Teresa Newmarch, one of Kalamazoo College’s chief fundraising officers, has a background in biology, and she has held several positions after her college graduation in the field of conservation science. She served as a land steward and land protection specialist at the Nature Conservancy. One day the head of philanthropy at the Nature Conservancy, with whom she had worked on several scientific projects, asked her to join his unit full time, and she did. Some six years ago, Newmarch left the Nature Conservancy to join Kalamazoo College as its director of corporate and foundation relations and has since been promoted to executive director of development. The change in direction from conservation biology to philanthropy is not as jarring as one might think. K will announce this month the beginning of the public phase of its major fundraising effort, the Campaign for Kalamazoo College. Its goal is to reach $125 million. (Thanks in large part to the work of Newmarch, more than $84 million has been raised during the campaign’s “quiet phase.”) When Newmarch speaks of K’s campaign, one can detect an aspect of conservation science—the importance of protecting something of remarkable value. “I’m excited because this campaign will ensure that K can provide the fabulous education it has been able to do for so many years,” she says. Here’s our chance to get to know her better with the “Lighten Up” interview.
What's the best song ever recorded?
“Hey, Jude,” by the Beatles.
What's your favorite childhood fairy tale or story?
Where the Wild Things Are
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
What's your favorite word?
What's your least favorite word?
Any word cast in such a way that it makes a person feel less than what she is.
What turns you on?
Love—agape and its other forms
What turns you off?
What sound do you love?
Airport sounds. Or, more generally, the sounds of travel. Movement always gets me excited in a “possibilities” sort of way.
What sound do you hate?
Any sound associated with combat and warfare
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
If I hadn’t worried about money, I would have done something involving the anthropology of dance. Maybe if I’d been a student at K I would have figured out how to make that a career. I’ve always loved the way persons, and cultures, express who and what they are through movement.
What profession would you not like to participate in?
I’ve done many things, and I think I find a level of enjoyment in just about anything. And that was true for a job I had at a fish hatchery. Until winter set in. Then I realized I didn’t want an outdoor job in the wetlands in the winter.
What's been a GREAT MOMENT in your liberal arts learning?
It occurred when I was earning my master’s degree (public administration). Our capstone course investigated public administration through a variety of disciplines, including literature. I remember we read A Bell for Adano and discussed how that fit into public administration. It was wonderful to think in such a way.
Who's the person (living or dead) with whom you'd most like to spend a lunch hour?
What memory from childhood still surprises you?
This is a hard question. Seeing your childhood through the lens of an adult alters the accuracy of what you’re remembering. I don’t have a specific memory, but I’m certain it would be one that underscores the resiliency of children, in a good way.
What is your favorite curse word?
The one you can print is a personal variation of the exclamation “Oh, boy!” Sometime back I started to say, “Oh, Boise,” and then that morphed to “Oh, Boise, Idaho!”
What is your favorite hobby?
What is your favorite comedy movie?
I have two. Crimes and Misdemeanors by Woody Allen. Defending Your Life, by Albert Brooks.
What local, regional, national, or world event has affected you most?
As a teenager I vividly remember (down to the couch I was lying on) reading an article that claimed that scientists had been uncertain whether the first atomic bomb test might not set the atmosphere on fire. And I was astounded! I couldn’t believe we would have proceeded with the test. How could humans do something like that? How does the human world work?
If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?
As a biology major, I would say no.