WMU News

Franklin, St. John elected to lead WMU board

Feb. 1, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- George A. Franklin and Richard Y. St. John, both of Kalamazoo, have been elected to one-year terms as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.

The election took place at the board's annual meeting Jan. 28, as provided in its bylaws. The annual meeting is one of six regularly scheduled meetings during the year. Both Franklin and St. John are in their second terms as members of the WMU board and both previously have held board offices.

Franklin, who was appointed to the board in 1989, is vice president for worldwide government affairs at the Kellogg Co. in Battle Creek. He began working at Kellogg in 1980 as director of governmental relations, became vice president for governmental relations in 1985 and was named to his current position in 1988. Before joining Kellogg, he represented the company as an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C.

Franklin has served on a number of national industry advisory organizations and is an active community volunteer. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where he earned both bachelor's and law degrees in 1972 and 1976, respectively.

St. John has served on the board since 1987. He was an employee of the Upjohn Co. of Kalamazoo, now Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., for 35 years before he retired in 1992 from his position as manager of community and legislative affairs. Later that year, he was named vice president for public affairs for the Kalamazoo Foundation, a position he held until his 1998 retirement.

He is an active civic leader, serving on a variety of community, state and national boards and organizations. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan in 1956 and 1957, respectively.

Other officers elected to one-year terms were: Betty A. Kocher, secretary to the board; Robert M. Beam, treasurer and assistant secretary; and Lowell P. Rinker, assistant treasurer. Beam is the University's vice president for business and finance and Rinker is associate vice president for business.

Trustees also were advised by William W. Carmody of Shelter Bay, Mich., that he is resigning his position as a member of the WMU Board of Trustees, effective Feb. 1. Carmody was recently appointed by Michigan Gov. John Engler as a judge for the 5th District Probate Court for Alger and Schoolcraft counties.

"This is a bittersweet event for me as I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with WMU as a trustee and will always be honored to have served in this capacity," Carmody explained in a letter to 1999 board chairperson Joan Krause, which she read at the meeting. "WMU is an outstanding university and is in excellent hands to move forward in this new millennium and become an even greater institution."

Carmody, a lawyer with a private practice in Munising, Mich., was appointed to the board by Engler in 1997 for a term that was to expire in 2004.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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