WMU News

St. John and Chormann elected to lead trustees

Jan. 19, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Richard Y. St. John of Kalamazoo and Richard F. Chormann of Empire, Mich., have been elected to one-year terms as chairperson and vice chairperson, respectively, of the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.

The election took place at the board's annual meeting Jan. 19, as provided in its bylaws. The annual meeting is one of six regularly scheduled meetings during the year.

St. John has served on the board since 1987. He is now in his second term on the board, and he previously served as chairperson in 1994. He served as vice chairperson in 1993 and 2000.

St. John was an employee of the Upjohn Co., now Pharmacia Corp., for 35 years, before he retired in 1992 from his position as manager of community and legislative affairs. Later that year, he was named vice president for public affairs for the Kalamazoo Foundation, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.

He is active in the Kalamazoo community and has served on a number of local, state and national boards. He has served as national director of the U.S. Jaycees; president of the Kalamazoo and Michigan Jaycees and the Greater Kalamazoo United Way; vice president of the National Association of Fleet Administrators and the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce; and a member of the board of directors for such organizations as the State Governmental Affairs Council, the Kalamazoo Rotary Club and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan in 1956 and 1957, respectively.

Chormann has been a member of the WMU board since 1994. The 1959 WMU alumnus is a life member of the WMU Alumni Association who also has served as a member of the WMU Foundation and the WMU Alumni Association Board. He is a 1994 recipient of the University's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Chormann retired in 1999 from his position as chairman of National City Corp. of Michigan/Illinois just months after stepping down as vice chairman of National City Corp. Previously, he was chairman, president and chief executive officer of First America Bank Corp., a position he held from 1996 until First of America merged with National City in 1997. Chormann had been with First of America since 1958.

He has been active in the Kalamazoo community, serving as chairman of the Borgess Health Alliance Board of Trustees from 1995 to 1998. He served as the co-chairperson of the Red Cross Capital Campaign in 1997, and as honorary co-chairperson in 1993-94 for Junior Achievement.

Other board officers elected to one-year terms were: Betty A. Kocher, secretary to the board; Robert M. Beam, treasurer and assistant secretary; and Lowell P. Rinker, assistant treasurer. Beam is the University's vice president for business and finance, and Rinker is associate vice president for business.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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