Archives

James Allan ’39

amesAllanJames will celebrate his 100th birthday next month on March 16. James majored in sociology at K, earned a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and studied at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He retired as a minister in the United Church of Christ. Not long ago his daughter Joan called Lisa Murphy ’98, the College archivist, seeking information on her father’s time at K so that she could put together a book to give him at Christmas. “I found tennis and Glee Club photos of him as well as a bunch of newspaper articles from The Index that she was able to put into the book,” says Lisa.  “The family also purchased a 1938 yearbook for him on eBay, which he is holding in the photo.” Joan was kind enough to ask her father some questions for Lisa. Turns out that James was a Hornet tennis player for legendary coach Allen Stowe. Lisa wondered if he had any special memories of Coach Stowe or the team. “Yes,” says James. “One afternoon the coach asked me to warm up with a female tennis player.  The rest of the team sat on the bleachers and watched.  I served the ball gently to her and it came back hard and forceful.  I knew I was in trouble.  We played a few sets, all of which she won.  After the sets I found out she was the United States female tennis champion, and I had been set up.  My teammates and coach were laughing, so did I.  She played well.” What James recalls most about his coach was his extraordinary kindness. “He taught chemistry. It was odd that he never played tennis, just coached it.” His favorite class and professor? “Dr. Dunsmore [Religious Studies] was my favorite professor,” says James.  “He was my counselor as well and guided me through graduation.  My favorite class was sociology.” K sends James a early happy-100th-birthday wish.

Bill Dawson ’78

Bill was inducted into the Lake County (Ill.) Sports Hall of Fame for his career coaching cross country and track. Over his tenure he has worked with seven state champions, three state record setters and three high school All-Americans. Six of his athletes have gone on to earn All-American honors in college, including one national champion. Another athlete was overall national champion and an Olympian. Bill continues to teach math and coach at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Ill.

Judy Hehs ’85

Judy was inducted into the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame on January 30, 2015. She works at the Academy of Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) where she serves as associate head of school, upper school director, and women’s varsity tennis coach. When Judy was a high school player, team trips to Stowe Stadium may have influenced her decision to attend K. As a Hornet she played field hockey and basketball and sort of “fell into tennis. I played for Tish Loveless,” Judy said. “She was the field hockey coach, so showing up for tennis try-outs wasn’t intimidating. A former high school teammate came to get me from my dorm room the afternoon of try-outs and said that clearly I should play tennis. She was right. It was a great decision.” By the time that the Hornets reached the MIAA Tournament that spring, Judy was playing one-doubles with the one-singles player. “I was really inspired to continue playing after that experience,” she added. “I played all four years at K.” Since becoming varsity tennis coach at Sacred Heart, the Gazelles have won nine regional championships and finished second six times. They have recorded 11 top-ten finishes in state competition, including two state titles (2012 and 2013). Judy has been regional coach of the year on four occasions and was state coach of the year in 2001. She is a member of the Catholic High School League Hall of Fame.

Chris Bussert ’78

Chris and his son Shaun won the National Senior Father Son Indoor Tennis Championships in March. The event took place in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and the finals match was a classic. Chris tells it best. “In the finals we faced our nemesis, the Morse Karzens, who beat us in the finals of the clay courts last December. It was an epic match lasting 3 hours. We won 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. There was much drama at the end. We broke the serve of the younger Morse Karzen at 4-4 in the third. Shaun saved 5 break points in the final game before closing out the match with a service winner. It is our (and my) first gold ball. It is also only the second match the Morse Karzens have lost in this division in the last 4 years!” Congratulations, Chris and Shaun.

Mark Allen ’77, D.D.S.

Mark is a clinical instructor at the Kois Learning Center in Seattle, Washington. He is a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and the Frances B. Vedder Society of Crown and Bridge Prosthodontics. He is a part time faculty member at Western Michigan University, where he also coaches the university’s rugby team. Mark practices dentistry in Kalamazoo. He earned his B.A. at K in chemistry and earned his D.D.S. from the University of Michigan (1981).

Robert John VanderVeen ’55

John died on April 28, 2016. He matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Schoolcraft (Mich.) Community Schools. At K he played football and basketball until he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a water specialist, purifying water for the military hospital during the Korean War. John graduated from Western Michigan University (1958) and earned a master’s degree from Michigan State University (1968). He had a long career in teaching and coaching in the Michigan communities of Eau Clair, Haslett and Hastings. John was a devoted family man. He and his wife Alice, who survives, have two sons, many grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Scott Whitbeck ’04

Scott is the new head coach of the Nazareth College (Rochester, N.Y.) men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. He has served as the head coach at SUNY New Paltz for the past eight seasons. This past season Scott led both the New Paltz men’s and women’s teams to second-places finishes in the SUNYAC championships, the school’s most successful swim season in its history. Prior to New Paltz, Scott worked as an assistant coach at University of Massachusetts and the College of Wooster. At K he was a two-time Academic All-American, team captain, NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winner, and team Most Valuable Swimmer. He still holds K records in the 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyles. Scott majored in economics and business and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. He earned a M.B.A. and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.

Sean Mann ’03

Sean is a co-owner of the soccer team called the Detroit City Football Club, which is looking to get “bigger,” so to speak. The team intends to transition from a fourth-tier semipro team to a higher-level professional club at the end of this season. That might even mean a soccer-specific stadium in Detroit. The goal is to be in the 24-team United Soccer League or the 11-team North American Soccer League in 2016. Sean lives in southwest Detroit and works as a government affairs representative for Michigan Legislative Consultants. At K, Sean majored in physics and studied abroad in Athens, Greece.