Zoa D. Shilling
Mrs. Shilling was the wife of Dr. D.C. Shilling, first chairman of the Department of Political Science. Originally from Ohio, the Shillings came to Kalamazoo in 1921. Like many faculty spouses she was active on campus. She attended many events with her husband—dances, celebrations, sporting events, meetings, etc. She was a member of the University Dames at WMU, an organization that was founded by/for WMU faculty members’ wives and later opened to all University women. Disbanded in 2013, after 100 years of serving the WMU community in various ways. Their legacy lives on through the University Dames Endowed Scholarship awarded to WMU graduate students, preferences given to female applicants.
During World War II, Mrs. Shilling and other faculty wives headed “at home” efforts on campus. They sent items to soldiers overseas and encouraged students to participate as well. She donated her husband’s Political Campaign Button collection to the department upon his death in 1952. She created two endowments for the Department of Political Science one in her husband’s honor, after he died and one in her honor. The Endowments are used for many events, speakers, and scholarships including the one described at the bottom of this page.
She, like her husband, was involved with organizations in the community as well. She was a member of the Ladies Library and the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. She played an active role in the nursing education at Bronson Hospital and the Grey Ladies Auxiliary. She was an avid reader and had an extensive library collection. She went on to live into the 1980s keeping up her active lifestyle on campus and in the community.
The Zoa D. Shilling Scholarship for Foreign Study is awarded to a political science minor or major student who demonstrates academic excellence, has completed 42 credit hours toward an undergraduate degree and will be studying abroad.