The Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Service-Learning was established at Kalamazoo College in 2001 with an endowment from trustee Ronda Stryker and her husband, Bill Johnston, to honor her grandmother. During the coming academic year, "K" will mark the tenth anniversary of this award-winning campus icon known affectionately to thousands of alumni and current students as "Mary Jane."

With a mission to forge a link between service and learning, the Institute will send more than 500 "K" students into the Kalamazoo community this year to work with more than 40 partners - community-based organizations, citizens' groups, and public schools. Through service-learning courses led by "K" faculty and co-curricular programs they often design themselves, "K" students will strengthen the Kalamazoo community, invigorate their own educational experiences, and become engaged citizens and advocates And by June 2011, they will log more than 25,000 hours in the effort.

Truly, since 2001, service-learning has become as integral to the "K-Plan" as rigorous academics,
"Since 2001, service-learning has become as integral as academics, study abroad, internships, and SIPs."
study abroad, career internships, and SIPs - all from a small corner of Dewing Hall.

In the year ahead, BeLight, along with LuxEsto and the college's online News & Events page, will profile some of the people, programs, and events that compose "Mary Jane." We also encourage readers to visit the Institute's website to learn more about this Kalamazoo College icon as we celebrate her 10th anniversary.

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