Top News of 2014

Charles F. Woodward obituary

Charles F. Woodward, assistant professor emeritus of industrial and manufacturing engineering, died Dec. 12 at age 81. Memorial guestbook entries can be made online.

Business student awarded patent for speaking device

Marketing student Daniel Floyd has obtained a patent for his invention SpeechMasterPro, a device that assists those with speech impediments, as well as anyone else seeking to improve articulation and elocution.

William M. Cremin obituary

Professor Emeritus William M. Cremin, a key member of the Department of Anthropology for more than three decades, died Sept. 10 in Marshall at age 72. Cremin retired in 2007 after 32 years of service.

Frank Robinson obituary

Dr. Frank Robinson, a former WMU faculty member and former head of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, died Dec. 1 in Kalamazoo. He was 100.

Jean E. Lowrie obituary

Dr. Jean E. Lowrie, a former WMU administrator and an influential leader in librarianship and elementary education, died Nov. 9 at age 96. She retired in 1983 after 32 years of service.

WMU to confer more than 1,800 degrees in December

Commencement ceremonies will be staged at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, in Miller Auditorium for WMU's fall graduating class. President John M. Dunn will preside over the ceremonies.

Emeriti Council funds $9,200 in student scholarships

This fall, 23 undergraduate students have received $400 Emeriti Council Book Scholarships to help them purchase textbooks and school supplies. A total of $9,200 in book scholarships was given away this fall.

WMU boosts need-based aid for 10 top incoming students

WMU is adding 10 $50,000 awards to its mix of top scholarships for the fall 2015 incoming class. The new Foundation Scholarships will be awarded based on both academic performance and financial need.

Robert L. Blefko obituary

University officials learned Nov. 1 that Dr. Robert L. Blefko, a retired Western Michigan University faculty member, died at his home in Kalamazoo. He was 82. A memorial service was held on campus Nov. 19.

WMU named 'Best for Vets' for fifth consecutive year

Up five spots from last year, WMU is the only Michigan school to have appeared on all five years of Military Times EDGE magazine's annual list of the top colleges in the U.S. for military veterans pursuing higher education.

WMU trustees extend president's contract into 2017

Acting during a special formal session Nov. 7, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend the contract of WMU President John M. Dunn for an additional year, with that term now to end June 30, 2017.

WMU mentor program earns statewide recognition

The University's Career Mentor Program for LBGTA students is an Equity in Education Award winner and will be honored by the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers at its annual conference.

Events slated for Native American Heritage Month

Several events are taking place at WMU this month that honor Native Americans and share information about Native American history and culture. Among those open to the public are four that start Thursday, Nov. 6.

WMU trustees slate special meeting for Nov. 7

Gathering in formal public session at 11 a.m. in Rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center, the board will focus on the topic of presidential compensation and a contract extension for WMU President John M. Dunn.

Campus service for Carolyn Harris is Nov. 8

The life of Dr. Carolyn Harris, a WMU professor who died suddenly Sept. 20, will be celebrated during a service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8. Harris was a 29-year member of the Department of Spanish faculty.

Campus engineer George Wilson dies

George L. Wilson, who recently retired from his position as electrical engineering manager in Facilities Management, died Oct. 22. He was 63. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.

Homecoming Campus Classic race set for Oct. 25

Western Michigan University is holding it's 16th annual Homecoming Campus Classic race Saturday, Oct. 25. The annual 1K Fun Run and 5K will kick off the final day of homecoming activities.

Changes to WMU Student Code announced

Changes have been made to the WMU Student Code as the result of a resolution agreement reached last year between the University and U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

WMU's 2014 homecoming is just around the corner

Scores of exciting activities for thousands of WMU community members, friends and fans are taking place during homecoming week, Monday through Sunday, Oct. 20-26, and Family Weekend, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 24-26.

Archie E. Watson obituary

Archie E. Watson, assistant professor emeritus of education and professional development, died Feb. 25 at age 81. Services were held Sept. 28. Memorial gifts may be made to a charity of choice.

Caryl P. Freeman obituary

Dr. Caryl P. Freeman, associate professor emeritus of business information systems, died Sept. 30 at age 86. Services have taken place. Memorials gifts may be made to the Gilmore Keyboard Festival.

Academic Convocation sets direction for 2014-15 academic year

Members of the WMU community will gather Oct. 10, for the University's formal annual academic convocation that will honor standout faculty and staff members and provide a platform for President John M. Dunn to set the direction for the coming year.

Final direction for Valley Dining Center announced

WMU's next residence hall dining facility will feature nine restaurant-style eateries as well as a convenience store and cafe and be open to all WMU students, employees and visitors.

New TV spot infuses 'Go West' theme with new WMU imagery

WMU has introduced a new 30-second promotional television spot that expands on the "Go West" advertising campaign, which will air in all major Michigan markets from October through December and again in 2015.

University to honor its top four staffers for 2013-14

Mary Lou Brooks, Elena Gaudio, Nancy Landsberger and James Oswalt are the latest recipients of WMU's Annual Make a Difference Award, the highest honor bestowed specifically on non-faculty employees for service excellence.

New director named for Soga Japan Center

Dr. Takashi Yoshida, a WMU associate professor of history and founding member of the center, has been named the new director of the Michitoshi Soga Japan Center, effective Sept. 2.

Gerald L. Sievers obituary

Dr. Gerald L. Sievers, professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics, died Sept. 25 at age 74. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Sept. 29, and the funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Helen J. Healy obituary

Helen J. Healy, associate professor emerita of University Libraries, died July 26 at age 76. Healy retired from University Libraries in 2000 after 36 years of service.

Faculty Senate announces leadership for 2014-16

Except for the immediate past president, nine faculty members will serve for the next two years as elected officers and directors on the Faculty Senate Executive Board.

Group started to fill students' critical unmet needs

The Invisible Need Project kicked off this summer and is initially focusing on collecting donations for a food pantry set to open Sept. 15 and establishing a Student Emergency Relief Fund.

WMU’s MBA program celebrates 50 years in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids community, as well as faculty, staff, students and alumni of Western Michigan University's Master of Business Administration program, will celebrate the program's 50th anniversary in Grand Rapids this fall.

Shirley Van Hoeven obituary

Dr. Shirley Van Hoeven, a professor emerita of communication at WMU, died Sept. 8 at age 79. Details about services will be provided as they become available.

Duo earns top honors for retention program

Geralyn Heystek and Chris Robinson have been awarded first place in the Innovation in Business Education Award for developing WMU's Phoenix Program.

Three executives awarded WMU's top alumni honor for 2014

Wendell L. Christoff, Daniel J. Martin and Donald Southwell are WMU's 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award winners. Oct. 23 is the deadline to register for the Oct. 24 event at which they will be recognized.

Fall semester kicks off with 34th Bronco Bash

The annual back-to-campus celebration will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, on WMU's Sangren Pedestrian Mall. Bronco Bash is free and open to the public.

Management professor Keenan dies

Long-time faculty member Dr. J. Michael Keenan died July 28 at age 82. Keenan pioneered a distance education model and advocated for experiential learning at the University.

Trustees agree to extension on Cole-Gilmore property

The board authorized WMU's administration to negotiate and execute an extension to an existing set of development agreements covering a four-block parcel of land it owns in downtown Kalamazoo.

Trustees set 2015-16 rates for new residence hall complex

WMU's Board of Trustees set room rates for WMU's new residence halls at their July 23 meeting. Double room rates for the halls in the Center Residential Neighborhood will be set at $5,599 for the academic year.

Mary Anne Bunda obituary

Dr. Mary Anne Bunda, professor emerita of educational studies, died July 17 at age 70. A memorial mass will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 24, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 936 Lake St., Kalamazoo.

Wong to direct School of Music

Bradley Wong, professor of music, has assumed leadership of the University's music school. His appointment was approved during the WMU Board of Trustees' June 10 meeting.


Zhang Center earns silver certification as 'green' building

WMU's Zhang Legacy Collections Center has achieved silver certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, bringing the University's total number of LEED-certified buildings to eight.

William H. Kanzler obituary

Dr. William H. "Bill" Kanzler, professor emeritus of education and professional development, died May 11 at age 87. A memorial gathering will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28.

William J. Kowalski obituary

William J. Kowalski, retired assistant vice president for facilities engineering at WMU, died June 18 in Kalamazoo. He was 91. Memorial guestbook entries can be made at

Music student wins trombone competition

Nick Dewyer of Chelsea, Michigan, won the Larry Wiehe Solo Competition at the 2014 International Trombone Festival at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York

Harvey Overton obituary

Harvey Overton, a former professor of humanities, died April 16. He was 92. Overton retired from the University in 1982. No information on services is available.

Trustees approve 26 faculty for tenure

At its June 10 meeting, the WMU Board of Trustees approved the tenure of 26 faculty members. Tenure is granted effective with the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.

Gov. Snyder names new trustee to WMU Board

James Bolger of Whitehall, Michigan, will replace Michelle Crumm, who recently resigned. Bolger will serve on the eight-member governing body through Dec. 31, 2020.

Fifty-four faculty members receive promotions

Twenty-one faculty members were promoted to the rank of full professor, 22 to associate professor, four to master faculty specialist and seven to faculty specialist II at WMU's June 10 Board of Trustees meeting.

WMU's estimated 2014-15 operating budget set

Meeting June 10, WMU's Board of Trustees approved an estimated general fund operating budget of just over $378 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year that will begin July 1.

New award established to recognize graduate students

The Graduate Student Advisory Committee has debuted a new Make a Difference award to recognize graduate students who are making a difference in their peers' lives. The first four students received the honor April 12.

New MBA concentration in aviation takes flight

WMU’s Haworth College of Business and College of Aviation will offer a new concentration in aviation within the MBA program, geared toward students interested in management roles in the aviation industry.

Alfred K. Ho obituary

Dr. Alfred K. Ho, professor emeritus of economics, died Jan. 26 at age 94. A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 15, in Kanley Chapel. RSVP to to attend the reception that will follow.

Sky Broncos get ready for national championship

WMU's Sky Broncos precision flight team will be competing for the 22nd consecutive year in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association championship, held May 12-17 at Ohio State University.

WMU wins U.S. Environmental Protection Agency award

WMU has been awarded the 2013 College/University Partner of the Year Award for outstanding waste reduction achievements as a WasteWise partner. The award is calculated on data reported for calendar year 2012.

William 'Bill' Doolittle obituary

Former Bronco head football coach and WMU Hall of Famer William "Bill" Doolittle died Thursday, April 10, at age 90. A celebration of his life is set for noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 22, on campus in the Seelye Center.

Engineering students show innovations at annual conference

Senior engineering students will showcase and demonstrate their projects during the 54th Conference on Senior Engineering Design from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Three rare campus trees named state champions

The biggest dwarf hackberry trees known to exist in Michigan are growing on WMU's main campus, according to official measurements taken for the Michigan Botanical Club Big Tree Program and National Register of Big Trees.

Spring 2014 outstanding staffers to be honored

Fifteen WMU staff members will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the University during a reception Monday, April 14, for semiannual Make a Difference Award winners.

Walden A. Baskerville obituary

Dr. Walden A. Baskerville, associate professor emeritus at WMU, died Feb. 11 at age 87. Baskerville retired in 1993 after nearly 15 years of service to the University. Memorial guestbook entries can be made online.

Joseph T. Work obituary

Dr. Joseph T. Work, professor emeritus in music at WMU, died Feb. 7 at age 82. Work retired in 1993 after 30 years of service to the University. Memorial guestbook entries can be made online.

Plans for new alumni center unveiled

Architects from TowerPinkster unveiled the final design for the new WMU Alumni Center during the third public input session held March 25. The full presentation is available online.

Wayne C. Mann obituary

Wayne C. Mann, retired WMU archivist and co-founder of the Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society, died March 19. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in Portage, Mich.

WMU to host 25th annual International Festival

Enjoy the music, dance, food and fashions of 15 of the cultures represented on campus by attending the 25th annual International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 23, in the Bernhard Center.

WMU and new medical school offer dual MD-MBA degree

The Haworth College of Business and the WMU School of Medicine have designed a dual-degree program allowing medical students to complete both an M.D. degree and MBA degree with a concentration in healthcare.

Graduate College selects second duo to be fellows

This year's Graduate College Faculty Fellows are Dr. Julie Apker, associate professor of communication, and Dr. Louann A. Bierlein Palmer, professor of educational leadership, research and technology.

Campus memorial service will honor Lonnie Duncan

A campus memorial service to honor the life and work of Dr. Lonnie E. Duncan is set for 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the Fetzer Center. RSVPs are requested by Friday, Feb. 14.

2014 marks 75 years of aviation education at WMU

A series of events is being planned throughout 2014 to mark the history of aviation at WMU. The College of Aviation is celebrating its 75th year of providing aviation education to WMU students this year.

WMU closed Monday Jan. 27, due to severe weather

Except for essential and emergency services, WMU is closed Monday, Jan. 27, due to severe weather. All classes are canceled. For information on the status of regional locations, visit the Extended University Programs Web page.

Full range of campus and area events slated to honor King

"Past, Present, and Future: Living the Dream" is the theme of this year's celebration planned to honor Martin Luther King Jr., which includes many events at WMU and across the Kalamazoo community beginning Jan. 15.

Lonnie E. Duncan obituary

Dr. Lonnie E. Duncan, WMU associate professor of counselor education and counseling psychology, died suddenly Dec. 31. He was 46. A visitation will be held Sunday, Jan. 5, with a memorial service set for Monday, Jan. 6.