WMU News

History buffs see Bailey pick as centennial coincidence

May 8, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Selection of Northern Michigan University President Judith Bailey as WMU's presidential candidate drew the notice of University history buffs who noted the strong historical ties that exist between the two institutions. Nowhere are those ties stronger than in the leadership arena.

WMU's founding president was Dwight B. Waldo, who also was the founding president of Northern Michigan. Waldo served as the first leader when what was then Northern Michigan Normal School was founded in 1899.

In 1903, when the Michigan Legislature approved the establishment of a new normal school on the west side of the state, it was Waldo, a native of nearby Plainwell, who was recruited to serve as the leader of the new school. Waldo led Western until his retirement in 1936, relinquishing control of what was then Western State Teachers College to its next president, Paul Sangren.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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