Time at Western Michigan University: 2003-07
Timothy was a WMU honors student majoring in political science with minors in environmental studies, history, and English. His passion for improving the world around him and his love for learning first occurred in high school. He strived to absorb all the knowledge that he could.
Upon arriving to campus he began spreading his good will and strength of mind to many WMU affiliated entities. He wrote for Western Herald as an opinion columnist. He wanted to impact and improve society through his writings. He was an active member and the co-chairman of the College Green Party. When election time rolled around, Timothy and the other members spread news of the Green Party candidates. They organized speakers that encouraged other students to see past the two party system. He participated in many organizations and programs including Swords into Plowshares Peace Center, Western Student Association, Students for a Sustainable Earth, United Students Against Sweatshops, and Meristem Co-op CATS. He inspired many students to join these groups as well.
Students were not the only members of campus that felt Timothy’s impact. A leader in WMU’s living wage campaign he advocated around campus for WMU custodians and other staff members. He also won the D.C. Shilling award from the department for Special Scholastic Achievement in his junior year. He participated in the Solid Ground Lutheran Campus Ministry Program and applied his bible readings and views to his daily life. His passion was contagious and he made a difference in many people’s lives. After graduation, his goal was to go to law school. He encouraged student involvement on campus and desired to make the world a better place. His drive and determination characteristics were evident in everything that he did.
In 2004, Tim was diagnosed with cancer. He continued studying and participating at WMU during his treatments. Tim is missed by many but his love for political activism, environmental sustainably, and equitable provision for all lives on through a scholarship in his honor. After his death, a team of his friends and supporters walked in remembrance of him in the Relay for Life on campus. WMU Department of Political Science presented his family a posthumous bachelor’s degree in political science for Tim in 2008.
“If you really want to see some change you have to get involved and start working for it. No matter who you are, what you do, or how much time you have, there is always a place for you to make your voice heard,” Tim Hurttgam, Western Herald, 2005.
The Tim Hurttgam Memorial Prize is awarded to a student who displays ideals such as making the world a better place by supporting sustainable environment, peace and harmony throughout the world, equal rights, and a living wage just as Tim had.