Author Archives: Jim Van Sweden

About Jim Van Sweden

Director, College Communications

Patricia Johnson ’71

Patricia  died on February 25, 2016. She was 66 years old. At K she earned her degree in German and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany. After graduating she enjoyed a 43-year career in the Portage (Mich.) Public Schools, where she taught German, history and social studies. She retired in 2015. Pat enjoyed knitting and was an avid sports fan. She loved the “Mike and Mike” television/radio program and would record it every day to watch when she got home. She was a strong supporter of Kalamazoo College and a former student and dear friend of Joe Fugate, professor emeritus of German and former director of the foreign study program.

Max Cherem ’04, the Marlene Crandell Francis Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Max  is one of four persons in the country honored with the prestigious Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellowship for the 2015-16 academic year. He is spending this year as a research resident at Duke University and working in the Kenan Institute for Ethics. His work focuses on human rights, specifically the ethical challenges created by “externalized” state border controls: policies that try to prevent migrant arrival by projecting or outsourcing a nation’s authority over migration beyond its regular territorial borders. He gave an interview at the Kenan Institute explaining his research. Max earned his bachelor’s degree at K in philosophy and studied abroad in Nepal.

Jody Clark ’80

Jody has been named by The Daily Record in Baltimore, Md., to its list of 2016 Influential Marylanders. Fifty-one of Maryland’s top leaders were selected by the editors of The Daily Record for their leadership and significant contributions to the fields of civic leadership, communications, education, finance, general business, health care, law, philanthropy, real estate and technology. The Daily Record launched the Influential Marylanders award in 2006. Jody is the chief operating officer of Beatty Development Group, LLC, based in Baltimore, and a trustee of Kalamazoo College.

C. Conrad Browne Sr. ’43

Conrad, a retired Baptist minister and missionary who dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice and peace for all people, died on January 26, 2016. He attended Kalamazoo College and later received his divinity degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He continued his post-graduate studies at the Interdenominational Divinity School (Atlanta), Harvard Divinity School (Cambridge, Mass.), and at the Episcopal Theological School (Cambridge, Mass.).  Conrad was a Conscientious Objector during World War II and entered into military alternative service with several organizations, including the YMCA and the National Forest Service. For 54 years he served the American Baptist Churches USA in many capacities. He retired from the ministry in 1994. He was married for 50 years to Ora Helen (Smith) Browne until her death in 1995. He is survived by his wife, Catherine. Conrad’s family includes five children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

David Kessler ’70

avidKesslerDavid is the subject of an article that supports one’s faith in human kindness. “A recipe for life: Bake. Swim. Give.” (Gretchen Kell, Berkeley News, 29 January 2016) describes David’s morning routine, centered around his morning swim for exercise. Or, is that actually true? Perhaps the swim is centered around the homemade sandwiches (with homemade bread baked three times a week, circa 5 a.m.) that David makes (sometimes up to 24 in number) to share with student lifeguards and fellow early morning swimmers. His actions are about much more than giving food–it’s a matter of touching lives and braiding different lives into shared stories. Several of those stories are mentioned in the article. One of his poolside beneficiaries calls David “the closest thing to a grandparent at Cal. He genuinely cares.” And another friend says, ““Who would do that? Nobody does something for nothing anymore. I thought there must be an angle, an ulterior motive. But it isn’t anything other than what we should all do. He’s making people’s lives better each day. He is being an example for others in a quiet, understated, unique and gracious way. And he doesn’t ask for a favor in return.” This is one article you definitely want to read. David makes K proud!

Leona Lousin Mirza ’66

Leona continues to teach mathematics and statistics at North Park University in Chicago. Last September she was honored by the Armenian International Women’s Association, Chicago chapter, as one of two Women of the Year.  Her sister was the other awardee.  One month later the Illinois Council of Teachers of  Mathematics honored Leona with the Fred Flener Award for contributions to mathematics outside the classroom.  In 1995 ICTM had awarded Leona the Max Beberman Award for College Mathematics Teacher of the Year.

Gary Lewis ’00

aryLewisGary has joined Amherst Partners in the firm’s Birmingham (Mich.) office as a new partner. Gary has more than 15 years of investment banking, private investing and operational experience, including involvement in transaction and advisory assignments. Most recently, Gary co-managed and served as a managing director with a regional investment banking and private investment firm. He began his career in investment banking with Banc of America Securities. He then worked as a private equity investor with Winona Capital Management, Bainbridge Ventures and Goense & Co. In addition, he previously held an operating position as a vice president for acquisitions and business development with a health care services organization. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree at K in economics, and he studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He also holds a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.