Executive board room at medical campus named in honor of Dunns

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of Dr. John and Linda Dunn in front of a sign that reads Dr. John M. and Linda T. Dunn Executive Board Room.

Dr. John and Linda Dunn

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The executive board room at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine's W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus was renamed May 22 to honor the University's former president and his wife.

The third-floor conference room will now be known as the Dr. John M. and Linda T. Dunn Executive Board Room after a celebration and unveiling in honor of the Dunns.

"The evening was very, very special, as was the setting and the people who participated, and of course the unveiling of the signage acknowledging not only me, but also, importantly, my wife, Linda," said John Dunn, who retired as president of WMU in August 2017 and is now a professor emeritus at WMed and president emeritus of WMU.

The naming of the executive board room is in recognition of a significant gift to WMed from the Dunns that was announced in November 2017 during a special donor reception at the W.E. Upjohn M.D. Campus.

Through his visionary leadership and relentless passion, John Dunn championed the medical school beginning in 2007 and garnered broad support, enthusiasm, and engagement for the new endeavor from the University, Kalamazoo's two hospitals—Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare—donors and the community. In 2011, WMed was formed through a collaboration of WMU, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. John Dunn served as the founding chair of the board for the medical school.

"We're very fond of our time here at Western Michigan University and certainly we're fond and very pleased with the development of the medical school and how it has grown," he said.

During the unveiling, Linda Dunn equated the development of the medical school to giving birth to a child and then watching as the institution took its first steps, experienced a few scrapes and bruises, and grew and matured.

"We're in a full gallop now and it's pretty obvious this is a highly successful medical school due primarily to great leadership, faculty, the students who have chosen to come here and, of course, our two outstanding hospital partners, Borgess and Bronson," John Dunn said.

Dr. Hal Jenson, WMed's founding dean, expressed gratitude for the Dunns and their continued support of the medical school. He also thanked John Dunn for the opportunity he was given in 2011 to take the helm at WMed.

The former president said he hopes the glass plaque bearing his and his wife's names outside the executive board room will remind anyone who sees it of the privilege the Dunns were given "of playing a role in helping to develop the medical school and that all great things happen through the cooperation and support of lots of people.

"I think that's what, hopefully, the conversations that occur in the board room will always be about—how can we work together in a positive way to continue our success and make it even better, and continue to think about our aspirations. Our aspirations are high and they should always be high."

Going forward, he added that he is excited to witness the continued growth of the medical school and its impact on the Kalamazoo community and Southwest Michigan.

"I do like to think that with a little bit of luck I will be alive 20 years from now," he said. "To me, it's going to be fascinating to watch the development of the medical school. I think the next big breakthroughs we're going to see will be in the areas of research and we have some very, very fine scientists here.

"This medical school was never designed to be just another medical school," he added. "It was designed to be a very special medical school. It carries a very distinctive name, the Stryker name, so innovation, making sure we're at the forefront of good research, to me, it's going to be very exciting to watch that develop."

For more information, contact WMed Communications Director Laura Eller at (269) 337-4513 or laura.eller@med.wmich.edu.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.