqueline and Gary Shuk Conrad, ’69, and Margaret Meyer Sindt, ’73 Richard Smith, ’68, and Soon-Young Yoon Stafford and Janice Smith Marilyn Snodgrass, ’49* William K. Stoffer, ’74 Charles J. Strosacker Foundation Murray, ’56, and Jean Penzotti Swindell, ’58 James Taup, ’59 Lawrence and Jean Taylor Howard, ’42*, and Cecilia Thomas Harry A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Casper Uldriks, ’73, and Evandro Fontoura John, ’61*, and Karen Munro Vournakis, ’66 Dennis, ’74, and Joyce Wahr Weatherwax Foundation Jeff, ’75, and Cheri Lee Weedman, ’77 Barbara A. Weiskittel, ’83 Linda and Richard Wells, ’67 Kurt, ’78, and Barbara Swancutt Wiese, ’78 James, ’77, and Donna Williams Lisa, ’79, and James Wilson, ’77 Jess Womack, ’65 Timothy, ’91, and Jennifer Wyman, ’90
Board of Trustees J. Donald Sheets, ’82, Chair Kevin F. Asher, ’86 David A. Bard Joseph S. Calvaruso, ’78 Chelsei Carpenter, ’19 Mauri A. Ditzler Mae Ola Dunklin Alena Farooq, ’18 Faith E. Fowler, ’81
Douglas Goering Kate Hao, ’99 Michael J. Harrington, ’85 Paul Huth, ’77 Madison Kase, ’18 Thomas L. Ludington, ’76 Allison Maki, ’97 Brian McPheely, ’78 Joanne (Joey) Miller, ’75
Mark E. Newell, ’77 Jeffrey A. Ott, ’86 Jeffrey C. Petherick, ’85 Lawrence B. Schook, ’72 Samuel J. Shaheen, ’88 Dennis W. Wahr, ’74 Jeffrey D. Weedman, ’75 Michael E. Williams, ’78 Jeffrey Youle, ’81
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Being Purple & Bold – Ways to Participate Each and every member of the Albion College family—alumni and friends, faculty and staff, current students and their families—is already a part of Purple & Bold! Additionally, there are many opportunities for Britons to deepen their connections to the College through the campaign effort. Engagement opportunities include: • Providing professional networking and encouragement to current students through the Briton Network; • Nominating classmates for the Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards; • Self-nominations or nominations of a classmate for service on the Alumni Association Board of Directors; • Referring prospective students to Albion, and encouraging them to apply; • Attending alumni events in your area, or even considering to host an Albion Everywhere location in March 2020; • Getting involved in your local alumni chapter, or starting a new one; • Following Albion College on social media, and spreading the news about the Purple & Bold campaign using the hashtag #PurpleAndBold; • Keeping your contact information up to date; • Making a generous gift to the Purple & Bold campaign. To get engaged in a specific area of interest, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. And stay connected to Purple & Bold by visiting (and bookmarking) the campaign microsite, albion.edu/bold.
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Io Triumphe! EDITOR John Perney DESIGNER Katherine Mueting Hibbs CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chuck Carlson, Jake Weber, Aura Ware, ’22 CLASS NOTES WRITERS Kim Fisher, Jake Weber, Eryn Star, ’21 MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Erik Lyman, Eric Westmoreland 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 St. Albion, MI 49224 email@example.com 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! ALBION COLLEGE’S MISSION Albion College is an undergraduate, liberal arts institution committed to academic excellence. We are learning-centered and recognize that valuable learning takes place in and outside the classroom, on and off campus. We prepare students to translate critical thought into action. FIND MORE ONLINE: www.albion.edu
Transfer your donor-advised fund or personal foundation to the new Albion College Donor-Advised Fund Program – you may see your dollars do a lot more! Albion College now offers a donor-advised fund (DAF), providing opportunities to support the College, and other charitable organizations, with a single contribution. The cost is below what many investment organizations offer, and the impact is life-changing! Consider opening a new account, or transferring your existing DAF or foundation account, to create your own individual or family Albion College Donor-Advised Fund. Our DAF offers very competitive rates and flexibility; it’s a benefit to both you and Albion College. For more information, please contact Wendy Miller Bueche at 517/629-1835 or email DonorAdvisedFund@albion.edu.
Connect with students, faculty, staff, and alumni through Albion College’s social media channels.
Office of Marketing and Communications 611 East Porter Street Albion, MI 49224
A Campaign for Albion College
Io Triumphe! The magazine for alumni, parents, and friends of Albion College.