Ian is campaign manager for Robert Wittenberg, Democratic Party candidate for the 27th District, Michigan House of Representatives. Ian grew up in Pleasant Ridge, Mich., and has worked on numerous electoral races in the area.
Ron is currently in Micronesia, on assignment with the Peace Corps. “The Peace Corps has a relatively young program for former Peace Corps Volunteers called Peace Corps Response,” explained Ron. “The program is for older folks who have a specific skill set for a specific job in countries around the world. I will be working with the fledgling health-care computer based information system being implemented in the State of Yap,” one of the four states that compose the Federated States of Micronesia (the other three are Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk). Ron’s volunteer position will last a year.
Lois died on December 4, 2013. She was 88. She was the loving mother of Martha Wright ’81 and mother-in-law of Tim Pobuda ’81. After leaving K to marry, she earned a B.S. in education from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts from Michigan State University. She was an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Human Development, College of Human Medicine at MSU. She also served as a speech and language pathologist and early childhood specialist in the Flint Community Schools, and she was the first female department head of the Department of Education at the Mott Children’s Health Center in Flint. She served on numerous community boards including the Greater Flint/Thumb Area 4C Association and Easter Seals. Lois was an enthusiastic patron of the arts, a Friend of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in her home town, and a member of the Smithsonian and the Flint Institute of Arts. She traveled the globe, visiting every continent, walked on the Great Wall of China twice, rode an elephant in India, saw the Serengeti from a hot air balloon, and the polar bears from a tundra buggy in Churchill, Manitoba. She loved theater, books, movies, dolls, miniatures, gardening, knitting, sewing, and spending time with her family.
In July of 2015 Melanie, an ordained United Methodist pastor since 1991, will begin serving as the clergy assistant to the Bishop of The Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church. In this new role Melanie will be based in Lansing and will be working with the Bishop to help serve the 900 United Methodist congregations of Michigan as well as the communities in which these congregations are located. The Spanish major she earned at K has served her well during her work through many church and community efforts with the growing U.S. Latino population. Melanie also is completing four years as the district superintendent of the Detroit Renaissance District, where in 2012 she started a now annual event called Hands 4 Detroit, a day of community service, which has involved more than 1,200 volunteers each year who roll up their sleeves and work. Volunteers have boarded up old houses, planted community gardens, painted, cleaned up trash, and even built a soccer field!
Danielle is working on her M.F.A. degree in poetry at George Mason University in Washington, D.C. She is the poetry editor of So To Speak literary journal. She recently published a chapbook of contrapuntal poetry, Dialogue with the Dead, through Finishing Line Press. In Spring 2015, she was a visiting writer at K where her chapbook was taught in intermediate and advanced poetry classes. She currently works as a T.A. at George Mason, teaching undergraduate English composition and an Arab-American literature course. Her working-thesis project involves creating conversation among marginalized communities through collaboration and de-centering authorship.
Margaret, who went by the name of Ranny, died on April 7, 2014 at the age of 80. She was granddaughter of the founder of the Dow Chemical Company. Ranny received an honorary degree from Kalamazoo College in 2009, and her family foundation was a major benefactor to the College. She earned a B.A. degree from Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.) and was awarded honorary doctorates from many institutions of higher education. For 51 years Ranny served as a trustee for the Herbert H. and Grace A. Down Foundation, and she led the foundation as its president since 2000. She also served as a trustee of the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation since 1962. Ranny was active in many important local, state, and national causes and strong believer in philanthropic collaboration.
Phil was awarded the David R. Whitwam Outstanding Achievement Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by Cornerstone Alliance, a business retention and expansion organization serving Berrien County, Michigan. Phil is treasurer of the Southshore Companies, a real estate investment and development team in St. Joseph, Michigan. He has been with Southshore for 30 years. Prior to that he was senior manager for Price Waterhouse for nine years. The Whitwam award annually recognizes a community member who has achieved success through corporate leadership and involvement in community improvement. Phil is a long time member of the Cornerstone Alliance Board of Directors and its executive committee. He also serves on the City of St. Joseph Planning Commission and the board of directors of the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation. Additionally, he is a trustee of the Berrien Community Foundation, and is the co-leader on the Michigan’s Great Southwest Leadership Council’s Best Practice Governance, Government Support and Economic Development committee.
Amy is a fellow in the 2015-2016 Capital Executive Fellowship Program administered by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. The sociology and anthropology major was selected last spring and has joined other fellows working as full-time staff members in California’s state assembly, state senate, executive branch or judiciary. They participate in policy making, program development, and program implementation and gain first-hand experience in governance and leadership. As part of her K experience Amy studied abroad in India and did an internship in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She received the College’s prestigious Senior Leadership Award and also received awards from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and the Department of Theatre Arts.
Nancy died on January 24, 2014, at the age of 82. She was a former Kalamazoo College trustee (1978-1986) and a generous benefactor of the College. She and her husband, Tom, who survives, were ardent supporters of K, and the Woodworth Baseball Field honors their many gifts to that program, among others. Nancy was the daughter of Dr. E. Gifford and Love (Barnett) Upjohn and the granddaughter of Dr. Lawrence and Gratia (Clough) Upjohn. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and received a degree in management training from Harvard-Radcliffe College. Nancy and Tom were married on June 26, 1954. Nancy spent the early years of her marriage teaching 3rd grade at Washington Elementary in the Kalamazoo Public School System. She was a devoted mother who organized the activities of her busy children while making time to serve her community. In addition to her service on the Kalamazoo College Board of Trustees, she was active in Girl Scouts, The Kalamazoo Service Club, and the Visiting Nurses Association. She was an enthusiastic hockey mom who attended most of her four sons’ games with bell in hand to announce their teams’ goals. After Tom retired from Graff Trucking, Tom and Nancy moved to Sanibel Island, Florida, where she was a volunteer docent at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. She also supported the Sanibel Playhouse, and became a member of the Captiva Island Yacht Club. Nancy was happiest at the bridge table or on the tennis court. These remained life-long interests for her both at Gull Lake and at her home on Sanibel.
Denise is the new Estes Valley Restorative Justice Program (EVRJP) Coordinator. EVRJP is part of the Estes Park (Colorado) Police Department and offers restorative justice services through community group conferences, community circles (parolee re-entry), and restorative community mediation. Its goal is to assist in identifying and repairing harm, preventing wrong-doing, and allowing citizens the opportunity to resolve disputes in a peaceful manner. Denise majored in international and area studies at K and studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador.