WMU News

'W' Club honors Sumney and Wolfe

Jan. 14, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Longtime booster and former Bronco baseball player Maurice "Suds" Sumney, along with Susan A. Wolfe, volunteer and past president of the Southwest Michigan Chapter of the "W" Club, have been named 2004 Man and Woman of the Year by the "W" Varsity Club at Western Michigan University.

Both recipients will be honored at halftime of the WMU men's basketball game versus Ball State on Saturday, Jan. 24. A pre-game reception will also be held in the conference rooms of University Arena. To make reservations, contact Irene Bracken at (269) 387-3062.

Sumney came to WMU from Sturgis, Mich., as a leadoff hitter and second baseman for the Broncos. His career was interrupted during World War II. He served as a tail gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, where he sustained injuries ending his baseball career. He returned to WMU as a second semester sophomore and continued with Bronco athletics, working as an assistant sports information director for Athletic Director Judson Hyames.

In 1956, he was elected as the first president of the Bronco Boosters, which eventually became
the Mike Gary Fund. He is also a former director of the WMU Foundation.

Still a staple within the Bronco baseball program, Sumney has made the annual spring trip for 28 years. He continues to fund raise for the Russell-Sumney Baseball Endowment formed to assist with the baseball travel budget. Sumney also coordinates events for the Dug Out Club, of which he is a two-time past president. In addition to WMU, Sumney has been active with the American Cancer Society. After 25 years as a board member, he was named an Honorary Lifetime Member of the society in 2003.

Wolfe, who graduated from WMU in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in education, has been a constant supporter of WMU athletics and a longtime volunteer and community leader in Southwest
Michigan and St. Joseph. In addition to her memberships with Friends of the Library and the Krasl Art Center of St. Joseph, she has been a past board member for the Genealogical Society of Southwest Michigan and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

Wolfe's ties to WMU athletics run deep. She has volunteered for numerous fund-raising campaigns and has been a WMU donor for more than 25 years. A member of the Blue Line Club since 1986, she served as treasurer from 1997 to 2000, and is in her fifth year as club president. A WMU Alumni Association Life Member, she is past president of the Southwest Michigan "W" Club Chapter.

Wolfe is an office assistant for Phoenix Life Insurance in St. Joseph where she lives with her
husband, Richard.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

WMU News
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