In October 1975, following suggestions from emeriti, President John T. Bernhard invited 12 emeriti to establish an ad hoc Emeriti Council and to formulate a permanent organization and procedures. By 1976, the provisional council had initiated some programs and recommended a plan for a continuing organization. The President approved, and the council elected its first officers and continued its work. As a guest of the council on June 1, 1980, President Bernhard “assured the council of active support in fostering the best possible relationships between the emeriti and Western Michigan University.” This support has continued under Presidents Diether Haenicke, Elson S. Floyd, Judith I. Bailey, John M. Dunn and Edward B. Montgomery.


The principal concerns of the Emeriti Council are to:

  • Maintain open lines of communication between the emeriti, the administration, and the faculty of WMU
  • Foster strong relationships between the emeriti and the University
  • Support and serve the emeriti in various ways
  • Support the growth and development of the University


The Emeriti Council is composed of 12 emeriti elected from emeriti who are nominated by members of the emeriti at large, which includes members on the Emeriti Council, for a two-year term. With their consent members may be reelected for one consecutive two-year term with a goal of maintaining 12 members, fresh perspectives, and sufficient experience among members. Although council members are initially limited to serving for only four years, they may repeat the process after an absence of at least one year from membership on the Council. The Emeriti Council may conduct elections as needed to replace departing members.

To the extent possible new council members are inducted by the Council at the May meeting. New members begin their terms of service at the July meeting or whenever is reasonable in the event of a vacancy. The Council meets every other month (January, March, May, July, September, and November) throughout the year. The officers, newsletter editor, and committee members are chosen by the Council.

Programs and events

The programs of the council may include academic matters, issues pertinent to retired faculty, and social events. The council has conducted workshops, forums and lectures addressing issues of interest to the WMU community. Topics chosen for programs reflect particular needs and interests of the emeriti and may also include presentations designed to keep the constituency current with the programmatic and physical development of the University. Wednesday II's are presentations usually scheduled at 2 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month from September through May in the Emeriti Lounge in Wallwood Hall on East Campus. Emeriti or special guests present programs of interest. Light refreshments are offered.

Social events planned by the council may include an off-campus dinner or luncheon late in the spring semester and a “Break-Fest” in August. Other activities may include picnics, trips, open houses, campus tours, theatre evenings and the flu-shot clinic for emeriti and spouses at Sindecuse Health Center. All emeriti and surviving spouses are invited to these events.

 A newsletter, Emeriti News, is published twice yearly. It is posted on the emeriti website and is emailed to emeriti throughout the U.S. and sometimes internationally. Review of the newsletter and a visit to the Emeriti Council’s website will answer most questions. For additional information emeriti can contact a member of the Emeriti Council using contact information in the emeriti web pages.

Fundraising and Medallion Scholarships

Emeriti and other donors have a long history of supporting Western’s fundraising efforts to help students. The Emeriti Council supported the participation of emeriti in Western’s “Partners in Progress” fundraising drive in 1980 and the “Campaign for Excellence” drive in 1990-91. The Council currently encourages donations to two scholarship funds.

Established in 1983, Western’s Medallion Scholarship program awarded its first scholarships in 1984. Today, donations from emeriti and others continue to support prestigious four-year Emeriti Medallion Scholarships. While maintaining sensitivity for the time of all involved, the Emeriti Council seeks to maintain a relationship with Medallion Scholars sponsored by emeriti. It is a semester by semester goal to invite scholars to meet as special guests with one or more council members for a luncheon or other sponsored event.

The council also supports a scholarship program to assist financially needy students with the purchase of books and supplies. Emeriti are asked to contribute to a fund that awards $500 annually to each awardee.

To make a donation, please visit the WMU Alumni Association's giving page. Type "Emeriti" into the search box and choose from either the Emeriti Council's Book Scholarship Fund or the Emeriti Medallion Scholarship by clicking on the plus sign (+) to the left. This will take you to a form that you can fill out to make a donation.