WMU News

Wm. John Upjohn

May 17, 2000

Wm. John Upjohn, the first president of the WMU Foundation and a charter member of its board of directors, died May 9 in Kalamazoo. He was 74.

Upjohn, who served on the foundation's board of directors at the time of his death, was one of 17 business and civic leaders who helped establish the foundation in 1976. He was elected its first president at the board's initial organizational meeting.

He founded the W.J. Upjohn Management Co. in 1969 and continued as its head until his death. Upjohn also held management positions with Upjohn Pharmaceuticals from 1949 to 1960; was chairman of the board of Scope Inc. from 1969 to 1985; and head of Upjohn Associates from 1958 to 1973. He also served as a member of the Upjohn Co.'s board of directors from 1952 to 1972.

A 1949 graduate of Hobart College, Upjohn served from 1971 to 1981 as adjunct assistant professor of management in WMU's College of Business. For his contributions to both the University and community, he was honored with WMU's Distinguished Service Award in 1980.


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