Spring/Summer 2020

A professor films herself teaching a distance learning class.

Learning through a Lens

Given an inconceivable task and limited time to accomplish it, the WMU community is finding ways to thrive while teaching and learning from a distance.

See how Broncos rose to the occasion

Dear Friends,

The world is a vastly different place than it was when we issued the previous edition of the magazine. Things have changed in ways that most of us never expected. We’ve witnessed the frightening spread of a global pandemic that has affected nations around the world and touched our campus in the worst way, but at the same time, we’ve also beheld humanity and decency at their best. 

I’m writing this missive at a moment that can only be described in one word: uncertainty. Our state’s residents are currently sheltering in place, businesses are closed, K-12 schools continue online and we hold our collective breath as we monitor the data and watch the viral spread. There’s no denying that this is a troublesome time for all of us.

But at the same time, I’m heartened by the things that I see taking place across our University. From the response of our faculty members, who quickly shifted 5,000 course sections to distance education platforms this spring, to the creative and caring students who used their tools and talents to help front-line workers in health care settings, Broncos are showing the grit, determination and adaptability that are most needed when the world doesn’t make sense.

Rocked by calamity, tested by tragedy, through it all, the Western Michigan University family continues to display true humanity and courage. I hope that the stories you’ll read throughout this issue will remind you of what’s best and most enduring about our beloved University—its people. 

Thank you for continuing to stand strong with us, for being part of our worldwide community, and joining us in proving that no matter the obstacle, that Broncos are prepared to go the distance. 



University News

Preparing for the Future

Ducks stand on a log in water.

Ducking Out

Asylum Lake Preserve offers a soothing, educational, socially-distant retreat rich with birdwatching opportunities—if you know what to look for.

Learn birding basics

Alumni Profiles

Unique Collection

The University Libraries has acquired the complete working archive of author and illustrator, David Small, and author, Sarah Stewart. It includes drafts, original art, correspondence and unpublished work as well as their award-winning books.

Get a sneak peek

Expert Insights

  • Eyes peer through a peeled back sheet of paper.

    Designed and taught by Dr. Mark Orbe, Taboo Topics relies on dialogic learning—discussion-based study—to address sensitive subjects that are typically off-limits to speak about in North American culture. Therefore, matters pertaining to race, death, sex, religion, and other subjects are the foci.

For the full print version of the Spring/Summer 2020 magazine, including Classnotes and In Memoriam:

Download the complete issue