Dunn to be honored for work with foster care grads

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of President Emeritus John M. Dunn.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University President Emeritus John M. Dunn will be honored today at Dearborn's Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for his contributions to the success of young people who have been part of the state's foster care system.

Dunn will be honored at the Detroit area's sixth annual Fostering Futures Scholarship Benefit Dinner. Carolyn Clifford, anchor for WXYZ TV in Detroit, will serve as emcee for the fundraising gala that will boost resources available for the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund to disburse assistance during the current academic year. In addition to the Dunn tribute, the event will include testaments from scholarship recipients and supporters as well as a silent auction, raffles and entertainment.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund is a unit of the Michigan Educational Trust Charitable Tuition Program, a Sec. 170 (c) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide scholarships to former foster care youth enrolled at Michigan colleges and universities.

Dunn, WMU's eighth president, retired July 31 after more than 10 years in the leadership role. He is being honored at the gala for his commitment to programs advancing the education and life experience of youth who have experienced foster care. Under his leadership, WMU launched its Seita Scholars Program in 2008. The award-winning effort, which has grown into the largest and most comprehensive such collegiate program in the nation, features a tuition scholarship, extensive campus coaching support and on-campus housing to ensure program students have a place to stay year round, including during semester breaks. Serving up to 160 students each year, the successful Seita program recently saw its 115th graduate, and a number of additional scholars are nearing that benchmark achievement. Over the past decade, Dunn remained a consistent champion and advocate for students, and he helped the program grow and eventually add capabilities that allowed the launch of WMU's Center for Fostering Success. In addition to the Seita program, that center includes Fostering Success Michigan and Fostering Success Coach Training. It is home to a statewide support network and has become a national center for research and best practices.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.