WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Elizabeth "Libby" Lennon

May 25, 2007

Elizabeth "Libby" Lennon, a Western Michigan University assistant professor emerita, who was recognized for her advocacy for the blind and disabled, died May 11 at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. She was 97.

Born in Chicago, Lennon lost sight in one eye at about the age of eight due to an accident. Her determination to become an educator for the blind eventually led her to WMU in 1967, after previously having an impressive teaching and administrative career in programs for the blind including in Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Montana. She also reached beyond U.S. border and traveled and taught in England and Australia.

Lennon retired from WMU in 1978 as an assistant professor in the blind rehabilitation program.

Aside from her teaching, she was active in many organizations, boards and committees including as a founding member of the Kalamazoo Disability Resource Center and co-founder of the Shepard's Center of Greater Kalamazoo, which offered ecumenical programs for homebound seniors.

She served on the Board of the Voluntary Action Center of Greater Kalamazoo, was an advisory member of the City of Kalamazoo's Advisory Committee for the Coover Recreational Center and had a longtime involvement with the Michigan Commission for the Blind.

In recognition of her work in her community, Lennon was named the Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1971, and in 2002 she received the prestigious Irving S. Gilmore Lifetime Achievement Award.

A service to honor her life was held earlier this month at the Life Story Funeral Home in Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400