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Irene S. Bibza

May 25, 2010

Irene S. Bibza, a former Western Michigan University faculty member, died April 15 in Arlington, Va. She was 93.

A longtime Kalamazoo resident, Bibza came to WMU in 1965. She retired in 1980 as an assistant professor of home economics after 15 years of service to the University. Her areas of expertise were textiles and design, clothing construction and tailoring.

Bibza began her teaching career in 1940 and taught at several schools and universities, including Mansfield State College and North Texas State University. She served on the executive board of the Michigan Home Economics Association from 1974 to 1976, chairing the clothing and textiles section.

In 1996, Bibza created a scholarship for students in the University's design and technical theatre program. She was active in retirement as a volunteer for WMU's Zest for Life Program as well as community organizations such as the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, where she was a docent; American Heart Information Center; and First United Methodist Church.

Bibza earned a bachelor's degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and a master's degree from Alabama Polytechnic Institute. During her teaching career, she also continued her studies at many universities.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts or, through the WMU Foundation, the University's theatre, music or dance departments.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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