WMU News

Haenicke honored for community service

July 8, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, former president of Western Michigan University, is the 2004 recipient of the Red Rose Citation for outstanding community service, presented by the Rotary Club of Kalamazoo.

Haenicke will be honored at the Monday, July 19, luncheon meeting of the club at the Kalamazoo Radisson Plaza Hotel. The club's Red Rose Citation has been presented annually to outstanding members of the Kalamazoo community since 1945.

"Our community is quite fortunate that Dr. Haenicke and his wonderful family decided to make Kalamazoo their retirement home as evidenced by the many volunteer contributions that he continues to make every day to this area's quality of life," said Tim Brown, club president.

Haenicke's nomination noted that "his support of the arts permeates the community. His love of music, theatre and the visual arts is common knowledge to all who know him." While known particularly for his devotion to the arts, Haenicke also was cited for the breadth of his community service, which has included memberships on the boards of directors of a variety charitable and community organizations.

Among the many highlights of Haenicke's 13-year presidency at WMU, were several major capital improvements, including construction of buildings for the Haworth College of Business, Lee Honors College, University Computing Center and Student Recreation Center, as well as major expansions and renovations of facilities for the Department of Theatre and University Libraries.

Also built during Haenicke's presidency was a new science research facility with more than 60 state-of-the-art laboratories, which was later named in his honor--Diether H. Haenicke Hall. The international studies institute at WMU also is named for the former president.

Following his retirement as president in 1998, Haenicke remained active in the campus and Kalamazoo communities and has written a weekly column for the Kalamazoo Gazette. A compilation of his Gazette articles, titled "Wednesdays with Diether," was published in 2003.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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