Distinguished Achievement Award

Dr. Calvert Johnson ’71

The Distinguished Achievement Award honors those graduated from the College who have achieved distinction in their professional fields. Candidates shall have received awards or other recognition from their peers as evidence of distinguished achievement in their profession. National or international recognition indicating a continuing or enduring level of achievement is desirable. The 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award is Dr. Calvert Johnson ′71. If you know someone like this, please nominate them today!

Past Recipients

The following recipients are listed alphabetically, followed by class year and the year of award.


Hon. Glenn S. Allen, Jr. ’36 – 1986

  • Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals
  • Served as Mayor of Kalamazoo for four terms
  • Special counsel for legal, fiscal and legislative affairs

Dr. Harold B. Allen ’24 – 1980

  • Professor of English and Linguistics, University of Minnesota
  • Editor, Linguistic Atlas of the Upper Midwest
  • Author of many books and papers on linguistics

Renee Askins ’81 – 1999

  • Founder, The Wolf Fund
  • Project Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Exhibit Coordinator, Yellowstone National Park

Dr. George C. Baldwin ’39 – 1987

  • Research engineer, General Electric Company
  • Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Research Physicist, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Dr. H. Lewis Batts, Jr. ’43 – 1978

  • Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College
  • Founder and Executive Director, Kalamazoo Nature Center;
  • Developer, Parkview Hills Residential Community

Larry Bell ’80 – 2010

  • Founder, Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, American Malting Barley Association
  • Ex Officio Board Member, The Beer Institute
  • Inaugural Chairman, Michigan’s Brewer’s Guild

Bruce Benton ’64 – 1988

  • Coordinator, West African Riverblindness (Onchocerciasis) Control Program of the World Bank.

Dr. Louis F. Brakeman ’54 – 1992

  • Provost, Stetson University
  • Previous Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Denison University
  • Previous President and Provost, Denison University

Dr. Roger E. Brinner ’69 – 1987

  • Group Vice President and Chief Economist, Data Resources
  • Previous Senior Staff Economist, President’s Council of Economics Advisors

Dr. Harold W. Brown ’24 – 1982

  • Professor of Parasitology, College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University
  • Parasitologist, Presbyterian Hospital
  • Author, Basic Clinical Parasitology

Garry Brown ’51 – 1994

  • Retired from Washington, D.C. law firm, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart
  • Previous Kalamazoo Area Representative, House of Representatives
  • Served on Commission on Housing

Dr. Susana Cabeza de Vaca ’672011

  • Resident Director for the Kalamazoo College study abroad program in Ecuador
  • Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ecuador

Arnold Campbell ’72 – 2012

  • Previously served at various US embassies and consulates for the Department of State′s Foreign Service.
  • Previously served as Special Assistant to two Deputy Assistant Secretaries in Washington.
  • Recipient of several meritorious honor awards, a superior honor awards, and the Secretary′s Career Achievement Award.

Dr. David Campbell ’71 – 1995

  • Professor of Biology, Grinnell, IA
  • Henry Luce Professor in Nations and the Global Environment & Chair
  • Fellow National, The Explorers Club

Martha Campbell ’72 – 2012

  • 32-year career as a Foreign Services Officer
  • Previous Dean of the School of Professional Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute
  • Previous Executive Director of the European Bureau

Dr. Italo Carl Candoli ’50 – 1986

  • Superintendent for Independent School District, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Previous Professor and Chairman, University of Kansas Department of Higher Education

Frances Clark ’28 – 1987

  • Founder and President of New School for Music Study, Princeton University
  • Author, Frances Clark Library for Piano Students

Scott Cleland ’82 – 2000

  • Founder and Managing Director, The Legg Mason Precursor Group
  • Founder, “Investment Precursors in Telecom, Internet and Electronic Commerce” Conference

Alma Smith Crawford ’27 – 1983

  • President of the Kalamazoo Board of Education
  • Civic Leader and Volunteer

Harold Decker ’67 – 2008

  • Principal Lawyer with Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C
  • Interim President and CEO of American Red Cross immediately following terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
  • Retired from 21 years as a Staff Attorney with The Upjohn Company/Pharmacia Corporation

Dr. Mildred Doster ’30 – 1976

  • Assistant Director, Denver Public Schools Department of Health
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Chairperson, Joint National Committee of the American School Health Association and the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness

Paul Eads ’73 – 1997

  • Production Designer/Art Director, Motion Pictures and Television, including Universal Pictures
  • Emmy Recipient, Design of “N.Y.P.D. Blue” and “Murder One”
  • “Excellence in Production Design” award recipient for the Series “Brooklyn South”

Dr. Eva M. Eicher ’61 – 1992

  • Senior Staff Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Cooperating Professor in Zoology, University of Maine

Dr. Kenneth G. Elzinga ’63 – 1983

  • Professor of Economics, University of Virginia
  • Faculty Member, Law and Economic Center’s Advanced Course for Federal Judges on Antitrust Economics
  • Co-Author, The Antitrust Penalties

Elsie Herbold Froeschner ’35 – 1988

  • Free Lance Biological Illustrator
  • Previous Entomological Illustrator, US National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Dr. Harry T. Garland ’68 – 1983

  • President of Cromemco, a major supplier of computers to foreign countries
  • Publications in Electronics Magazines

Dr. Walter A. Good ’37 – 1977

  • Defense Researcher, Applied Physics Laboratory of The Johns Hopkins University

Dr. William E. Good ’37 – 1977

  • Researcher in Color Television, General Electric Co.
  • A Developer of the Light Valve Projection System, which made large screen television possible

Dr. Richard D. Haas ’65 – 1993

  • Advisor, Research Department, International Monetary Fund

Dr. Donald L. Hafner ’66 – 1987

  • Associate Professor of Political Science, Boston College
  • Advisor, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • Co-Editor, Weapons in Space

E. James Harkema ’64 – 1992

  • Head Football Coach, Eastern Michigan University
  • MAC Coach of the Year, 1987

Dr. John N. Howell ′61 – 2015


  • Ph.D. in pharmacology from UCLA
  • Associate professor of physiology emeritus at Ohio University


Dr. Richard C. Hudson ’69 – 1991

  • Executive Producer of Science Programming at KTCA-TV, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Series Producer for the Emmy Award winning program, Newton’s Apple

Holly Hughes ’77 – 1995

  • Feminists Art Institute Member
  • Playwright, WOW Women’s Theater
  • Playwright and Performer, “The Well of Horniness,” “Clit Notes,” and “Preaching to the Perverted”

Dr. Cynthia Earl Kerman ’44 – 1979

  • Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, Villa Julie College
  • Author, Creative Tension: The Life and Thought of Kenneth Bolding
  • Co-Author, The Lives of Jean Toomer: A Hunger for Wholeness

Lisa Kron ’83 – 2003

  • Playwright: 101 Humiliating Stories, Well, and 2.5 Minute Ride, which was recipient of Obie Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations, L.A. Dramalogue Award, GLAAD award for Best Off-Broadway Play, and named Best Autobiographical Play by New York Press.
  • Founder of Obie and Bessie-award winning Five Lesbian Brothers theater company
  • Actress: The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, The Vagina Monologues, Well, and others

Vincent Liff ’73 – 1995

  • Casting Director

Jacqueline Buck Mallinson ’48 – 1989

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Science, Western Michigan University
  • Co-Authored and Developed standardized tests for the Scholastic Testing Service
  • Director, Instructor, Evaluator in more than 30 National Science Foundation Institutes and Programs

Mark McDonald ’73 – 1996

  • Sports Editor, The Dallas Morning News
  • Previous Political Editor, International Herald Tribune in Paris
  • Guide, John Muir Wilderness and Mt. Whitney regions of the Sierras

Dr. Ralph W. McKee ’34 – 1981

  • Assistant Dean Emeritus of the School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Professor Emeritus of Biological Chemistry, UCLA
  • Author of over 100 publications in the fields of nutrition. cancer, and metabolism research

Dr. Genna Rae McNeil ’69 – 1986

  • Ecumenical Officer, American Baptist Churches, USA
  • Previous Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Howard University School of Law, and Roosevelt University
  • Author, Groundwork: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Human Rights

Julie Mehretu ’92 – 2007

  • Acclaimed artist
  • MacArthur Fellow and fellow with The American Academy in Berlin, Germany
  • Work has shown worldwide including the Whitney Biennial and a solo show at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

Rev. David Mesenbring ’73 – 2003

  • Educator and Advocate in South Africa during 1970s and 1980s, researcher, editor and publisher of writings of Steven Biko; during 1980s served as Lutheran World Federation’s Alternate Representative to the U.N., and spread awareness of Southern Africa.
  • Founder, Seafarer’s House, an ecumenical non-profit that connects seafarers to their families and emphasizes human rights.

Helen Pratt Mickens ’76 – 2006

  • Professor and Associate Dean of Community Relations at Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • Fellow of the State Bar of Michigan and has served on the board of directors of the Ingham County Bar Association

Dr. John D. Montgomery ’41 – 1988

  • Ford Foundation Professor of International Studies, Harvard University
  • Served US Army and was instrumental in planning the rebuilding of Hiroshima
  • Publisher of 15 books and numerous articles

Dr. Daniel Nepstad ’79 – 2013

  • Ph.D. in forest ecology from Yale
  • Co-founder of the Amazon Institute of Environmental Research (IPAM)
  • Published more than 140 scientific articles and book chapters and three books

Dr. Gilbert F. Otto ’26 – 1989

  • Adjunct Professor of Zoology and Senior Research Associate, University of Maryland
  • Previous Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Personnel, Abbott Laboratories
  • Consultant, FDA, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and the National Academy of Science

Guy L. Perry ’27 – 1988

  • Founder and Chairman of the Board, G.L. Perry, Inc.
  • Founded his first store in 1939, Elkhart, Indiana
  • Expanded the first store into 14 stores located in Michigan and Indiana

Harley R. Pierce ’51 – 1993

  • Head Football and Tennis Coach, Sturgis High School, MI
  • National High School Tennis Coach of the Year, 1979
  • Michigan High School Football Coach of the Year, 1969 and 1974

Dr. Fred O. Pinkham ’42 – 1989

  • Associate Director of the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, Stanford University
  • Previous President and Chief Executive Officer, Population Crisis Committee
  • Previous President, Ripon College

Jack P. Ragotzy ’48 – 1993

  • Producer and Director, The Barn Theatre, Augusta, MI
  • Director, Several Broadway and Off-Broadway Productions
  • Director, Actor, Writer, various TV programs

Dr. William R. Rogers ’54 – 1985

  • President and Professor of Religion and Psychology, Guilford College
  • Author, Nourishing the Humanistic in Medicine: Interactions with the Social Sciences, Project Listening and The Alienated Student

Hon. Gerald E. Rosen ′73 – 2014

  • Chief U.S. District Judge
  • Member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Council

Daniel M. Ryan ’42 – 1975

  • Publisher, Kalamazoo Gazette
  • Community Leader

Dr. John Sarno ’44 – 2004

  • Innovator in back pain therapy as a result of the mind-body process
  • Author, Mind Over Back PainHealing Back Pain, and The Mindbody Prescription

Hon. Myra Selby ’77 – 1998

  • Justice, Indiana Supreme Court
  • Previous Director of Health Policy

Rev. P. Ronald Spann ’65 – 1999

  • Rector, Church of the Messiah
  • Focuses on providing decent, affordable housing for low income families through the renovation and rehabilitation of existing dwellings
  • Church of the Messiah Housing Corporation (CHMC), which provides consulting services to other non-profit groups involved in community development, was formed under Rev. Spann

Dr. Laurence E. Strong ’36 – 1984

  • Professor of Chemistry, Kalamazoo College and Earlham College
  • Research Professor, Earlham College
  • Director, Chemical Bond Approach Project

Gene Tidrick ’64 – 2004

  • Expert in development economics, serving as one of the World Bank’s lead economists in China, India, and Southern Africa
  • Author, Accelerated Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (still recognized as one of the most significant works on Africa), Leading Issues in Economic Development, co-author of China: Long-Term Issues and Options and Can Africa Claim the 21st Century?

Dr. Peter S. Tippett ’75 – 2005

  • CEO of Cybertrust and creator of the antivirus product purchased by Norton AntiVirus
  • 1998 Entrepreneur of the Year and listed on 2002’s “25 Most Influential CTOs” by InfoWorld Media Group

Dr. Frank S. Tomkins ’37 – 1990

  • Senior Scientist, Metallurgical Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Scientific Observer, US atom bomb test on Bikini
  • Department of State Technical Advisor, US delegation to the Second International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy

Dr. Margaret E. Waid ’40 – 1987

  • Associate Medical Director, Central Indiana Regional Blood Center
  • Previous Chairperson of the Medical Technology Department, Florida International University
  • Cancer Education Coordinator and Pathology Instructor, Florida International University.

Dr. John W. Warner ’66 – 1990

  • Chairman, President and CEO, Taunton Technologies, Inc.
  • Previous Acting Chief, Research Flight Programs Development Branch at NASA Headquarters

Craig S. Wells ’75 – 1989

  • Owner and Operator, Craig Wells Photography
  • Recipient of National Gold and Silver Awards for Photography

Kathleen West ’77 – 2001

  • Co-Founder, SHIELDS for Families Projects, Inc.
  • Director, Drug Endangered Children Resource Center and Clearinghouse
  • Consultant, Center for Child Protection, Children’s Hospital of San Diego, and National Advocacy on Addictions in Los Angeles

Owen W. Williams ’48 – 1986

  • Deputy Director of Management and Technology, Defense Mapping Agency, US Department of Defense
  • Assisted with the development of the fields of satellite geodesy, laser geodesy, airborne gravimetry, and the establishment of the World Gravity Standardization Network

David Wilson ’69 – 2009

  • Founder, Museum of Jurassic Technology
  • MacArthur Fellow

Marcia J. Wood ’55 – 1986

  • Professor of Art, Kalamazoo College
  • National Sculptor Exhibitor