WMU News

Senior uses thesis project to raise funds for Habitat

Oct. 16, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University student Bethany Wolbert is using her senior honors thesis to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. The week of Oct. 22-26, she will exhibit more than 40 photographs that she took in Puerto Rico, where she spent five months earlier this year as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Titled "AmeRico," the exhibit deals with the presence and influence of U.S. culture in Puerto Rico. The exhibit is in the Rotunda Gallery of East Hall, which is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. There is no admission fee. A public reception with the artist will be held in the gallery on Friday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Throughout the exhibit's run, Wolbert will accept donations for Habitat for Humanity, but her efforts go beyond simply placing a donation jar next to the guest book. She is also organizing a "pop can drive," with patrons encouraged to drop off bottles and cans at the exhibit. Most significantly, all of the photos in Wolbert's exhibition are for sale and all proceeds benefit Habitat.

Says Wolbert. "I have worked for many months with Habitat both here and in Puerto Rico. I have personally seen the tremendous need for decent housing, and I am committed to helping Habitat fill the need."

Wolbert, from Troy, Mich., is a member of the Lee Honors College and expects to complete her bachelor's degree in December with a double major in art and Spanish. In April 2000, she was awarded a $2,500 Dean's Summer Research Grant from the honors college for her thesis project.

Following graduation, Wolbert plans to seek employment as a photographer and hopes that she can continue to work with Habitat and other charities.

Habitat for Humanity has built more than 100,000 houses around the world, providing more than 500,000 people in more than 2,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and strives to involve people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 616 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400