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Fundraising group honors law professor

Nov. 22, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Thomas N. Edmonds, a faculty specialist II in finance and commercial law at Western Michigan University, has been honored for his philanthropic activities.

Photo of Dr. Thomas N. Edmonds, WMU.Edmonds received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals' West Michigan chapter during the group's National Philanthropy Day event Nov. 9 in Grand Rapids. The award recognizes outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating volunteers for fundraising projects that benefit charitable institutions.

Edmonds was instrumental in establishing the women's Drug Treatment Court in Kalamazoo County in 1992, which allow substance abusers convicted of nonviolent crimes to receive treatment instead of jail time. The women's program was the country's 12th Drug Treatment Court and first gender-specific one. Kalamazoo has subsequently been recognized as a national leader in providing Drug Treatment Court programs.

Edmonds also served on the local Senior Services board, helping raise $1.5 million for the Pauline Allen Nutrition Center and $2.7 million for the Meeting the Needs Campaign. In addition, he and his with his wife, Nancy, headed the Kalamazoo Drug Treatment Court Foundation's New Day Campaign.

The duo helped raise $8 million to continue funding for the women's drug court program and create an endowment to keep it going, along with similar programs for men and juveniles. Diether and Carol Haenicke assisted in that effort as honorary chairs of the campaign. Diether Haenicke, who died in 2009, was president of WMU from 1985 to 1998 and the University's interim president in 2006-07.

Edmonds served as Kalamazoo County sheriff for two decades, leaving the post in 2003. He joined the WMU faculty full time in 2004 after a total of 28 years in law enforcement and after having been an adjunct professor at the University since 1976. He teaches courses in legal environment as well as criminal law and procedure and is the co-author of "Michigan Criminal Law and Procedure," a police resource book.

The WMU alumnus is a past president of the Drug Treatment Court Foundation as well as of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association, and served by gubernatorial appointment on the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, the State Community Corrections Board and the State Polygraph Examiners' Board.

Edmonds is a veteran of active military service and retired from the Michigan Air National Guard in 2004 with the rank of brigadier general. He earned a bachelor's degree from WMU and a doctoral degree in law from Wayne State University.

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

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