Centralight, Central Michigan University Alumni Magazine, Winter 2020

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to give back CMU alumni support today’s students and programs in ways that reflect their own campus experiences

Centralight Winter 2020

Features On the cover

Students, faculty and staff are wearing face masks and practicing social distancing on campus, working to keep everyone safe. PHOTO BY ADAM




From efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion to gifts that uplift entire departments, alumni are giving back to CMU in ways that are meaningful to them.

While the pandemic has temporarily halted in-person events, CMU’s alumni engagement team has created ways for everyone to stay connected, from Zoom trivia to virtual Grandparents U.

CMU giving


Museum’s 50th anniversary For 50 years, the Museum of Cultural and Natural History has served as a lab for students enrolled in CMU’s museum studies minor and public history major. Their work documents and showcases the history of the university and the surrounding region.


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Virtual alumni events

Editor’s note Some of the photos in this issue were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, don’t reflect current social distancing and masking requirements.

Executive Editor and Executive Director of Alumni Relations Marcie Otteman, ’87 Editor

Betsy Miner-Swartz, ’86 Managing Editor

Robin Miner-Swartz Graphic Designer Erin Rivard, ’07, MBA ’16 Photographers

Steve Jessmore, ’81 Adam Sparkes


Big Picture


Terri Finch Hamilton, ’83 Jeff Johnston, ’91 Robin Miner-Swartz Research Associate Bryan Whitledge Editorial Assistant Jean Rau Vice President for Advancement Heidi Tracy Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer John Veilleux For advertising information Call Cindy Jacobs, ’93 (800) 358-6903

Stay connected

After-sunset surveys allow CMU researchers to identify species of frogs and toads present in Michigan wetlands, helping monitor the health of the Great Lakes’ ecosystem.

Send change of address information to: Alumni Relations Carlin Alumni House Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859 Phone: (800) 358-6903 Fax: (989) 774-7159 Email: alumni@cmich.edu Web: cmich.edu/alumni/Centralight

Departments 4 CMU Today After a nationwide search, Amy Folan is CMU’s new Director of Athletics. 28 Alumni Award Winners 30 10 Within 10 34 Alumni News A CMU grad left nearly $10 million to his alma mater.

35 Alumni Association Board of Directors 37 In Memory 40 Do You Remember

Centralight is published three times each year by the Central Michigan University Office of Alumni Relations. It is printed by Printing Services, Mount Pleasant, and entered at the Mount Pleasant Post Office under nonprofit mailing. CMU, an AA/EO institution, provides equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see cmich.edu/ocrie). Copies of Centralight are distributed to alumni and friends of the university who are paid Gold Members or donors to CMU. A virtual edition of the magazine is available free online at alumni.cmich.edu/centralight. UComm 10159–24,000+ (11/20)

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OPPORTUNITY Become a Gold Member, and receive over 60,000 benefits


forever maroon and gold CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. 10129 (8/20)


Navigating a school year like no other Students, faculty, staff embraced pandemic-fueled change As we gear up to welcome winter, I’m reflecting on what probably has been the strangest fall that I’ve ever experienced on CMU’s campus. Mother Nature did not disappoint, of course, dressing our campus in her favorite colors of maroon and gold. But the parking lots were only half full, as COVID-19 restrictions changed the way we navigated the fall semester. The students were wearing masks. And the things I typically get excited about each fall — like football games and the sheer buzz of a new year on campus — were missing. Marcie Otteman, ’87, Executive Director of Alumni Relations

We navigated how to learn differently, engage creatively and connect virtually. But the determination and tenacity from our faculty, staff and students to not only have a fall semester but to embrace the changes as much as possible felt welcome and familiar. Even in the face of a global health pandemic, exciting things continue to happen here at CMU, including the historic announcement of our first female athletic director, Amy Folan. Amy joined us in October and already is making major strides. I’m excited to introduce you to inspiring alumni in this issue who are making a difference for our students. They’re using their financial commitment to ensure our students are supported every day of their academic careers. Did someone say pivot? The alumni team has pivoted to virtual events, hosting trivia and happy hours along with wine

tastings and brewery tours. They’ve turned our face-to-face experiences into engaging online options that alumni near and far are enjoying. Be sure to check in on all the fun things they have happening in cyberspace! Finally, I’m excited to introduce a new recurring feature. In our fall issue, we invited CMU President Bob Davies to write about the power of higher education. You enjoyed it so much and you asked for more — and we are happy to deliver. His first piece appears below. I’m personally looking forward to reading his column in each issue. Here’s to finally closing the books on 2020 and looking forward to a fresh new year in 2021! Stay well and stay Fired UP!

Alumni engagement matters You are CMU’s best form of advertising I am honored and thankful to have this new column in Centralight to update you, our valued alumni and friends, on the exciting things happening President Bob Davies here at Central Michigan University. Behind every great university is a powerful network of engaged alumni. Through your leadership in your profession and in your community, you demonstrate to others what it means to be a CMU Chippewa — and you are a more powerful form of advertising than any billboard or commercial. You are living, breathing examples of the power of

a CMU education in action. The example you set — for both future and current students — is a vital part of the CMU story, and we need your engagement. While the ongoing pandemic has made some traditional activities challenging, alumni still can show their support for CMU. Here are a few ways you can make a difference: • Seek out fellow CMU Chippewas in your workplace. Invite them to celebrate Fire Up Fridays with you by wearing your favorite maroon and gold attire. • Help us recruit the next CMU graduate: Tell a high school or community college student about your experiences at CMU, and encourage them to apply. • Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and like, share and retweet my posts. Spread the good news about CMU to your circle of friends.

• Recruit a CMU student to serve as an intern in your place of employment, or hire a recent graduate. • Make a financial contribution to a student scholarship or other student support fund, such as the Student Emergency Fund or Student Food Pantry, and pay it forward for a fellow CMU Chippewa. • Participate in alumni events and activities, and invite your friends to join you. Until we can safely meet again in person, I look forward to seeing you virtually at upcoming events and activities. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to support your university. Be well, and as always, Fire Up Chips!

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CMU TODAY Amy Folan named to lead Central Michigan Athletics New director brings experience and passion After a nationwide search, Amy Folan is CMU’s new Zyzelewski Family Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics. She brings to CMU extensive experience in collegiate athletics, with special focus on fundraising and compliance. Folan joins CMU from the University of Texas at Austin, where she spent more than two decades with the athletic department. Most recently, she led the athletic department’s fundraising arm while working as executive senior associate athletics director. U-T Austin is in the Big 12 conference with a student body of about 40,000. “I am thrilled to welcome Amy Folan to Central Michigan University and the Mount Pleasant community,” President Bob Davies said. “Our goal was to find a person who would continue, if not steepen, our upward trajectory. Amy’s past accomplishments

CMU names Staff Excellence honorees President praises 14 for leadership and service Central Michigan University celebrated 14 employees as 2019-20 Staff Excellence Award honorees for their outstanding service to the university and its students. President Bob Davies presented the awards in a series of small-group meetings to adhere to social distancing practices. “Our passionate and dedicated staff make it possible for Central Michigan University to carry out its student-centered mission,” Davies said. “I am proud of each of our award recipients and the countless others who lead and lift up our community.” Winners are nominated by peers and colleagues for exemplary service to others. 4

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A committee of past winners selects the honorees for excellence on the job, serving people well, communication skills, courage and effectiveness, passion for CMU, and modeling inclusiveness and respect. This year’s award recipients are: Mark Blackmer, maintenance and repair technician in the School of Engineering and Technology. Nel Boose, director, enrollment and financial operations for Education and Human Services. Bernadette Cesena, executive secretary in Communication. Nicole Ferguson, director, clinical instruction and audiology services

and proven leadership skills will have an immediate and positive impact.” Davies also recognized Folan’s ability to tackle tough issues and turn them around, calling her a well-respected leader who will be an outstanding representative of CMU Athletics, its student-athletes and the entire university community. “An incredible passion for student-athletes, combined with her experience and leadership in fundraising and compliance, positioned her as the best fit to take our athletics program to the next level.” “Central Michigan is a tradition-rich program with an incredible record of success, and I look forward to working with our student-athletes, coaches, university and surrounding communities, fans and supporters to build on the CMU tradition of excellence and continue to raise the bar,” Folan said. Folan, who succeeds Michael Alford, is the eighth athletics director at CMU since 1940. She and her husband, Joseph, have two children, Anelio and Giada. •

in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Angela Fulk, executive secretary in Physics. Kayla HarberBates, assistant director, admissions in Undergraduate Admissions. Gary Lane, technology manager II, academic computing in the Office of Information Technology. Heidi Mahon, director, student services, advising student services in the College of Science and Engineering. Jared Peless, software architect, development and maintenance in the Office of Information Technology.

Sarah Scoby, coordinator, events and communications, Curriculum and Instructional Support. Andrew Starner, multimedia web developer, learning media production, Curriculum and Instructional Support. Barbara Steffke, coordinator/online course production, learning management systems, Curriculum and Instructional Support. Jennifer Stilwell, technology project manager III, project management in the Office of Information Technology. Michelle Veith, director, Student Disability Services.•

CMU’s engineering technology programs earn national accreditation

Emeritus faculty member joins Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Mechanical, industrial tech programs join growing list of academic fields with ABET credentials

Michigan Association of Broadcasters honors William ‘Rick’ Sykes

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology has added CMU’s mechanical engineering technology and industrial engineering technology programs to its list of accredited programs. They join the growing list of ABET-accredited programs at CMU that includes the computer, electrical and mechanical engineering programs.

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has inducted Central Michigan University emeritus faculty member William “Rick” Sykes into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame and presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This accreditation for our … programs demonstrates rigor, relevance and excellence in the education and experiences we provide to our students,” said Kumar Yelamarthi, director of CMU’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Sykes, ’73, M.A. ’80, began his broadcasting career in his hometown of Saginaw at WNEM-TV in 1973. He moved to WDIV-TV in Detroit in 1982 and to a regional public relations firm in Detroit in 1990.

ABET is a nongovernmental organization that accredits programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

In 1996, Sykes joined what is now CMU’s School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts. He taught news and sports-related courses for 24 years and oversaw the student-produced News Central 34 during its 17-year streak as the MAB Foundation’s station of the year. He also has been a member and chairman of the MAB Foundation board of directors.

“ABET accreditation provides assurance that the CMU engineering technology programs meet the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates,” Yelamarthi said. This accreditation extends retroactively from Oct. 1, 2017. •

In 2010, Sykes earned CMU’s Excellence in Teaching Award. “We are very proud of Rick and his many contributions to our college, CMU and the broadcasting field,” said Elizabeth Kirby, interim dean of the College of the Arts and Media. Sykes is credited with helping scores of future broadcasters get their start. Established in 2001, the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame recognizes broadcasters for leadership, achievements and contributions to their local communities. Hall of Fame inductees are chosen based on distinguished professional careers in Michigan broadcasting. •

Study links COVID-19, rare syndrome in children CMU pediatrician co-authors New England Journal of Medicine article It was April 26, 2020, when Dr. Sabrina Heidemann — a Central Michigan University pediatrician based in metro Detroit — first suspected COVID-19 exposure might cause a rare and serious inflammatory disease in children. “I started writing a case report that day. By nighttime, a few of my

colleagues started texting about the same suspicions.” Heidemann co-authored a research article published in July in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine exploring MIS-C: multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The researchers found that MIS-C can threaten previously healthy children and adolescents. “It became apparent there were children admitted to the pediatric ICU with inflammation affecting the heart and skin, and causing an increase in markers of inflammation,” Heidemann said. Their manuscript explores the cases of 186 MIS-C patients, four of whom died.

Heidemann continues to study MIS-C as part of the COVID-19 investigator group working to better understand the syndrome and treatment. As director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and co-director of the transport team at Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Heidemann is a member of the new Detroit-based CMU Clinical Research Institute. The institute is a partnership between CMU’s College of Medicine and University Pediatricians to improve children’s health care across Michigan through research. She has been an attending physician at Children’s Hospital since 1992. • Centralight Winter ’20



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purpose Alumni support fueled by personal connections BY TERRI FINCH HAMILTON ’83

Alumni don’t usually give money just because they loved football games, the autumn colors at Warriner Hall or the tasty popcorn chicken bowls from Fresh Food Co. The inspiration goes deeper. Phil Allen discovered a grounding in philosophy that shaped his life’s work — and his life. Larry Burns and the children’s foundation he leads see a CMU purpose that matches their own. Deirdre Drake and Lester Booker Jr. rally for the inclusion that sometimes eluded them on campus. This is personal. > Centralight Winter ’20


‘We need change agents on campus’ Young alum’s scholarship fuels diversity and inclusion Lester Booker Jr. grew up on the east side of Detroit, but when he was 12 his family moved to a predominantly white community in Canton. “It was culture shock,” he said. “I was one of just a few people who looked like me.” He played football and was on the Canton Township Youth Advisory Council. “I got to know people as people,” he said. “That broke down a lot of stereotypes.” Booker, ’08, ’10, continued that mission as a student at CMU, working in Multicultural Academic Student Services, planning events such as a Martin Luther King Jr. community peace brunch. He was a multicultural advisor in Thorpe Hall and was a resident assistant in Fabiano Hall. Not long after graduation, Booker set a goal for himself: start a CMU scholarship by the time he turned 35. Done.

Booker celebrated his 35th birthday in August with a fundraiser, asking friends and family to contribute to the Lester Booker Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund for Diversity and Inclusion. The $2,500 scholarship is awarded annually to a student passionate about the issues close to Booker’s heart, preferably from Detroit. Booker, who works in global communications at General Motors, has high hopes for the recipients. “They’ll be part of the culture of campus,” he said. “They’ll stand up for what’s right. Maybe they’re in a residence hall and they hear somebody say something they shouldn’t. And they speak up. They challenge conversations. Maybe they become an RA on campus like I was and create programming for students and create an environment where everybody feels heard. “That’s the kind of leaders I hope these students are.”


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Meanwhile, they’ll get a financial boost to finish college. Booker calls this “a pivotal time” to encourage motivated students to attend CMU. “We have racial tension across the country,” he said. “We need change agents on campus. This is the time for people to come together and appreciate people for people.” He calls it “crucial for the success of CMU.” “I had an amazing experience at CMU,” Booker said. “I want CMU to remain true to who it is. If I can help sow treasure and time into it, I will, so that same experience can be available to others — especially to people who look like me. “In 10 years, I can’t wait to hear about their achievements and journeys,” he said. “That will be really gratifying.”

Paying it forward by opening doors Alum’s ‘full-circle story’ provides students access and optimism Deirdre Drake went to CMU with a scholarship designed to bring more people of color to campus. She graduated without debt, thanks to donors who supported a young woman from Flint who had little means but great aspirations. Now she’s paying it forward, funding a scholarship administered by CMU’s Office of Institutional Diversity. “When I started thinking of ways to give back, it seemed natural to do it in a similar way,” said Drake, ’89, executive vice president and chief people officer for UScellular in Chicago. “My vision is it will go to kids who are a lot like me, in many respects. My parents didn’t go to college and weren’t sure if their kids would, either. I’d like to help a student who may not fully appreciate the doors that are opened by a post-high-school education.” Drake likes to talk about optimism and hope. When somebody who doesn’t even know you believes enough in you to help fund your education, it inspires both. Out of about 16,000 students at CMU in 1984, she said, she was one of just 300 African Americans. Life on campus wasn’t always easy. But she bonded with other students, made lifelong friends and flourished as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, a source of strength and support. “For every moment of isolation, there was a moment of inclusion,” she said. Her successful 33-year career in human resources started in the CMU School of Business, “and I can’t say enough about that foundation,” Drake said. “It opened up a whole new world. I learned how to rally people to collaborate and do good work in teams.” Drake rallied a sea of CMU graduates in December 2018 when she was commencement speaker, stressing the importance of adding character to the knowledge they gained at Central. Be caring. Treat people with respect. Be fair. Give your time, talent and money.

“The older I get, the more aware I am of the importance of motivating other people,” she said. “It’s important, as we all think about our philanthropy, to carve some space for education.” She calls her CMU experience “a full-circle story.”

She takes her own advice.

“Who knew what worlds would get opened up to me when I ventured off that campus from the foundation that CMU provided for me?” she said.

“I want to help CMU continue to thrive,” Drake said. “Every penny counts.

Now, she looks forward to inspiring future students “to feel limitless opportunity by choosing CMU.”

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A thoughtful gift $500K donation honors influential philosophy professor’s work When Phil Allen was a kindergarten teacher in Mount Pleasant, he wore holes in his jeans from scooting around the room on his knees. He wanted to be on his young students’ level.

“There isn’t any direct application, except to teach it,” Allen admitted. It doesn’t give you the skill sets to a career, he said, but it teaches you how to think.

Since then, in a multifaceted career, he’s been a leader in the Michigan Education Association, brokered business deals from Cuba to Kolkata, helped take Papa John’s Pizza to Russia, masterminded telecom deals in China and bought a 150-acre organic hemp farm in Colorado.

“It gives you the ability to analyze data, to make sound judgments and to evaluate other judgments that might not be sound.

When he decided to donate $500,000 to CMU, he gave it to the philosophy department. What’s the meaning of that? It makes perfect sense to Allen, ’74, ’75, ’80, who majored in philosophy and social science at CMU. “Most of my successes and my ability to cope with the challenges of life are because of an understanding of the meaning of life — philosophy,” he said. “Philosophy stretched my mind.” You expect philosophers to be deep and mysterious. Allen is matter of fact, dislikes small talk and did away with naps in his kindergarten class, sending all his young students home with their nap rugs. “The nap was clearly meeting the teachers’ needs, not the kids’,” he noted. Allen knows not everybody thinks philosophy is a smart career move. Phil Allen (top) and Dr. Nolan Kaiser.


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“Philosophy won’t make you a living,” he said, “but it’s a tool to live a better life.” Allen thinks everybody can benefit from philosophy. That’s why he didn’t designate his donation toward a scholarship, but to the philosophy department in general, for projects and programming. Allen donated the money in honor of an influential philosophy professor, Dr. Nolan Kaiser, who lost his sight and his left hand at age 14 while replicating one of Thomas Edison’s chemistry experiments too close to the gas stove. Kaiser went on to earn a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Michigan and taught at CMU for more than 40 years. After Allen worked as Kaiser’s teaching assistant, they became great friends. Now he hopes CMU’s philosophy professors can inspire the next generation. “Philosophy gave me the self-confidence and strength to be bold, daring and creative,” Allen said. “I think everybody should take philosophy and be exposed to thoughts, experiences and ideas, just for personal growth.”

Larry Burns (right) talks with Dr. George E. Kikano for the Children’s Foundation’s child development and health podcast aimed at health care providers, clinicians and educators.

An innovative partnership ‘If you lead with integrity and transparency, money will follow’ Larry Burns is a proud CMU graduate and says, “Fire Up!” as robustly as the next guy.

lead clinical research to further the robust work to help kids thrive physically and emotionally.

But that’s not why the foundation he heads generously supports the CMU College of Medicine.

The Children’s Foundation also awarded a $50,000 grant to support a series of educational podcasts for health care providers, clinicians and educators about child development and health issues.

Burns, ’78, looks at Central and sees potential to improve kids’ health and their lives. It’s the same mission he has as president and CEO of the Children’s Foundation, a Detroit nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of Michigan children. Now, with an innovative partnership that includes CMU’s College of Medicine, The Children’s Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and University Pediatricians — a large group of pediatric specialists based at the children’s hospital — the potential for improving the physical and mental health of young people is even bigger, Burns said. And he believes it’s potential worth supporting. The Children’s Foundation has funded three endowed chairs that allow the hiring of expert professionals to

Burns loves that colleges all over the CMU campus collaborate to produce the podcasts, from arts and media to education and human services to health professions. “A podcast can spread information not just far and wide, but quickly,” Burns said. The podcasts are just one example of how CMU’s medical school is building an area of expertise around children’s health and wellness, said Dr. George E. Kikano, dean of the CMU College of Medicine and CMU vice president for health affairs. As CMU’s College of Medicine expands its reach, its mission and its partnerships, funding like this comes at a perfect time, Kikano said.

“We couldn’t do this without the Children’s Foundation support,” Kikano said. Research is expensive, he said. So is hiring top-notch experts to head key areas of the medical school’s infrastructure. The money is crucial, Kikano said, but he loves that this partnership is about more than funding. “There’s alignment of mission, and open dialogue,” Kikano said. “Money is a byproduct of that. If you lead with money, that’s the wrong approach. If you lead with integrity and transparency, money will follow.” “The real power of this, the exciting potential, is these four entities working together,” Burns said. “You don’t often see that in health care. It can be very territorial. It strengthens the CMU brand. “Some alumni said, ‘Why do we need to start a medical school?’ Stories like this exemplify why,” Burns said. “CMU’s medical school is different. Alumni need to know it’s working.” •

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GETS CREATIVE From trivia nights to Grandparents U at home, school spirit gets a virtual boost BY TERRI FINCH HAMILTON ’83

It’s ’90s trivia night for CMU alumni, and the questions come fast, so stay on your toes. Whose ear did Mike Tyson take a bite out of during a boxing match? How many Spice Girls were in the group? What year did “Friends” premiere on NBC? Monica takes the lead, then Jennifer steals it with a question about the Goosebumps book series. It’s a spirited alumni event, but there’s no clinking of beer glasses or communal munching of chicken wings and sliders. This gathering is virtual — just like all alumni events since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. Still, there’s a ton of alumni fun going on — just grab your laptop. Trivia not your thing? How about a whiskey tasting and distillery tour on Zoom? Interested in a Facebook group for ’90s CMU grads? More than 10,000 alumni were, and the group is growing. Even the popular Grandparents U, an event that brings more than 200 alumni and their grandchildren to campus for three days of fun each summer, was virtual. But the fun was real.

‘We’ve got this’ Brittany Milan, ’11, ’14, Katie Neu, ’16, ’19, and Summer Sharrard, ’18, are CMU’s effervescent alumni engagement team. They plan all sorts of alumni fun, from rousing Detroit Red Wings games to alumni cruises, tours and tastings. They thrive on meeting and greeting. But in March, they got the disappointing news: No more in-person events for a while. At top, Margie Cole leads a virtual kickboxing class. Below, alumni gather on Zoom for a virtual trivia night. 12

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“Suddenly, we had to find a different way to engage people,” Sharrard said. “Then, the creative light bulb came on. We said, ‘We’ve got this. We can do it.’ ” >

Grandparents U — in a box Grandparents U is three days of fun on campus filled with tie-dyeing T-shirts, taking cool classes and bunking in the residence halls. “Instead of canceling, we brought the experience to the grandparents,” Milan said.

Montoye, ’14, is her CMU connection. “When I heard it would be virtual, I thought, all that neat stuff we did in person — how can we rival that in our own home? But I’m a glass-half-full person. I thought, ‘Let’s see what they have up their sleeve.’” She and husband Tom hosted grandkids Noah, 10, and sister Charlotte, 8, for two days of fun at their Greenville, Michigan, home. Then they did it all over again for granddaughter Emily, 9.

game for video tastings, too, showing alumni how to appreciate a good whiskey by first smelling the layered scents of it on their hands before they take a sip. They made cocktails first, to enjoy during the tour.

They tie-dyed shirts, crafted fleece blankets, painted rocks and flower pots, watched movies, munched popcorn and giggled around a campfire — all at their own pace. Noah squeezed a bunch of lemons and baked his first-ever lemon bread. When life hands you lemons, you bake lemon bread, right? Jean Rau and her grandchildren, Gabe and Evelyn, participate in Grandparents U.

They sent Grandparents U to families, delivered in boxes and online. Plain white T-shirts and packets of maroon and gold dye. Recipes for dessert pizzas. A slew of activity ideas, from a neighborhood wildlife safari to at-home bowling.

“The main thing is we were together,” Kohn said. “We loved the time spent with them, the jokes made, the laughter. To watch them learn things was a treat. “It’s more fun to be on campus, of course, but we had a great time.”

Whiskey tasting on Zoom

Garrett walked them through it. No bar tools? No problem. Muddle that orange peel with a kitchen utensil. Alumni sporting maroon and gold sipped their drinks, asked questions and typed greetings to each other in the chat box.

How do you attend a whiskey tasting and distillery tour without going to where the booze is? Hello, Zoom.

Christine Kohn, grandmother of seven, was up for it. She and several grandkids had attended the event on campus in the past. It was always a highlight of the summer. “I figured they just wouldn’t have it this year,” said Kohn, whose daughter, Laura

Detroit City Distillery and CMU’s alumni engagement team brought the tasting to 60 alumni from Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and California. They sent CMU-branded rocks glasses to participants, along with a shopping list of cocktail ingredients. The distillery’s “whiskey factory” tours are usually in person, led by brand ambassador Garrett Passiak. But he’s

“Everybody was connecting and saying, ‘Fire Up!’” said Alyssa Young, ’14, distillery events planner. “It was a really neat experience. “They couldn’t be here in person to touch, smell and taste, but it’s nice to know we can still engage and connect in all these ways we might not have thought were possible,” Young said. “One day, we’ll all be able to get back together again.” >

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Facebook fun Mary Hutter, ’98, was feeling nostalgic about CMU one night at her home outside Seattle and looked for a ’90s CMU alumni Facebook page. “I wanted to see pictures and memories from college,” she said. But there wasn’t one. So, she started it. That was in June. By August, it had 10,000 members.

Alumni gather on Zoom for trivia night.

“I think it grew so fast because of COVID,” said Hutter, a video editor. “People need more interaction with other people. And everybody’s home more, so they have time to dig out old photos from college.” (Cue the curling-iron bangs.) “CMU was a really great time in my life,” Hutter said. “I found myself. I found my people.” She even found her future husband, Seth Triezenberg, ’00, at Larzelere Hall. No talk of politics or coronavirus allowed, Hutter said. But post all you want about Big Burrito or The Bird. Not a ’90s alum? Groups for other decades have since sprung up.

Something for everybody Other virtual events have focused on alumni needs, from a panel discussion on how to job search during a recession to resources and tech tips for teachers suddenly faced with teaching online. Four generations of Susan Schaefer’s family held their version of Grandparents U at Houghton Lake. Detroit City Distillery led a virtual cocktail class.

The alumni engagement trio called on departments all over campus to contribute tips. Like 10-year-old Noah, everybody’s putting lemons to good use. “Not seeing alumni in person has been really difficult for me,” Neu said. “But we love being able to engage alumni in this way, to see how happy people are to see each other. It’s so nice to have some sense of normalcy.”

‘This is in our wheelhouse now’ “When we return to face-to-face events, whenever that will be, we’ll still do virtual events, too,” Sharrard said. “This is in our wheelhouse now. “With a virtual event, you can be the only alum in a city and still attend,” she said. “That kind of contact with alumni is really cool to see.” During these times of social distancing, their mission to connect with alumni is even more important, Neu said. “Folks feel that Central is their home,” Neu said. “You meet lifelong friends, maybe your life partner, your children’s godparents. It’s a huge, shared experience. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. “Central stays with you for life.” Oh, and in case you were playing along: • Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear during a boxing match. • There were five Spice Girls. • “Friends” premiered on NBC in 1994. •


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‘I Survived’ shirts connect ’90s alumni Fun tee raises more than $4K for campus groups BY TERRI FINCH HAMILTON, ’83 If you survived the 1990s in Mount Pleasant, there’s a shirt for that. Actually, a few hundred. When a member of the CMU 1990s Facebook page suggested they should get matching T-shirts, Ian Schulz, ’94, ’95, volunteered to design one. The St. Clair Shores art teacher majored in graphic design before he earned his teaching degree. The shirt — featuring flames, a small heart and “I Survived the ’90s in Mt. Pleasant” — was a big hit. So was the suggestion to make it a fundraiser for Central students. The sale of 559 shirts raised $4,310, with most of the proceeds going to two campus groups: the CMU Student Food Pantry and the CMU Student Emergency Fund.

“They’re both groups that are really needed these days, now more than ever,” Schulz said. “It’s just a hard time for everybody. During these crazy times, everybody should support everybody else.” The Facebook group members agreed a portion of the sales would also buy much-needed art supplies for Schulz’s elementary school students, who can no longer share supplies due to COVID-19. As the shirts started arriving in the mail, things got fun. People started posting photos of themselves wearing their shirts in all corners of the country. Alumni wore the shirts to CMU during move-in week as they moved their kids into residence halls. Some discovered long-lost friends. On the ’90s alumni Facebook page, Schulz connected with his freshman-year roommate whom he hadn’t talked to in 25 years. “These shirts, and the Facebook page, help everybody connect,” he said. “The fact that it raised money for good causes makes it even better.” •

Centralight Winter ’20




Centralight Winter ’20



YOUR SOURCE for CMU gear! CMU Bookstore Winter Hours Monday-Thursday 8-6 Friday 8-5 Saturday 10-3

989-774-7493 800-283-0234

Photos by Jerrod Brownson

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CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight (see http://www.cmich.edu/ocrie). Ucomm 10157

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Centralight Winter ’20

Great Lakes coastal wetlands are home to frogs and toads, and researchers in Thomas Gehring’s biology lab have spent a decade completing after-sunset surveys there. The surveys take place five times at each Michigan wetland assigned for the summer. Researchers identify species of frogs and toads present by watching and listening. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds the surveys through the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program. Researchers learn about the health of the Great Lakes by studying the wetlands. PHOTO BY ADAM


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SHARE YOUR STORY, and help us celebrate!

2021 is our 50th anniversary of bringing innovative degree programs to working students.

If you’re one of our more than 75,000 graduates who earned your degree from a distance, we want to hear from you. Whether you took your classes at one of our satellite locations, online or received packets in the mail, we want to celebrate your success. Visit global.cmich.edu/GCAlumni, and share your memories and achievements. Let us know how our distance learning programs helped you get where you are today.

Fire Up Chips!

» global.cmich.edu/GCAlumni » 877-268-4636 Central Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight (see http://www.cmich.edu/ocrie). 10158 10/20


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Food to fuel

student success Every day, some students at CMU struggle to meet their most basic needs. As many as 3,000 CMU students struggle with food insecurity. Students experiencing food insecurity drop or fail a class more frequently than their peers and are more likely to experience symptoms of depression. Without support, fewer than 20% of these students will complete their degree in five years or less.

Help CMU

stamp out student hunger

Since opening its doors in fall 2018, the CMU Student Food Pantry has distributed thousands of pounds of food to hundreds of students in need.

We need your support.

Your gift to the Student Food Pantry will help hundreds of CMU Chippewas overcome unexpected obstacles and stay on the path to graduation. Donations in any amount will help us stock the shelves and keep students in school and successful.

To donate online, visit go.cmualum.com/foodpantry CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities (see cmich.edu/OCRIE). UComm 10073

Let’s see what we

CAN CREATE TOGETHER. Graphic design services available. Ready for your next project? Submit your design request. Then we’ll work with you to make it happen. mgx.cmich.edu CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight.

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Museum of Cultural and Natural History marks 50 years of curating CMU’s story BY ROBIN MINER-SWARTZ


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A 1971 Volkswagen van nicknamed “Honey Bear” was used to promote a museum exhibit called “Kozmic Clash: Peace, love and outer space.”

The Museum of Cultural and Natural History at Central Michigan University is special. Sure, most museums probably regard themselves that way. But in this case, it’s true. The museum supports research and teaching in cultural and natural history and is a lab for students enrolled in CMU’s museum studies minor and public history major. It’s different from virtually every other university museum in the country, because it’s hands-on and student-centered. And this spring, it celebrates its 50th anniversary. “In most other museum studies programs, faculty teach, students learn, and it’s mostly filled with classroom work with little hands-on experience,” said Jay Martin, Ph.D., the museum’s director. “From the beginning, our program was the opposite — it was heavily focused on applied, hands-on student experiences.” The result — for its entire 50-year history — is that students have been central to the museum’s operations. “What we have is a museum that’s not composed of exhibits and programs primarily designed and implemented by museum professionals,” Martin said. “These are actual products of our students.” As the students prepare for jobs at museums, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, archives and more, they’re creating the exhibits and installations that tell the story of CMU and its surroundings. Part of that work includes curating items that showcase the student experience across the history of the university. “We’ve combined gifts of artifacts and specimens to our collection with an oral history,” Martin said. “We launched CMU’s first organized oral history project to capture stories of faculty, staff, alumni and community members to share the rich diversity of those stories.” One of Martin’s favorite encounters to emerge from that work is from Walter Beach, ’60. “As a kid, I had Coke bottlecaps with NFL players on them, and I had a Walter Beach. I kept it for years. When I came to CMU for work years later, I realized he was a CMU football player,” Martin said. “I still had the bottlecap, and I asked him if he had one. He didn’t, but said he’d love one.” Martin shared his with the former player for the Patriots and the Browns. “Many of our alumni are disconnected from CMU simply because we don’t always know their stories,” Martin said. “Sometimes, that comes through donating an object, but it’s extremely valuable for us to connect with them to personally hear and record their stories for future generations. “How great is it to know, years later, what all these people who’ve gone through CMU have accomplished?” >

What’s in your attic? If you’ve recently come across items from your days at CMU, the museum might be interested in including them in its collection. From a homecoming queen’s gown to that box full of items from your dorm desk, your attic might hold the museum’s next big find. The museum is selective about items accepted into the collection — obviously, storage space is at a premium — so the best way to find out if you have something to contribute is by contacting Jay Martin and his team. Call (989) 774-3829 or email marti6jc@cmich.edu.

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A Natural History of Michigan

See how glaciers shaped our lakes and terrain. Examine the bones of a 10,000-year-old mastodon unearthed near Troy. Explore the evolutionary process. Observe the results of early European contact with Native American groups through the exchange of pelts for manufactured goods. Explore logging camps around 1900. Get up close and personal with the wildlife and geology that make Michigan so special. >

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The museum’s main exhibit takes you on a tour of some of the highlights of Michigan’s past. Fifty display cases present snapshots of our natural wonders and human experiences.




Grizzly bears are among the most dangerous animals in North America. Still, they have more to fear from humans than humans have to fear from them. These two bears were hunted by Dean Dale and donated to the museum by his widow, Judy. >

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Centralight Winter ’20

Bohannon Schoolhouse When the Bohannon School was built in 1901, its first occupants could not have known that their school would still be fulfilling its intended role in education more than 100 years later. With its inkwells, McGuffey readers and wood-burning stove resting in the corner, the school is reminiscent of a long-ago era when the Golden Rule and the three R’s were the mainstays of education. Originally located in Jasper Township, near Midland, the school was brought to the CMU campus in 1970. The Museum of Cultural and Natural History staff and many dedicated friends worked to restore the building to its original state. Donated artifacts helped to make it complete. It now stands as a monument to rural education on the southwest corner of West Campus Drive and Preston Street on the campus of Central Michigan University. • Centralight Winter ’20


Honoring love of CMU in action National Alumni Awards recognize seven for making the most of Central connections BY JEFF JOHNSTON, ’91

They are seven of a kind — six individuals and one organization whose common trait is love and support for Central Michigan University. The 2020 National Alumni Award honorees were recognized virtually this year; an in-person event has been postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Please join me in congratulating them now through social media until we can celebrate their hard-earned accomplishment in the spring of 2021,” said Marcie Otteman, CMU executive director of alumni relations and development strategies. “These award recipients are a uniquely talented group.” Here are the honorees:

Robert Barclay Honorary Alumni Award

Barclay, host of “The Juke Joint” blues program for 35 years as a volunteer, loves to share his passion for the history of blues, soul, gospel and R&B music with listeners all over the world. He and his wife, Peggy Brisbane, spent over 30 years photographing the CMU community before both retired in 2013. The Clarke Historical Library recently featured their CMU photo collection.


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Besides his radio work, Barclay has photographed and interviewed hundreds of musicians over the years for blues magazines and other publications. In 2015, he received the Public Media Impact Award from the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters for his outstanding contributions to Public Broadcasting. Barclay and Brisbane have generously given to WCMU Public Media. They also support areas including CMU Athletics, University Libraries and the Fabiano Botanical Garden Endowment.

Kaitlyn Coons Future Alumni Leader Award

Coons’ dedication and leadership are shown through her involvement in campus organizations, volunteer work and planning committees. As a CMU resident assistant in Barnes and Calkins halls, she mentored more than 85 students and guided them to campus resources. Coons volunteered for more than 75 events through her campus involvement with Program Board, the Association of Recreation Event Professionals and Siblings Weekend. She is a recipient of the Academic Success Award, Leader Advancement

Scholarship, Michael J. Kirkpatrick Leadership Award, G. Patrick Doyle Prize and was on the CMU Dean’s List from fall 2017-spring 2020. Upon completion of her internship this fall with the West Michigan Sports Commission, Coons expects to graduate with a recreation degree through Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration.

Rachael Moreno

Dick Enberg CMU Alumni Commitment Award Moreno, who earned her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from CMU in 1966, built an expansive career in education as a teacher, director, consultant and more. She retired in 1994 as associate superintendent of the Genesee Intermediate School District. In 2005, she came out of retirement as she was appointed director of programs for special needs for the Michigan Department of Education. Moreno supports CMU through donations to the Literacy Center, teacher education and professional development, Study Abroad, the Education and Human Services Building, President’s Club and the School of Music. She served on the Advancement Board and the Board of Trustees from 1983-90.

Accolades throughout her career as an educator and administrator include not only being recognized as the first Hispanic principal in Michigan but also as founder and first president of the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation of Michigan. She received CMU’s Alumni Recognition Award in 1981 and Centennial Year Award in 1992.

Laurie Morris Honorary Alumni Award

Laurie Beckett Morris and Mike Morris established the Morris Family Endowed Scholarship in 2005, and the family has continued to contribute to the endowment. Their contributions have allowed the initial endowment to be separated into three endowed scholarships, for Global Campus, the College of Business Administration and the College of the Arts and Media. Laurie and Mike regularly contribute to the Murray Football Championship Fund, University Libraries, CMU Chippewa Challenge Golf Outing and the Women’s Connection Student Scholarship. They assisted in funding the Beckett and Morris Project Room in Grawn Hall, as well as a space in Park Library named in honor of their daughter, Jamie. Laurie has purchased a Grawn Hall brick for their son, Scott, and Warriner Mall bricks for Mike, Jamie and Scott. Another of Laurie Morris’ significant contributions to CMU is her love and support for her husband, son and daughter as they collectively earned six CMU degrees.

Dr. Gene Ragland

Distinguished Alumni Award Ragland, founder and chair of the advisory board for The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, earned a CMU Bachelor of Science degree in 1966 before attending the University of Michigan Medical School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1972-74 and joined St. Joseph Mercy Hospital staff in 1977. He became associate director of the Emergency Department in 1985 and chief of staff in 1996, eventually working with more than 130,000 emergency patients during 25 years at the hospital. He started working as a clinical instructor for U-M Medical School in 1981. In 1983, Ragland was a founding member of Life Support Services, offering medical education to hospital and pre-hospital providers. In 1992, he founded Secure Care Inc., a correctional medicine service, where he was president and CEO until 2003.

Kala Wilburn

Alumni Service Recognition Award Wilburn, ’07, moved to New York City and established her Fannie Lucille fashion line of custom clothing and handbags. In June 2011, she returned to Flint, intending to put her dreams into action in her hometown. That same year, she lost her brother to gun violence. To honor his memory, she

established the Fashion Against Violence initiative of workshops, boot camps and industry networking, ultimately creating the annual Vehicle City Fashion week. Wilburn involves current CMU fashion students with her initiatives. She was a featured speaker for the Fashion, Interior Design and Merchandising Department’s annual career day.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Corporate/Foundation Partner Alumni Award

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has worked closely with CMU for more than 20 years, supporting research with grants and donations, and partnering with many departments on professional development. The organization employs 500 CMU alumni and actively recruits and mentors CMU students for internships and full-time positions in finance, information systems, human resources and more. BCBS is a sponsor of CMU’s Enterprise Resource Planning simulation program, known as ERPsim. The interactive event allows teams of students to solve realtime problems with the help of mentors from sponsoring companies. Tricia Keith, a 1993 alum and BCBS executive vice president, is chair of CMU’s Board of Trustees, providing leadership and engagement that is key for the growth of CMU’s presence in Detroit and across Michigan. •

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Young alumni carry their CMU pride into new careers and communities The 10 Within 10 program celebrates young alumni who have used what they learned at Central Michigan University to build their careers and uplift their communities. We’re thrilled to introduce you to the 2020 class of world-changers.

Nicholas Cozzi, M.D. ’18 » Major: Allopathic medicine » Job: Emergency medicine resident physician at Spectrum Health/ Michigan State University » Current city: Grand Rapids » Hometown: Chicago

What is your favorite memory of CMU? A colleague and I worked with the Mid-Central Area Health Education Center to create the Health Careers Pipeline Program, a nine-week mentorship program for high school students centered on college readiness and health career exploration. Started in 2015, it has graduated more than 50 high school students and pre-health graduates and recently grew to more than seven high schools, including expanding into Saginaw. My favorite memory was the first graduation ceremony where students brought their parents and grandparents to the CMU College of Medicine. It remains a crystalizing moment for the positive impact our program has had on our community and our families. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? The coolest moment since graduation as it relates to CMU took place in the trauma bay of Spectrum Health Butterworth’s emergency department a few months ago. As a busy, Level I trauma center, we take a team approach, especially to care for our most gravely injured patients. An elderly male was in a car accident, and in the midst of our resuscitation and interventions, I realized each of the four doctors caring for him in that moment were CMU College of Medicine graduates. Our mission was realized: CMU graduates caring for patients in Michigan. 30

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What advice would you give to new grads? Write one handwritten letter of gratitude to someone who has made a personal or professional impact on you. Mail it. Repeat daily. Doctor’s orders. What has your work life taught you? My work life continues to teach me that we create our own meaning in life, and we decide whether we are fulfilled. My patients don’t start their day thinking they would be a patient or their loved one would be in a busy emergency department. But I get a chance to be a positive influence on them in that moment. What about CMU helped you succeed? Chris Brown, senior associate director of financial aid, provided the “can-do” attitude we needed as a new medical school to accomplish our ambitious agenda, and he helped accelerate the process of building trust with community partners. He has served our community with class, and he identifies professional growth opportunities for students. Charmica Abinojar, [former] executive director of the office of student affairs, is a kind, warm and tenacious advocate for her students. Her impact will be felt for generations of CMU medical graduates. And Terence Moore, retired CEO of MidMichigan Health, has been my counselor and mentor. He taught me to invest my time, the enduring power of thank you notes, and the key practices of effective leaders.

Caitlin Demsky, ’10 » Majors: Psychology, English » Job: Assistant professor of

management in the School of Business Administration at Oakland University » Current city: Ferndale » Hometown: Detroit What is your favorite memory of CMU? Some of my favorite memories of CMU are from my time with Leadership Camp, first as a facilitator and later co-coordinator. Sharing CMU and the

Social Change Model of Leadership Development with incoming students through LCamp was a really meaningful aspect of my time on campus. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? In the summer of 2015, between finishing my Ph.D. at Portland State University and starting my faculty position at Oakland University, my now-husband and I took a two-and-a-half-week cross-country road trip from Portland, Oregon, back to metro Detroit. Our stops included Glacier National Park; Yellowstone National Park; Grand Teton National Park; Arches National Park; Boulder and Fort Collins in Colorado; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Athens, Ohio. We spent the first 10 days of the trip camping in some of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever seen, and we got engaged during our stop at Arches National Park! What are you proudest of? I’m incredibly proud to be the first person in my family to graduate from college, and even prouder of taking the additional step of going to graduate school right afterward, finishing my master’s in industrial and organizational psychology in 2012 and my Ph.D. in the same field in 2015. What advice would you give to new grads? While it might feel like you need to have all your next steps figured out upon graduating, remember that you still have your whole life ahead of you! Now’s the time to take chances, make a big move and be open to making mistakes. What has your work life taught you? The importance of saying no. For every new opportunity or request you say yes to, you’ll likely have to say no to something else down the road, and it’s easy to quickly get overwhelmed if you say yes to everything that comes your way. You’re the best judge of your own time, energy and abilities, and saying no to things that don’t serve those will mean you have more energy to devote to the things you’re really passionate about. (This is definitely something I’m still working on myself!)

Autumn Fuchs, ’10 » Major: Interior design » Job: Interior designer and owner of

Fuchsia Design, a full-service interior design firm » Current city: Grand Rapids » Hometown: Grand Rapids What is your favorite memory of CMU? I truly enjoyed my CMU experience to the fullest. From my involvements with the Leadership Institute to loving every interior design class I took, studying abroad in Beijing, China, and the wonderful professors and friendships that were formed during those engagements, my four years at Central were memorable and rewarding. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? It’s been a busy and rewarding 10 years since graduating from CMU. I’ve been honored to be recognized with a number of awards including the Top Female Owned Business in Grand Rapids in 2019 and one of Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 at the age of 29.

What are you proudest of? Receiving my interior design certification after passing the prestigious NCIDQ exam, the highest level of interior design qualification in the nation. I was proud of passing this extensive three-day exam after completing the required eight years of education and industry experience. What advice would you give to new grads? If you’re not scared, you’re not doing it right. Success stems from allowing yourself to be uncomfortable. Being nervous and being excited are actually the same feeling, so don’t allow nerves to keep you from growing in your career. What has your work life taught you? As a business owner, it is often assumed I live at the office. I love my business, but I recognized early in my career that it should never be my whole life, and I’m grateful for the balance I’ve been able to achieve. I work really hard from 9-to-5, and then I go home to enjoy all the other beautiful things in life like my husband and daughter, traveling the world and an active lifestyle.

Mike Greene, ’13 » Major: Business administration » Job: Assistant city manager and

community development director for the city of Saline. » Current city: Saline » Hometown: Caro What is your favorite memory of CMU? The people and the relationships that were built, from Greek Life to Lunch Buddies to Leadership Safari and everything in between. Every event and activity with the people in these organizations was special, and CMU would not have been the same without them. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? Traveling to a new part of the country and experiencing new culture with friends I met at CMU. Each year we pick a city no one has been to, and we spend an extended weekend exploring and catching up. Being able to see and experience something new and hearing about all the amazing things going on in my friends’ lives will never get old. What are you proudest of? Watching my friends and family succeed in their current endeavors and then set more goals. There is no better feeling than witnessing all the time and hard work they’ve put in to accomplish one goal after another come to fruition and then being there to celebrate. What advice would you give to new grads? Whether it’s people in your chosen industry, the friends you made at CMU or your family, surround yourself with good people. These people will be there for you when you need a push to be better, to build you back up after a rough day and to celebrate the small wins as well as the life-changing moments. Going through life without these people would not be as fulfilling. What has your work life taught you? Get to know everyone, not just those in senior positions. While building relationships with senior staff is important, don’t overlook connecting with the front-line employees. They can provide meaningful insight into your organization that you cannot get anywhere else.

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Ryan Heeke, ’15, ’16 » Majors: Mathematics, finance » Job: Associate, RBC Capital Markets, asset-backed securities syndicate

» Current city: New York City » Hometown: Mount Pleasant

What is your favorite memory of CMU? Two stand out: traveling to New York City with Dr. James Felton and fellow finance students, and winning a conference championship in baseball alongside lifelong friends. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? Seeing multiple CMU students follow in my footsteps to NYC and land jobs and internships at RBC.

What has your work life taught you? As a former graduate student who worked full time and received two promotions in four and a half years during my doctoral pursuit, I have learned to appreciate the challenges life throws at me, because they make me stronger. It’s taught me to enjoy the family and friends in my life who make me happy and to live life like there is no tomorrow.

John Ketchum, ’11

What are you proudest of? Earning two degrees while being a student-athlete at Central Michigan University and mentoring and tutoring students, propelling them forward to reach their goals.

» Major: Broadcast and cinematic arts » Job: Managing producer for a podcast

What advice would you give to new grads? Be a seeker of knowledge, a lifelong learner. Find a mentor. Give back. Never settle.

» Current city: Atlanta » Hometown: Saginaw

LaMarcus Howard, ’09, M.A. ’12 » Majors: Social work, educational leadership

» Job: Associate director of the Disability Resource Center » Current city: Belleville » Hometown: Flint

What is your favorite memory of CMU? Participating in the Academic Career Empowerment (ACE) Program as an incoming freshman. The ACE program was a six-week, intense summer academic boot camp designed for conditional admits and administered by Multicultural Academic Student Services (MASS). As a fresh 18-year-old from Flint Northern High School, I had no clue what was in store for me. However, dedicated MASS staff taught me what it took to succeed at CMU academically and socially. I met lifelong friends who I call my family in the ACE program, and we still laugh about our experience to this day. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? In 2014, the CMU Organization for Black Unity (OBU) created an award in my name for their annual Black Males Rock Ceremony. The ceremony highlights the accomplishments of exceptional black males on the campus of CMU. The LaMarcus D. Howard Man of the Year Award honors a black male who exhibits exceptional leadership skills on and off campus. It has been an honor to have OBU dedicate the most prestigious award of the ceremony in my name. What are you proudest of? I have been truly blessed to have amazing individuals in my life who love and support me. I am also very proud of my three wonderful nephews and four godsons. Everyone who knows me knows these brilliant young black boys and men bring joy to “Uncle Markie,” and I love witnessing and supporting their dreams and aspirations as they come to life.


What advice would you give to new grads? Be patient, and trust the process. Life is truly different once you leave good ol’ Mount Pleasant and enter the “real world.” However, please know everything happens for a reason, and the Lord will not give you more than you can handle. Have faith in the plans you create, execute them with precision, and trust that your successes and accomplishments will come in due time.

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from Vox Media

What is your favorite memory of CMU? Probably the day I got hired as a reporter at WCMU Public Radio. I had no experience and a few average clips of writing. They took a chance on me, and it changed my life forever. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? Getting married! What are you proudest of? My proudest moment in my career so far came during my first job with “Marketplace,” helping launch a desk dedicated to covering wealth and poverty on NPR. It was such an important beat and was one that hadn’t really been covered in public radio nationally until that point. What advice would you give to new grads? Take risks, and challenge yourself. Do things you’ve never done before. Go to places that are new and uncomfortable. Venture into uncharted territory knowing that even when things seem uncertain, your education has equipped you for anything that may come your way. What has your work life taught you? To have confidence in myself and my abilities, even when things seem uncertain, unmanageable or too hard. The process is usually messy, but your talent and hard work will get you to where you need to be.

Danielle Leone, ’10 » Major: Integrative public relations » Job: Director of branding and

communications for North America with Faurecia Clean Mobility, a global leader in automotive technologies » Current city: St. Clair Shores » Hometown: St. Clair Shores What is your favorite memory of CMU? Picking a favorite is impossible. But one of the most meaningful was my experience on the 2007 All-Girl Universal Cheerleading Association College National Championship team. We were the first team to represent CMU in the all-girl division of the national championship, and we placed seventh.

What has been your coolest moment since graduation? My work has offered me domestic and international travel opportunities. I have enjoyed sharing these travels with my two wonderful nephews, Andrew and James. I make it a point to send them a postcard from each trip. They enjoy learning about the “outside” world, but what I love most is the FaceTime interactions with them to answer their eager questions from faraway places. It’s cool that, through my work, I can share the world with them. What are you proudest of? The network I’ve built. The women and men who have mentored me throughout my career are invaluable. These people shared their time and knowledge, which has inspired me to give back and help the next generation succeed. What advice would you give to new grads? I would encourage new graduates to consider careers as a collection of learning events rather than a linear path of checkboxes or milestones. Venture on your own path, and you will face your own challenges. Embrace those unique opportunities, and resist comparing your experience to others’. What has your work life taught you? Embrace moments of discomfort. Being comfortable with discomfort may offer you the greatest opportunities to learn and grow. Lessons are rarely learned from comfortable, safe moments.

Courtney Stanley, ’11 » Major: Recreation » Job: Owner, Courtney Stanley Consulting;

keynote speaker; podcaster and career success coach » Current city: Grand Rapids » Hometown: Grand Haven What is your favorite memory of CMU? I loved being part of the Meeting Professionals International CMU student club, a group of ambitious people who were passionate about traveling the globe and experiencing the world’s greatest gatherings. In 2010, our motley crew earned hands-on, backstage event experience at the Country Music Awards in Nashville. This memory is special to me because it reflects how we made a wild dream come to life. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we created it.

What has been your coolest moment since graduation? Moving my life and career to Toronto, Ontario. Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world, with endless opportunities to learn about people who are different from me. The music, the food, the people, the community and the conversations I engaged with in Toronto completely changed me for the better. My experience in Toronto also introduced one of the most exciting speaking opportunities of my life: taking the stage in New York City at the United Nations headquarters. What are you proudest of? I’m proud of myself for taking risks and choosing to never stop believing I have a lot to offer the world. There have been many times in my career and in my life when I have faced wild curveballs, unforeseen failure and rejection, but each time I was knocked down, I got back up and approached the next venture with a wiser, unique perspective.

I’m proud of my ongoing decision to dream bigger and work harder to make the greatest impact on the world that I possibly can. What advice would you give to new grads? There is no better time to hustle than now. Not everyone has a high level of focus and drive; leverage your momentum of transitioning with energy and excitement into the world of work, and build a strong foundation for your career and self to grow from. Don’t forget to use your voice to share your ideas and feedback. Don’t forget to use your ears to listen to those who have opinions and experiences that are different than yours. Lastly, don’t forget to listen to your gut, and stay true to your values and who you are. What has your work life taught you? You really can accomplish anything if you work strategically and with persistence. You can reshape your goals, your network and yourself at any time. You will be presented with challenges you never could have foreseen, and you won’t always handle those obstacles the way you imagine you would. It’s critical to surround yourself with mentors and with a community of people who will support, encourage and challenge you as you continually evolve throughout your career and your life.

Jeffrey Steigerwald, ’10 » Majors: International business, Spanish » Job: Vice president of private-duty nursing

and home rehabilitation at Centria Healthcare, a leading home care company. » Current city: Royal Oak » Hometown: Brown City What is your favorite memory of CMU? There are too many little moments that seem insignificant at the time but are some of my favorite memories. Having the opportunity to live, spend time, and create lifelong friendships with people who are still a large part of my life really captures my favorite parts of CMU. What has been your coolest moment since graduation? Having the opportunity to work at a startup health care organization and be instrumental in growing a company from a small office in Brighton with three people to a nationwide health care organization with more than 5,000 employees. What are you proudest of? I had the opportunity to work with an executive coach, Renee Erlich, in my mid-20s. We developed a personal mission statement that sparks a fire for me: “Create opportunity.” Every personal and professional decision I’ve made since has centered around fulfilling that mission. Having a clear sense of who you are and where you’re going is the most refreshing feeling, and it’s something I’m very proud of. What advice would you give to new grads? Find your purpose, put together a solid support group, and take risks. Even when you take risks and fail, the knowledge you gain makes you that much more valuable. What has your work life taught you? Everyone has a story, different experiences and something valuable to bring to the table. Take the time to slow down, put the cellphone away, and truly connect with people. It’s amazing the teams and talent you can put together when you seek to truly understand someone. • Centralight Winter ’20


ALUMNI NEWS Alum’s nearly $10 million gift is among largest in CMU history Bequest will support numerous student-focused initiatives In 1995, CMU alum Robert M. Richmond knew he was going to remember the university in his estate plans, but he provided little detail. Late last year, Richmond, ’66, died after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He left nearly $10 million of his estate to his alma mater to help support CMU students. Richmond’s gift — the largest cash donation from a single donor and

one of the largest contributions in CMU’s history — will create the President’s Fund for University Excellence endowment to support: • Undergraduate scholarships to be administered in conjunction with Multicultural Advancement and Lloyd M. Cofer Scholarships, which will help students persevere to graduation. • Staff and program initiatives to assist underserved populations through Multicultural Academic Student Services. • Creation of a “Finish Up Chips!” scholarship program to help students who are within 25 credits of graduation and at risk of dropping out for financial reasons.

Design to empower communities wins top international award Lexus honors Kenyan team co-founded by CMU alum BellTower from Kenya was the Grand Prix winner of the 2020 Lexus Design Award. The company’s entry, “Open Source Communities,” was selected for the prestigious award from among 2,042 submissions from 79 countries. BellTower was co-founded by John Brian Kamau, ’08, and his partners in 2014 with the vision of using open-source systems and technologies to solve real-life problems.

• Student service needs as they occur. • New lifelong learning programs, including certificates and badges. “Mr. Richmond is trusting CMU to make the world a better place through education and innovation,” said CMU President Bob Davies. After graduating from CMU with a degree in business administration, Richmond trained with IBM and helped businesses set up their computer systems. He met his late wife, Lois, in Belding, Michigan, and they created B&L Plastics and later B&L Development, specializing in the custom manufacturing of blow-molded plastic products. •

CMU Chippewas basketball star joins rival staff Hudson named director of player development for Western Michigan Standout point guard Presley Hudson, ’19, was the all-time leading scorer in both men’s and women’s basketball with 2,309 career points. She also helped lead the Chippewas to two appearances in the NCAA Tournament including the run to the Sweet 16 in 2018. Now, she’s stepping into rival territory.

Their winning design addresses challenges often found in developing countries by using smart open-source planning to design affordable communities with sustainable clean water resources.

Western Michigan University women’s basketball head coach Shane Clipfell announced the addition of Hudson to the Broncos’ staff as the director of player development and basketball operations.

“Today, with our world plagued by the enormous issues of climate change and social inequality, there is a design imperative for systemic design solutions,” said Jeanne Gang, program judge.

Hudson will monitor all academic progress of the studentathletes and help with travel plans for the team and coaches. She also will organize and manage team managers, collect film for scouting, assist with on-campus visits and arrange community service activities for the team and coaches.

“The Grand Prix winner expands our definition of design to include systems of finance for community projects and engages the critical role clean drinking water plays in citizens’ ability to thrive,” she said. • 34

• Scholarships for adult learners completing their degrees online or at one of CMU’s many satellite locations.

Centralight Winter ’20

“What I saw out of Presley over the course of her career is exactly why I’m excited she is on our staff,” Clipfell said. “She has benefited from our game and has a lot she can give back.” •

Blogger offers followers a taste of halal food in Dearborn Recent alum uses his platform to showcase Detroitarea offerings Abe Obeid, ’18 — better known on Instagram as @HalalFoodJunkie — has

turned social media into a full-time job highlighting halal food throughout metro Detroit.

showcases both restaurants he likes and others he’s hired to promote with marketing content.

Halal is an Arabic word that translates to “permissible or lawful” and often is used to describe the way food is prepared, adhering to Islamic law. The Detroit metropolitan area is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the U.S., and the restaurant landscape reflects that.

His Instagram following grew in 2019 when he started sharing videos of his mom cooking during Ramadan. Then, as the COVID-19 pandemic kept so many people home, he got another boost during Ramadan this year.

Obeid has built a following of more than 20,000 on Instagram, where he

Now, both locals and out-of-towners turn to Obeid to learn where they can find halal food in the Detroit area. •

Central Michigan University Alumni Association Board of Directors President Nathan Tallman, ’07, M.A. ’09, Macomb, Michigan Vice president Kandra (Kerridge) Robbins, ’90, Portland, Michigan Past president Thomas Olver, ’98, Lake Isabella, Michigan Directors Brooke Adams, ’11, Detroit, Michigan Rebeca Reyes Barrios, ’00, MBA ’02, Lansing, Michigan Carrie Baumgardner, ’99, M.A. ’02, Davison, Michigan Lester Booker, Jr., ’08, MSA ’10, Canton, Michigan Lisa (Laitinen) Bottomley, ’97, Kentwood, Michigan

Catherine (Bomber) Claes, ’90, Gladstone, Michigan

Spencer Haworth, ’12, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Scott Nadeau, ’89, Dexter, Michigan

Michael Decker, ’07, Birmingham, Michigan

Sean Hickey, ’88, M.A. ’90, Traverse City, Michigan

John Reineke, ’09, Oxford, Ohio

Nicole DeFour, ’12, M.A. ’15, Madison Heights, Michigan

Bret Hyble, ’82, M.A. ’86, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Joshua Richards, ’08, Rochester, Michigan

Megan Doyle, ’03, Chicago, Illinois

Erica Lagos, ’13, Carmel, Indiana

Caroline (Powers) Rizzo, ’15, Traverse City, Michigan

Jonathan Eadie, ’93, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan

Anthony Lazzaro, ’15, Newport Beach, California

Michelle (Curtis) Rush, ’07, St. Joseph, Michigan

Norma Eppinger, ’91, Lansing, Michigan

Linda (Scharich) Leahy, ’82, Midland, Michigan

Kimberly Sampson, ’17, Midland, Michigan

Chris Gautz, ’04, Adrian, Michigan

J.J. Lewis, ’06, Simi Valley, California

Darryl Shelton, ’85, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Jacalyn (Beckers) Goforth, ’82, Beverly Hills, Michigan

Gregory Marx, ’08, Troy, Michigan

Christine Simon, ’13, Lansing, Michigan

Laura Gonzales, ’79, M.A. ’89, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Benjamin Moxon, ’17, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Central Michigan University Board of Trustees Mr. Todd J. Anson, ’77

Mr. Isaiah M. Oliver, ’07

Dr. Michael A. Sandler

Ms. Tricia A. Keith, ’93, chair

Mr. Edward J. Plawecki Jr., ’75

Mr. Richard K. Studley, ’93, vice chair


Mr. Robert F. Wardrop II, ’72, ’76, vice chair Mr. William H. Weideman, ’76

For the safety of our alumni and friends, we have shifted events to a virtual format. Visit our event listings at www.cmich.edu/alumni/Events.

Centralight Winter ’20


We drive with pride



forever maroon and gold 36

Centralight Winter ’20

Order your CMU license plate today! www.cmich.edu/alumni CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. 10130 (8/20)

In Memory Margaret E. (Newman) Cranson, ’43, Grand Ledge, Mich.,

Charles D. MacGregor, ’57, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died

Colleen K. (Stauffer) Naru, ’61, Edmore, Mich., died Aug. 31, 2020, age 96.

age 76.

Norma M. (Woodworth) Strait, ’43, Green Valley, Ariz., died July 11,

Philip W. Benson, ’58, Rockford, Mich., died Sept. 23, 2020, age 83. Marlene L. (Murray) Casey, ’58, Pinckney, Mich., died Sept. 25, 2020,

Robert (Gordon) G. Powers Sr., ’61 BSED, ’70 BS, Midland, Mich.,

Donald F. Bach, ’66, Bay City, Mich., died July 22, 2020, age 76. Emilie I. (Nelson) Baker, ’66, ’91 MA, East Lansing, Mich., died

died June 25, 2020, age 98. 2020, age 99.

Joan E. (Peterson) Lautner, ’45, Cedar, Mich., died Sept. 29, 2020, age 97.

Emma M. (Skinner) Makinen, ’46, Petoskey, Mich., died Oct. 4, 2020, age 96.

Wanda J. (Upham) Humphrey, ’47, Lansing, Mich., died Aug. 15,

2020, age 95.

Marjorie M. (Woodmansee) Streb, ’47, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2020, age 94.

Aug. 20, 2020, age 87.

died Sept. 17, 2020, age 94.

17, 2020, age 84.

William D. Smith, ’61, Traverse City, Mich., died Oct. 11, 2020, age 83. Nancy K. (Huck) Veldkamp, ’61, Grandville, Mich., died Oct. 26, 2020,

age 81.

Carol A. (Raymond) Dwan, ’66, Bay City, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2020,

William A. Dast, ’58, Aledo, Tex.,

Jessie L. (Burns) Wierda, ’61, Saginaw, Mich., died June 19, 2020,

Gerald E. Meyers, ’66, ’71 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died Sept. 22, 2020,

age 86.

Lawrence G. Clayton, ’58, ’78 MA, Traverse City, Mich., died July died Sept. 18, 2020, age 84.

age 79.

Marilyn K. (Smith) Ziegler, ’61, Memphis, Tenn., died Aug. 29, 2020,

Virginia R. (Boger) Herman, ’58, Weidman, Mich., died July 29, 2020,

age 81.

Walter L. Patterson, ’66, Philadelphia, Pa., died Aug. 7, 2020,

age 78.

David L. Darnell, ’62, Vestavia Hills, Ala., died Oct. 17, 2020, age 81. Norval J. Hasse, ’62, ’70 MA, Gainesville, Fla., died March 23,

William B. Rupert, Jr., ’66, Turner, Maine, died Aug. 21, 2020, age 77.

died June 15, 2020, age 83.

Donna J. (Chapin) Graebner, ’50, Port Charlotte, Fla., died Aug. 5,

age 88.

2020, age 79.

William L. Swart, ’58, ’62 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died July 25,

Ronald N. Heinzman, ’62, Frankenmuth, Mich., died Sept. 29,

Mark M. Spagnuolo, ’51, East Lansing, Mich., died July 19, 2020, age 91.

Margery (Rose) Binder, ’52, Lake Ridge, Va., died June 26, 2020, age 89. Nita Lou (Herrick) Brown, ’53, Ann Arbor, Mich., died Oct. 9, 2020,

age 89.

Kae (Waskoviak) Schaefer, ’53, Saginaw, Mich., died July 6, 2020,

age 88.

Jack R. Clary, ’54, Rockford, Mich., died Aug. 25, 2020, age 87. Virginia G. (Webb) Digard, ’54, Swartz Creek, Mich., died Aug. 14, 2020, age 88.

Evelyn M. Slott, ’54, ’69 MA, Howard City, Mich., died July 17,

2020, age 90.

Emily J. (Dalzell) Wilson, ’54, Traverse City, Mich., died Aug. 10,

2020, age 89.

Marjorie L. (Read) Siefert, ’55, Williamsburg, Mich., died Aug. 11,

Robert W. Manor, ’58, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 5, 2020,

2020, age 90.

2020, age 83.

Patricia A. (Kidder) Bartow, ’59, Battle Creek, Mich., died Oct. 17,

Thomas L. Swenor, ’62, Hollister, Calif., died Oct. 7, 2020, age 87. Connie M. Kreiner, ’63, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Aug. 20, 2020,

2020, age 83.

Joanne C. (Curtiss) DeVuyst, ’59, ’68 MA, Ithaca, Mich., died Aug. 16,

2020, age 83.

Conrad A. English, ’59, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 12, 2020, age 84.

Charles (Dick) R. Kempf, ’59, ’60 MA, Attica, Mich., died Aug. 14, 2020, age 83.

Joseph A. Kotsko, ’59, Flint, Mich., died June 24, 2020, age 84. Ida M. (Bentley) Sherrod, ’59, Hale, Mich., died Oct. 2, 2020, age 89. Roger K. Susterich, ’59, Nunica, Mich., died July 2, 2020, age 83. Benjamin C. Webb, ’59, Freeland, Mich., died Aug. 16, 2020, age 84. Jack A. Gridley, ’60, Naples, Fla.,

died Oct. 11, 2020, age 88.

2020, age 86.

Bruce B. Hurry, ’60, Inman, S. C.,

James K. Brasseur, ’56, Thomas Township, Mich., died Sept. 10, 2020,

Clinton Ivory, ’60, Hadley, Mich.,

age 95.

Robert G. Fochtman, ’56, Port Huron, Mich., died July 7, 2020,

age 86.

Howard J. Geerlings, ’56, ’60 MA, Traverse City, Mich., died Sept.

died July 25, 2020, age 83.

died Sept. 19, 2020, age 82.

Margarita A. (Lopez) Menzel, ’60, Sebewaing, Mich., died March 8, 2020, age 82.

Shirley A. (Lada) Posk, ’60, Macomb, Mich., died July 14, 2020,

28, 2020, age 86.

age 83.

Clark R. Jackson, ’56, Indianapolis, Ind., died June 8, 2020,

died Oct. 5, 2020, age 92.

age 87.

Kenneth L. Kelley, ’56, Clinton Township, Mich., died July 13, 2020,

age 85.

Gwendolyn I. (Westbrook) Blesch, ’57, Las Vegas, Nev., died July 2, 2020, age 85.

George L. Hewitt, ’57, Mecosta, Mich., died July 23, 2020, age 87.

age 76.

age 90.

age 95.

2020, age 91.

Sept. 21, 2020, age 80.

Raymond P. Harwood (Szeszulski), ’58, Bay City, Mich.,

Sally (Carnahan) Weisenburger, ’48, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 22, 2020, age 94.

Regina J. (Necefer) Adams, ’66, Trenton, Mich., died Sept. 5, 2020,

Alfred E. Prince, ’60, Mesa, Ariz., Edward P. Revis, Jr, ’60, Pontiac, Mich., died Sept. 27, 2020, age 88. Suzanne (Hummel) Riley, ’60, Sanford, Mich., died Sept. 20, 2020,

age 81.

Natalie A. (Walldorff) Young, ’60, Coral, Mich., died Sept. 27, 2020, age 82.

Carl (Ned) E. Creswell, ’61, ’74 MA, Amarillo, Tex., died Sept. 5,

2020, age 85.

age 80.

Earl H. Richey, ’63, ’69 MA, Chesaning, Mich., died July 22, 2020, age 79.

Grady J. Calloway, ’67, Troy, Mich., died July 12, 2020, age 76. Lyman P. Jump, ’67, Highland, Mich., died Aug. 24, 2020, age 78. Barbara J. (Yeakel) Koski, ’67, Lowell, Mich., died Oct. 18, 2020, age 76.

Wallace A. Mollema, ’67, ’70 MA, Ludington, Mich., died June 16, 2020,

age 77.

John E. Ryan, ’67, Royal Oak, Mich., died Aug. 15, 2020, age 77. Gloria K. (Bloomquist) Schnepp, ’67, Farwell, Mich., died June 9, 2020,

James L. Robinson, ’63, Swartz Creek, Mich., died Sept. 17, 2020,

age 75.

Royce (Skip) R. Clay, ’64, ’70 MBA, Rockford, Mich., died Sept. 7,

Donald E. West, ’67 MBA, Eaton Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 1, 2020,

age 80.

2020, age 78.

Pamela (Bakhaus) doCarmo, ’64, Severna Park, Md., died Oct. 7, 2020,

age 78.

Lynn G. Robinson, ’64, Broken Arrow, Okla., died April 26, 2020, age 78.

Mr. Robert L. Tuckey, ’64, Cass City, Mich., died Aug. 17, 2020, age 80. Leatha M. (Koch) Wisenbach, ’64, Caro, Mich., died Oct. 6, 2020,

age 94.

Emory C. Daniels, ’65, Westland, Mich., died Aug. 19, 2020, age 76. Gary L. Hansen, ’65, ’73 MA, Manistee, Mich., died Feb. 29, 2020, age 76.

Anna M. Jantzi, ’65 MA, Fairview, Mich., died Aug. 20, 2020, age 88. Sally L. (Geer) Kaufmann, ’65, Alma, Mich., died Aug. 3, 2020, age 77. John L. Koren, ’65, ’67 MA, Ormond Beach, Fla., died July 5,

2020, age 77.

Judy E. (Pack) Meldrum, ’65, Bay City, Mich., died Aug. 14, 2020, age 80.

Karen S. (Kidd) Wilber, ’65, Dimondale, Mich., died Oct. 10,

2020, age 78.

Bruce H. Wolff, ’65, Greensboro, N. C., died Sept. 9, 2020, age 78.

Jerald L. Thomas, ’67, St. Louis, Mich., died Sept. 17, 2020, age 76.

age 92.

John P. Allen, ’68, Colorado Springs, Colo., died July 2, 2020, age 76.

Barbara C. Bachman, ’68, Bradenton, Fla., died Oct. 10, 2020,

age 74.

William E. Brown, ’68 MBA, Midland, Mich., died July 16, 2020,

age 88.

Sharon L. (Eurick) Clark, ’68, ’75 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died Oct. 7,

2020, age 82.

Mildred M. (Pierce) Gilbert, ’68 MA, Dimondale, Mich., died July 18,

2020, age 92.

Graham F. Hollis, ’68, Kalamazoo, Mich., died Aug. 7, 2020, age 78. David L. Merritt, ’68, Frisco, Tex.,

died July 24, 2020, age 74.

Daryles J. Richardson, ’68, Alma, Mich., died Oct. 3, 2020, age 75. Richard G. Siler, ’68, ’69 MA, South Haven, Mich., died July 11, 2020, age 75.

John C. Byerly, ’69 MBA, Bay City, Mich., died Oct. 21, 2020, age 79. Milford J. Hale, ’69, Big Rapids, Mich., died July 12, 2020, age 79. Raymond P. Killee, ’69, Newark, Ohio, died July 12, 2020, age 74. Centralight Winter ’20


In Memory Larry D. Larson, ’69, ’74 MA, Lewiston, Mich., died Sept. 4, 2020,

Ann L. (Starmann) Craig, ’73, Cass City, Mich., died Oct. 17, 2020,

age 73.

age 74.

Douglas S. McDougal, ’69, Harrison Township, Mich., died

2020, age 77.

Oct. 24, 2020, age 75.

Maggie “Pat” L. (Patrick) Gaddis, ’73 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died June

13, 2020, age 77.

Lawrence H. Montney, ’69, ’76 MBE, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died

Eugene B. Wilson, ’73 MA, Beavercreek, Ohio, died July 30,

age 66.

Jay T. O’Neil, ’69 MA, Petoskey, Mich., died Sept. 23, 2020, age 91. Jill A. (Rockwell) Schoeppach, ’69, Higgins Lake, Mich., died Sept.

Fredrick L. Bauer, ’74 MA, Palmer, Tex., died July 28, 2020, age

Sept. 20, 2020, age 83.

15, 2020, age 73.

2020, age 85.


Melvin E. Burcz, ’74 MA, Detroit, Mich., died July 4, 2020, age 91. Michael L. Cooper, ’74, ’81 MA, ’91 MA, Muir, Mich., died June 27, 2020,

Margaret A. Baker, ’70, Sturgis, Mich., died Oct. 15, 2020, age 72. James T. Hurt, ’70, Terre Haute, Ind., died Oct. 17, 2020, age 75. James R. Jensen, ’70 MS, Charlevoix, Mich., died Oct. 7, 2020,

2020, age 76.

Kenneth W. Klintworth, ’70, Hixson, Tenn., died Aug. 23, 2020,

age 89.

age 81.

age 73.

Patricia M. (Shannon) Mattlin, ’70, ’76 MA, Frankenmuth, Mich., died Sept. 24, 2020, age 72.

Dale J. McIntosh, ’70, ’79 MA, Cass City, Mich., died July 1, 2020,

age 73.

Craig W. Peltier, ’70, Traverse City, Mich., died Oct. 16, 2020, age 71. Marcia K. (Willis) Wegner, ’70, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died July 31, 2020, age 71.

M. Lydia Korson, OP, ’71 MA, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 12,

2020, age 91.

Norman R. LaBonte, ’71 MA, Mesa, Ariz., died April 22, 2020, age 87. Cecelia M. (Pearce) Nuoffer, ’71, East Lansing, Mich., died June 22, 2020, age 71.

Everett E. Peterson, ’71, Manistique, Mich., died June 30,

2020, age 77.

James L. Simmons, ’71, Alma, Mich., died Sept. 17, 2020, age 76. Anita E. (Kerr) Behm, ’72, Lapeer, Mich., died June 29, 2020, age 70. Steve J. Cromell, ’72, Munising, Mich., died July 7, 2020, age 70. Donald W. Kutchey, ’72, Davison, Mich., died July 4, 2020, age 73. Michael L. O’Connell, ’72, Fort Wayne, Ind., died Aug. 30, 2020,

age 72.

Philip H. Price, ’72, Detroit, Mich., died Aug. 7, 2020, age 72.

Jim E. VanHoven, ’72 MA, Ludington, Mich., died Aug. 3, 2020, age 78.

Susan K. (Menghini) Backlund, ’73, Kingsford, Mich., died Sept. 17, 2020, age 68.

James N. Boblenz, ’73 MA, Marion, Ohio, died June 11, 2020, age 84.

age 71.

Mary F. (Wooten) Jackson, ’74 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died Sept. 27, Levaughn E. Jenkins, ’74 MA, Atlanta, Ga., died June 13, 2020, Nels T. Johnson, ’74, Luther, Mich., died Aug. 11, 2020, age 67. William R. Lewis, ’74, Fort Wayne, Ind., died July 2, 2020, age 73. James T. Lilley, ’74, ’76 MA, Loudon, Tenn., died Oct. 3, 2020,

Centralight Winter ’20

Ronald D. VanLente, ’75, South Haven, Mich., died July 1, 2020, Jane M. Ceynar, ’76 MA, Villard, Minn., died Oct. 18, 2020, age 77. Jeri L. (Stasa) Huseth, ’76, Pooler, Ga., died June 8, 2020, age 66. David D. Jones, ’76, ’80 MA, Ft. Myers, Fla., died April 8, 2020, age 79. Barbara J. (Bacon) Maxfield, ’76, Millington, Mich., died Aug. 29, 2020,

Juanita F. (Glassco) Lucas, ’79 MA, Columbus, Ohio, died July 22, 2020, age 90.

Sue E. (Bailey) Monsell, ’79 MA, Jackson Township, Ohio, died Aug.

31, 2020, age 76.

Raymond J. Vanden Berghe, ’79 MA, Sergeantsville, N.J., died Sept.

24, 2020, age 88.

Mary L. Wood, ’79, Ludington, Mich., died July 16, 2020, age 79. Loretta Anderson-Burgess, ’80 MA, Mount Rainier, Md., died April 30, 2020, age 80.

Erika B. (Dabringhaus) Miller, ’76, Pickford, Mich., died Sept. 27,

Irene (Wrublesky) Baird, ’80, Katy, Tex., died June 7, 2020, age 64. Wilbur B. Clarey, ’80 MA, Brewster, Mass., died Sept. 11, 2020,

Marjorie A. (James) Strahle, ’76, Fenton, Mich., died July 25, 2020,

Joseph A. Coppolino, ’80 MA, Saginaw, Mich., died Aug. 13, 2020,

age 66.

2020, age 65.

age 90.

age 65.

age 92.

Richard Brychcy, ’77 MA, Perry, Ga., died Sept. 15, 2020, age 68. Larry L. Castleman, ’77 MA, Dothan, Ala., died July 29, 2020,

William R. DeCourcy, ’80 MA, Plymouth Township, Mich., died

Aug. 4, 2020, age 73.

age 69.

John R. Dykhouse, ’77, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Sept. 21, 2020,

age 67.

Ben E. Julson, ’80 MA, Temple, Tex., died July 18, 2020, age 85. James A. Parsons, ’80 MA, Gahanna, Ohio, died Aug. 31, 2020,

Philip D. Murfitt, ’74 MA, Frankfort, Ohio, died Sept. 24, 2020,

Carol A. (Hindson) Haas, ’77, ’83, ’93 MBA, Mount Pleasant, Mich.,

Martin A. Brown III, ’81 MA, Hampton, Va., died Sept. 24, 2020,

age 80.

age 78.

age 79.

died Sept. 18, 2020, age 64.

age 80.

William C. Picott III, ’74 MA, Bradenton, Fla., died Sept. 3, 2020,

Gordon D. Hill, ’77, Caro, Mich.,

John E. Grambau, ’81 MA, ’81 PsyS, Midland, Mich., died Aug. 15,

age 80.

Robert F. Rzepecki, ’74, ’96 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 5, 2020, age 74.

Gordon W. Stockhill, ’74 MA, Grand Haven, Mich., died Aug. 15, 2020, age 90.

John “Doug” Farmer, ’75, Macomb, Mich., died Oct. 24, 2020,

age 69.

Gary E. Fuller, ’75 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 6, 2020, age 69.

Franklin R. Hatcher, ’75 MA, Chambersburg, Pa., died Sept. 17,

2020, age 87.

Jonathan R. Kline, ’75 MA, Shalimar, Fla., died Sept. 27, 2020,

age 75.

Stephen J. Loney, ’75, Traverse City, Mich., died Oct. 23, 2020, age 67. Charles C. Miknis, ’75, Battle Creek, Mich., died March 2, 2020, age 67.

Beverly K. (Huber) Roberts, ’75 MA, ’78 MA, Fort Worth, Tex., died

Sept. 20, 2020, age 84.

Patrick J. Rose, ’75, Hancock, Mich., died Oct. 5, 2020, age 71. Jayne E. (Abbott) Schafer, ’75, Grand Rapids, Mich., died August

25, 2020, age 67.

Thomas E. Straight, ’75 MA, Wilmington, Ohio, died July 18, 2020,

age 86. 38

Charlene K. (Proctor) VanHaften, ’75, ’94 MA, Breckenridge, Mich., died July 15,

died July 9, 2020, age 63.

Faye M. Parsons, ’77, Rochester, Mich., died July 5, 2020, age 65. Winifred A. (Joseph) Toledo, ’77, ’86 MA, North Manchester, Ind., died July 25, 2020, age 83.

2020, age 71.

Elmer C. Jackson III, ’81 MA, Kansas City, Mo., died Sept. 18, 2020, age 80.

William A. Martin, ’81 MA, Winchester, Va., died Aug. 3, 2020,

Tracy L. (Crawford) Waters, ’77, Madison, Wis., died Aug. 29, 2020,

age 92.

Charles M. Wiker, ’77 MA, Chester, Va., died Aug. 26, 2020,

2020, age 84.

Steven M. Blackhurst, ’78, Midland, Mich., died Oct. 6, 2020,

died Aug. 24, 2019, age 60.

Jorge L. Cotto, ’78 MA, Kinston, N.C., died July 25, 2020, age 69. Luane M. Lumbert, ’78, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 30, 2020,

Eugene L. Zibrat, ’81 MA, Kingwood, Tex., died March 22, 2020,

age 64. age 81.

age 64.

age 68.

Wayne A. Magnan, ’78 MA, Hale, Mich., died June 27, 2020, age 84. Allen A. Aungst, ’79 MA, Solon, Ohio, died Aug. 30, 2020, age 79. Lawrence H. Collins, ’79 MA, Detroit, Mich., died July 29, 2020, age 73.

David W. Davis, ’79, Ironwood, Mich., died Sept. 17, 2020, age 63. Julia (Chase) Gonzales, ’79, Aurora, Colo., died July 4, 2020,

age 73.

James P. Greene, ’79, South Bend, Ind., died Oct. 29, 2020, age 63.

Lucille R. (Sheldon) McLachlan, ’81, Greenville, Mich., died Oct. 19, Karen E. (Townsend) Mullane, ’81, White Lake Township, Mich., Ray Eugene Nagle II, ’81 MA, Albuquerque, N.M., died Oct. 11, 2020, age 74. age 80.

Jon W. Birks, ’82 MA, Levittown, Pa., died April 23, 2020, age 67. Alberto L. Brown Sr., ’82 MA, Havre de Grace, Md., died Aug. 20,

2020, age 87.

Mary J. Horan, ’82 MA, Sarasota, Fla., died Sept. 18, 2020, age 83. Sherida A. Provens, ’82 MA, Enon, Ohio, died July 12, 2020, age 72.

Kathleen S. (Bank) Blahunka, ’83, Novi, Mich., died Jan. 5, 2020, age 58.

Franklin D. Burgess, ’83, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Oct. 13, 2020, age 95.

Roland “Andy” E. Andersen, ’84 MA, Fort Worth, Tex., died Oct. 19,

Cathleen M. (Colasinski) Lopez, ’90, Canton, Mich., died Oct. 22, 2020, age 51.

died Oct. 6, 2020, age 41.

Linda C. (Cartin) Holmgren, ’84 MSA, Titusville, Fla., died Aug. 27,

Michael A. Loveless, ’90, Fennville, Mich., died July 26, 2020,

Mary C. (Rodwell) Meier, ’03 AuD, Rochester, Minn., died Aug. 31,

2020, age 77.

2020, age 73.

Mark R. McWhirter, ’84 MA, Durango, Colo., died June 20, 2020,

age 52.

Jeffrey S. Berens, ’91, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2020,

age 60.

age 51.

Robert T. Sisk, ’84 MA, Floyd, Va.,

Kathleen L. (Ash) Dick, ’91, Grand Blanc, Mich., died July 24,

died Sept. 2, 2020, age 71.

Allen R. Strozewski, ’84, Lansing, Mich., died Aug. 6, 2020, age 59. Bailus M. Tate, ’84 MA, Plattsburg, Mo., died June 30, 2020,

age 73.

Patricia A. Karas, ’84 MSA, Troy, Mich., died Sept. 14, 2019, age 70. Catherine A. McCartney, ’85 MA, Livonia, Mich., died June 27, 2020, age 82.

Patrick J. Sower, ’85, Carrollton, Tex., died July 5, 2020, age 58. Sherry L. Walenta-David, ’85, Spring Lake, Mich., died July 25, 2020, age 59.

Arretta (Burton) Jickling Hill, ’86 MA, Lapeer, Mich., died Aug. 29, 2020, age 81.

John “Steve” Morris, ’86 MA, Hobe Sound, Fla., died July 10, 2020,

age 72.

Brian D. Szalanski, ’86, Irons, Mich., died Aug. 19, 2020, age 56. Rose M. (Scurlock) Bailey, ’87 MSA, Shelby Township, Mich., died

Oct. 26, 2020, age 87.

Judith K. (Brauch) Carter, ’87 MA, Dripping Springs, Tex., died

August 3, 2020, age 78.

Gene G. Dauer, ’87, Midland, Mich., died Oct. 11, 2020, age 70. Donna L. (Benkert) Schnepf, ’87 MSA, Saginaw, Mich., died Oct. 4,

2020, age 87.

Thomas G. Serb, ’87 MSA, Hollywood, Md., died Aug. 18, 2020, age 73.

2020, age 69.

Patricia A. (Zitney) McCarthy, ’91 MA, Grawn, Mich., died July 28, 2020, age 70.

Clarence Earl Carter, ’92 MSA, Granger, Ind., died May 14, 2020, age 61.

Anthony “Tony” E. Clark, ’93, Rosebush, Mich., died Sept. 19, 2020, age 62.

Anita E. Newell, ’94 MA, Saint Ignace, Mich., died Aug. 18, 2020,

age 69.

Collette K. (Savage) Shugart, ’95, Suttons Bay, Mich., died March

25, 2020, age 80.

Harry L. Smith, ’95 MSA, Huntsville, Ala., died Aug. 27, 2020,

age 67.

Bryan M. Twardowski, ’95, Berkley, Mich., died Sept. 14, 2020,

age 49.

Sandra S. (Saunders) Walker, ’95 MSA, Petersburg, Va., died July 7, 2020, age 74.

28, 2020, age 66.

age 72.

Jodi L. (Schrader) Parker, ’05, Berkley, Mich., died Aug. 15, 2020,

age 39.

Cynthia M. (Boyd) Beloney, ’08, Phoenix, Ariz., died June 23, 2020, age 53.

Jacob J. Wendling, ’10, Holland, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2020, age 34. Patrick M. Hermanson, ’12 DHA, Thornton, Colo., died Sept. 7, 2020,

age 69.

Angelica K. Moore, ’13, Merrill, Mich., died Sept. 6, 2020, age 29. Margaret M. Reynolds, ’16, Pontiac, Mich., died June 1, 2020, age 26.

FACULTY Moonyeen (Brown) Albrecht, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Oct. 9,

age 76.

Helen M. Morsink, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Aug. 13, 2020, age 87. Thaddeus C. Zolty, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 8, 2020, age 83.

STAFF Velma Burr, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 12, 2020, age 79. Shirleen T. Gepford, Rosebush, Mich., died May 11, 2020, age 83. Carol A. (Hindson) Haas, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 18, 2020, age 64.

John W. Knox, Rincon, Ga., died

July 1, 2020, age 91.

Earl P. Morrow, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 25, 2020, age 79.

2020, age 84.

age 48.

Laurie G. (Gatliff) Landrum, ’97 MSA, North Augusta, S.C., died Jeffrey J. Kidwell, ’99 MSA, West River, Md., died July 9, 2020, age 57. Heather M. (Kralik) Williamson, ’99, Ortonville, Mich., died Oct. 15, Paula J. (Zagers) Dunbar, ’00, Cadillac, Mich., died Aug. 26, 2020, age 64.

Joann L. (Linville) Tuttle, ’00 MSA, Clemmons, N.C., died Oct. 3, 2020, age 73.

Debra J. Kiss, ’01 MSA, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., died Sept. 9,

2020, age 61.

Deborah (Ray) Kings, ’90 MSA, Pensacola, Fla., died Sept. 1, 2020,

age 43.

age 59.

Aug. 2, 2020, age 66.

2020, age 64.

Lawrence O. Jenicke, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 20, 2020,

age 47.

Kayann (Truesdell) Anderson, ’90, Mio, Mich., died Aug. 4, 2020,

age 53.

Jeffrey J. Jacobson, ’04 MA, Vallejo, Calif., died July 30, 2020, age 54. Andrew E. Zvagulis, ’04 MA, Colborne, ON, Canada, died

age 80.

Mikiyasu Hakoyama, ’01, ’04 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Oct. 7,

Michael A. Walker, ’96, Ithaca, Mich., died Sept. 16, 2020, age 47. Charles J. Brown, ’97, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept. 12, 2020,

2020, age 45.

Claudia G. Marchione, ’89 MSA, Drexel Hill, Pa., died July 8, 2020,

15, 2020, age 56.

Tina M. (Thurston) Klein, ’96, Holland, Mich., died Aug. 23, 2020,

John W. Duncan, ’88 MSA, Lansing, Mich., died Aug. 8, 2020, Alice I. (Smith) Ferris, ’88, Benton Harbor, Mich., died Sept.

Julie (Bond) Stinson, ’03 MA, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Sept.

age 93.

Roger N. Grabinski, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died April 18, 2020,

age 68.

Aug. 3, 2020, age 56.

age 77.

2020, age 57.

Denny L. Bettisworth, Leesburg, Fla., died Dec. 7, 2019, age 79. Mary M. Bottaro, Mount Pleasant, Mich., died Oct. 5, 2020,

Robert J. Goggins, ’96 MSA, Helena, Mont., died Aug. 10, 2020,

David A. Ward, ’87, Allen Park, Mich., died July 30, 2020, age 57. Rudolph “Rick” Arial Jr., ’88 MA, Saint George, Utah, died Aug. 24,

2020, age 71.

Heather M. (Marvin) Kruczynski, ’02, Clawson, Mich.,

Eric W. Page, ’01, ’06 MA, Grand Rapids, Mich., died Oct. 14, 2020, Lynda (Welsher) King, ’02, Fenton, Mich., died Sept. 30, 2020, age 68.

Centralight Winter ’20



Today’s COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time life at CMU has been disrupted by disease. In 1918, the influenza global pandemic struck Central with deadly consequences. Because of the high mortality rate, all classes were canceled from Nov. 1-18. An emergency hospital was set up in the school’s gym to deal with the large number of sick people, many of them students. Some alumni might remember the above headline from the Dec. 14, 1968, issue of Central Michigan Life. It was a public health emergency in the president’s eyes, but some students took it less seriously. A picture of smiling students packing a car to go home, published in the same issue, was captioned, “Students wasted no time in leaving for the early Christmas vacation tonight.” The university was closed for three weeks.


Centralight Winter ’20

Enhancing Student

EXPERIENCES Alumni couple supports neuroscience program

The greatest gift Central Michigan University gave to James Trosko, ’60, and Beverly “Kay” (Dowell) Trosko, ’60, was bringing them together 60 years ago. That is only one of many reasons they love their alma mater and are choosing to give back so generously. James and Beverly’s gift will advance the CMU neuroscience program with undergraduate scholarships and programs focused on the prevention and treatment of human neurological diseases. While a student at CMU, James remembers receiving the scholarship that allowed him to remain on campus and the impact that had on his future personally and professionally. “Both Kay and I had our professional careers established by our education,” James said. We encourage others to consider supporting students if CMU had a direct impact on yourself or your life.”

James and Beverly (Kay) Trosko

Spirit of giving back The Troskos have a deep understanding of the value of higher education and want to help create opportunities for students as they prepare for a lifetime career. To learn more about helping students and giving back to CMU, contact: Ted Tolcher Senior Director of Gift Planning, Advancement Central Michigan University, Carlin Alumni House, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859 989-774-1441 • ted.tolcher@cmich.edu


CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and including but not limited to minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. UComm 10161

Centralight Winter ’20




Carlin Alumni House Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 48859


Your dollars

MAKE CHANGE Student Emergency Fund

dollars have been awarded


Students awarded dollars


Dollars raised in 2019-20


Life is full of twists and turns — events that can threaten a student’s college education. At CMU, our Student Emergency Fund is there when our CMU Chippewas need a boost, often allowing them to stay in school donate.cmich.edu through difficult circumstances.

The Student Emergency Fund allowed Candy Boakyewaa to realize her dream of achieving a college degree. Due to insufficient financial aid, she was in danger of being dropped from her classes in her senior year. With support from donors, Candy earned her degree in integrative public relations with a minor in public affairs.


Candy Abena Boakyewaa, ’18 Integrative public relations major, public affairs minor

CMU, an AA/EO institution, strongly and actively strives to increase diversity and provide equal opportunity within its community. CMU does not discriminate against persons based on age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran status, or weight. (see cmich.edu/ocrie). UComm 10076 (10/2020)

Donors in 2019-20

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