WMU News

TenHarmsel named dean of Lee Honors College

March 31, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of Dr. Larry J. tenHarmsel as the new dean of the Lee Honors College, effective April 1.

A faculty member at WMU since 1974, tenHarmsel has long been active in honors education and has served as a faculty mentor to graduate and undergraduate student researchers and an advisor to honors college students working on their honors theses. For the past two years, he has served as interim associate dean of the Lee Honors College.

"I am very pleased by this appointment," said Dr. Elise Jorgens, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, who brought the appointment recommendation to the board. "Dr. tenHarmsel has been an advocate for effective and challenging programs for our best students, and I have every confidence that he will provide the strong leadership that our fine honors college deserves."

TenHarmsel came to WMU in 1974 from Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va., where he was a member of the English faculty and director of that university's honors program. A member of WMU's humanities faculty in the College of General Studies until 1989, tenHarmsel joined the faculty of the Department of English in 1989, when the University's general studies area was reorganized. He currently is a tenured professor of English. TenHarmsel also is the founder and, since 1988, the director of the Grand Tour of Europe, a summer program through which WMU students travel to Europe to study artistic and cultural history.

He says his recent close affiliation with the honors college as given him a preview of what to expect in his new position.

"Over the past two years, I've been privileged to serve as interim associate dean of the Lee Honors College, and I've found it to be a delightful and challenging experience," said tenHarmsel. "The students I have worked with are dedicated and ambitious, excelling in their studies and in their commitment to the life of the community. They represent the finest qualities of our University. I am grateful for the support of student excellence I see throughout the university, and I am excited about our prospects for the future."

TenHarmsel has published a number of articles and reviews dealing with literature and fine arts and has translated poetry from the Dutch. His most recent research and writing has focused

on his own Dutch heritage, and he is author of "Dutch in Michigan," published in 2002 by Michigan State University Press. The book is part of the multi-volume "Discovering the Peoples of Michigan" series.

A West Michigan native, tenHarmsel earned a bachelor's degree from Calvin College in 1967 and master's and doctoral degrees from Ohio University in 1968 and 1971, respectively.

He is actively involved in a number of community activities. He served as chairperson of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival for a decade and has performed in several area musical productions. Currently, he serves as a director of the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Mich., and works with that organization's sculpture acquisition committee.

TenHarmsel replaces Dr. Joseph Reish, who is now serving as WMU's dean of University Libraries.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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