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Longtime College of Education administrator dies

by Mark Schwerin

Dec. 19, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Joyce DeRight.
Joyce DeRight
Joyce L. DeRight, former director of admissions and advising for the Western Michigan University College of Education and Human Development, died Thursday, Dec. 15. She was 68.

DeRight retired in 2008 after 35-1/2 years of service to the University. She came to WMU in 1972 as supervisor of what is now the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. She served as assistant director of that office from 1977-81, then was named associate director of Sindecuse Health Center, serving in that position from 1981-88. In conjunction with that role, she also served as director of the Sara Swickard Preschool from 1984-88 before assuming director responsibilities of admissions and advising.

During her tenure at WMU, DeRight received several awards, including a Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and the Esprit de Corps Award from the College of Education and Human Development in 2003. She was inducted into the WMU Academy of Volunteers in 1991 and the 25 Year Club in 1997. She also served as president of the Administrative Professional Association from 1975-77 and 1983-86.

DeRight was appointed to the Presidential Committee for Restructuring of WMU in 1976 and served on many other boards at WMU, including the Commission on the Status of Women, the Non-Traditional Student Organization Advisory Board, the International Student Services Advisory Board, the Sindecuse Health Center Advisory Board and the Mentor-Mentee Program.

She also served for many years as an adult education teacher and community education teacher for Kalamazoo Public Schools and developed several courses for adult education.

DeRight was a graduate of Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo and earned a bachelor's degree in business education and master's degree in communication, both from WMU.

She was a member of numerous organizations, including the American College Health Association, the Mid-America College Health Association, National Coalition for Campus Child Care, Kalamazoo Public Schools Adult and Community Education Advisory Council, and Vine Neighborhood Association.

A Memorial Service celebrating DeRight's life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th St., Kalamazoo. Memorial contributions may be directed to West Michigan Cancer Center or Kalamazoo Humane Society.