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Five-Tooler

Andy Miller shows his Campbell’s soup scar

Welcome home, Andy Miller! The proud Kalamazoo College alumnus—class of 1999, English major, music minor, creative writing concentrator, Michigan-certified secondary school teacher (English and music), and K intramural softball phenom—has returned to his alma mater. He’s worked here before. Following graduation he was associate director of LandSea, a program he loved as both participant and patrol leader. He also worked to help the Stryker Center liaison with the greater Kalamazoo business community. Former K president Jimmy Jones recognized great talent, and when he became president of Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) in 2004 he convinced Andy to go east for a decade. At Trinity, Andy created the Quest Program, which became that college’s outdoor orientation program for first-year students. Simultaneously Andy worked for Trinity’s advancement office—in major gifts, planned giving, alumni relations, and parent giving, making him one of the great five-tool players (think whatever corresponds to speed, power, contact, glove work, and a cannon arm) in the world of advancement. Andy and alumna Mary-Katherine Thompson ’06 married in 2009. They first met on LandSea. This past August Andy came back to K to serve as the College’s executive director of development. Why the return? “It’s a perfect fit,” he says. “It’s coming home.” And we think it’s great to have him home!

And now his answers to the questions we’ve all been eager to know.

What’s the best song every recorded?

“Apologies to the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Petty, Guns N’ Roses, and especially Springsteen’s ’Jungleland,’ which comes in second, but I’m going to have to go with ’Layla’ by Derek and the Dominos.

He coulda been a rock star--Andy Miller, sophomore year, in front of Harmon Hall

What’s your favorite childhood fairy tale or story?

“’Peter Rabbit’ by Beatrix Potter.”

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

“’You did a good job down there.’”

What’s your favorite word?

“Irrefragable.”

What’s your least favorite word?

“Irregardless. People use it all the time, but IT’S NOT A WORD!”

What turns you on?

“Autonomy…challenge…the opportunity to create things…and, of course, my wife.”

What turns you off?

“Hate, prejudice, and close-mindedness.”

What sound do you love?

“The electric guitar. Specifically, a Fender telecaster coming through a Vox amp.”

What sound do you hate?

“I absolutely love dogs…but I have two at home who bark like maniacs every time another dog is being walked outside our house, which is regularly. Training remains a work in progress!”

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

“Professional rock and roll songwriter.”

What profession would you not like to participate in?

“Accounting. My lack of interest would pretty much assure my uselessness…and vice versa.”

What’s been a GREAT MOMENT in your liberal arts learning?

“There are two, both of which happened spring of my senior year and involved synthesizing my previous three-and-a-half-years worth of learning and developing.  My Senior Individualized Project gave me the opportunity to do a deep dive into every ‘art’ I had any competency in–a manuscript worth of poems (thanks Diane Seuss), a related series of photographs (thanks Richard Koenig), and an album’s worth of music (thanks Tom Evans).  On the more traditionally academic side, my English Comprehensive Exams required me to, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a Saturday, write essays on three different questions, with each essay using three literary references drawn from a list of texts read over the course of my entire time at K.  Handing in my SIP and my ’comps,’ admittedly at the absolute last minute in both cases, was so fulfilling to me because they truly served as twin capstone projects of my liberal arts learning.”

Who’s the person (living or dead) with whom you’d most like to spend a lunch hour?

“Neither is famous. It would either be my paternal grandfather, who died when I was very young, or my maternal grandmother, who died before I was born.”

What memory from childhood still surprises you?

“I remember very well burning my arm on the stove at the age of two on Valentine’s Day when I was reaching for some Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup my mom was making for me. Somehow, despite being so young, I had managed to get my arm on top of the stove. My mom has never forgiven herself because she was out of the room preparing for a date with my dad to celebrate the birth of my cousin on that very day.”

What is your favorite curse word?

“Curses!”

What is your favorite hobby?

“Songwriting and recording in my basement.”

What is your favorite comedy movie?

Blues Brothers is a pretty solid go-to. I use the phrases ‘We’re getting the band back together’ and ‘We’re on a mission from God’ regularly.”

What local, regional, national, or world event has affected you most?

“Probably 9/11. I may remember it so distinctly because it happened when we were on LandSea in Ontario. Tom Breznau got a call from President Jones and we went to the one TV at the nearest one-street town to learn what was going on, which was unbelievable. And we had to figure out how to inform all the patrol leaders and participants scattered throughout Killarney. Then to live in the east for 10 years…9/11 has shaped a lot of what New York is like today.”

If a cow laughed, would milk come out her nose?

“Absolutely, unless she was drinking orange juice.”

 

Gretchen Eick ’64, Ph.D.

Gretchen recently received a Fulbright Fellowship (her third), which she will use to teach in Bosnia next year. Gretchen is the author of the four books, Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-72 ; Herstories: Woman to Woman ; Maybe Crossings; and Finding Duncan. At K Gretchen majored in history and studied abroad in Sierra Leone.

Corey Schultz ’97

Corey SchultzCorey retired from the U.S. Army in August, 2015, as a Major. Since then she has taken classes in underwater research methods and scuba diving in Key West, and she is currently learning about sustainable agriculture by volunteering with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and exploring the U.S. national park system. Love that liberal arts spirit! Corey is also helping plan the class of 1997’s 20-year reunion this fall.

Anita (Raby) Fox ’81

Anita was inducted into the Michigan Lawyers Weekly Class of 2014 “Women in the Law,” a distinction that honors outstanding accomplishments in private practice, the corporate arena, and social advocacy. In addition to being honored as one of the Top 30 “Women in the Law,” Anita has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 in the field of commercial litigation. She was named as a ‘Michigan Super Lawyer’ by Law & Politics Magazine in 2014. Anita also serves as a case evaluator for Ingham County and the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Michigan and is an adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Law. At K Anita earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and studied abroad in Colombia. She earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan School of Law.

Dawn (Todd) Whitford ’01

Dawn  (left) recently followed her longtime veterinarian to a new practice. One of the vets in the new practice is Dr. Lauren (Stockdale) Danskin ’05. When they learned of their K connection, it only seemed appropriate that they have a picture taken together with Dawn’s sweet 13-year-old Golden Retriever at the center of it all, Kallie May Sue.

David Hammond ’73

A frequent contributor to Kalamazoo College’s LuxEsto and BeLight, David also is a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Ill. He is the founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David is a regular contributor of restaurant reviews and food-related articles for Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut Chicago, and Chicago Reader, which published his seven-part guide to regional Mexican food in the city. He has also contributed food writing to blogs such as the Local Beet and Grubstreet Chicago. With his friend Michael Gebert (creator of “Sky Full of Bacon” video podcasts), David hosted a cable documentary on Hispanic chow at Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, and he has just completed working on a video about “Taste of Melrose Park.” A returning guest on WLS and WGN AM radio, David produces the “Soundbites” series on the James Beard-nominated Eight Forty-Eight (Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ, 91.5FM); these radio pieces examine how Chicago chefs use sound in their kitchens. David was featured on “Good Morning, America,” “Chicago, Tonight,” and Nippon TV when he developed recipes for preparing seasonal cicadas, which invaded Chicagoland during the spring of 2007.

Michele Intermont, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Michele co-authored the article “Liberal Arts Colleges: An Overlooked Opportunity,” which appears in the May 2016 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society. The article cites several advantages for teaching at a place like K, including class sizes conducive to meaningful relationship building, breadth of teaching and freedom to design class syllabi; the opportunity to pursue research and involve undergraduates in research; deeper mentoring possibilities; and even the chance to test oneself beyond one’s discipline, for example in first-year seminars. Michelle contributed to the piece (pages 565-570) along with mathematics professors from Pomona College and the College of Holy Cross.

Dale Norton ’73

Dale was elected president of the National Pork Board in June of 2014. NPB is the trade association for U.S. pork producers. Dale has served on the 15-member board for five years. He and his brother Ken (class of 1971) raise hogs, among other agricultural operations, at Kendale Farm in Bronson, Michigan. Dale’s work with NPB was featured in a December article published in the Bronson Journal. In it he extols the value of a liberal arts education in farming and farm policy issues. The article also mentions the hog roast he and his brother have hosted for their K classmates and friends for nearly four decades.

Sandra Greene ’74

Sandra has been selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Membership in the Academy is offered to leaders in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, business, public affairs and the nonprofit sectors. Members have included Martin Luther King Jr., Margaret Meade, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel Prize winners. Sandra holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois). At K she majored in philosophy and studied abroad in Ghana. She is a professor of history at Cornell University and the author of West African Narratives of Slavery Texts from Late 19th and early 20th Century Ghana (Indiana University Press, 2011).