K’s Day of Gracious Giving is May 17

Kalamazoo College is hosting its Day of Gracious Giving on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. The annual giving day is the biggest fundraising day of the year for the College, and the entire K community is invited to come together to provide vital support for the student experience.    

Last year’s Day of Gracious Giving raised $448,353 from 1,433 donors, not including challenge matches. Contributions of all sizes supported scholarships and financial aid, faculty resources and K’s highest priorities.  

Over the last several years, the Day of Gracious Giving has been held on the same day as K’s Day of Gracious Living, a nearly 50-year Kalamazoo College tradition where student representatives select a day off, canceling classes.    

The actual date for the Day of Gracious Living—or DOGL (pronounced like doggle), as it is often referred to across campus—has always been a closely guarded surprise for students and employees, including K’s Advancement staff, who have previously planned the giving day with only a general idea of when the date might finally fall. This year, the College has decided to designate a specific date for the giving day, keeping the spirit of DOGL while adding the predictability of a more traditional giving day.  

Day of Gracious Giving benefits students in classrooms, labs and more
Contributions of all sizes toward the Day of Gracious Giving support scholarships and financial aid, faculty resources and K’s highest priorities to benefit students in classrooms, labs and more.

As for the Day of Gracious Living, it will continue to be chosen by student representatives, its date only revealed when the campus-wide email goes out and the chapel bells begin to ring, signaling to all students: set aside your books, gather up your friends and get your sunscreen and beach blankets ready.  

 “We believe that the Day of Gracious Giving encompasses the traditional spirit of DOGL—one of joy, appreciation and gratitude—whether or not it is held on the exact same day,” said Laurel Palmer, director of the Kalamazoo College Fund.  “Choosing a date ahead of time gives the College a consistent timeframe for planning and communicating about the event. We hope that this change will allow us to reach the broadest audience possible.”  

Palmer also encourages everyone in the K community to be a part of the Day of Gracious Giving, whether it’s by creating a buzz on social media to encourage participation, offering a challenge or making a donation. 

“Making a gift—of any size—on the Day of Gracious Giving helps to ensure that students are able to participate in the experiences that make the K education distinctive.” 

If you would like to give to K, please visit www.kzoo.edu/giving and place Day of Gracious Giving in the special instructions area to have your gift included as part of the day. Your contribution makes it possible for Kalamazoo College to provide brighter opportunities for K students—preparing them to shine a brighter light into the world as alumni.  

Honors, Philanthropy Prompt College’s Top 10 Stories

In 2022, national publications continued to recognize Kalamazoo College as an outstanding institution of higher education. That reputation was furthered through the achievements of faculty, staff and academic departments, and donors funding K’s strategic plan, Advancing Kalamazoo College: A Strategic Vision for 2023. Here are the institution’s top 10 stories this year as determined by your clicks. Find the top stories from our students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

10. K Confers Lucasse, Ambrose Honors

K awarded one faculty member and one staff member with two of the highest awards it bestows on its employees with Professor of Psychology Bob Batsell earning the Lucasse Fellowship for Excellence in Scholarship, and Student Health and Counseling Centers Office Coordinator Jen Combes granted the W. Haydn Ambrose Prize.

Lucasse Recipient Robert Batsell in class_fb
Professor of Psychology Bob Batsell
Ambrose Award Recipient Jen Combes
Student Health and Counseling Centers Office Coordinator Jen Combes receives the Ambrose Prize from Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez.

9. Gift Benefits History Projects, Honors Emeriti Professors

Thanks to a lead anonymous gift, and the philanthropy of other donors, a new endowed fund is supporting exemplary seniors and their Senior Integrated Projects in the Department of History while honoring two of the department’s emeriti professors, David Strauss and John Wickstrom.

Emeriti Professors Barclay, Strauss and WickstromEmeriti History Professors John Wickstrom, David Barclay and David Strauss
Emeriti History Professors John Wickstrom, David Barclay and David Strauss

8. Money Magazine Credits K for Quality, Affordability, Outcomes

K is gaining global repute among some of the top institutions in higher education with Money magazine ranking K 19th among the country’s liberal arts and sciences colleges and 50th in the Midwest regardless of public or private status.

Money Magazine_fb

7. German Studies Program Receives National Honor

K’s Department of German Studies was one of just three programs in the country this year honored by the American Association of Teachers of German with a German Center of Excellence award. The designation is presented to well-established and growing programs with demonstrated excellence in instruction, and strong support from administration, professional colleagues, alumni and students.

The faculty members in K’s German department include Co-Chair and Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Assistant Professor of German Kathryn Sederberg, Co-Chair and Professor of Classics Elizabeth Manwell, Instructor of German Stefania Malacrida and Assistant Professor of German Petra Watzke.

Kathryn Sederberg teaching a course in German
Kathryn Sederberg is the Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Assistant Professor of German and co-chair of the Department of German Studies.
Petra Watzke
Assistant Professor of German Petra Watzke

6. K Announces $250,000 Gift to Support Faculty-Led Student Research, Creative Works

Students participating in faculty-advised research or creative projects now have access to dedicated funding thanks to a $250,000 gift from a couple who previously served as members of the K’s faculty and administration.

The Richard J. Cook and Teresa M. Lahti Endowment for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity was established to facilitate faculty-student collaborative work. The fund provides stipends, materials and essential project-related travel assistance to students engaged in such research or creative activity.

Faculty-Student Research and Creative Works Endowment
Richard J. Cook and Teresa M. Lahti

5. Princeton Review: K Offers Value, a Chance to Make an Impact

An independent study from the Princeton Review shows that K provides one of the most outstanding returns on investment in higher education. The education-services company profiles and recommends K in the 2022 edition of The Best Value Colleges, an annual guide to undergraduate schools, and again in The Best 388 Colleges.

The Princeton Review doesn’t rank the Best Value Colleges. However, K received a separate honor in The Best Value Colleges guide as the College was ranked No. 18 on a list of the Top 20 Private Colleges Where Students Are Making an Impact. This means K students said through surveys that their student-government opportunities, the College’s sustainability efforts and K’s on-campus student engagement are providing students with opportunities to make a difference in their community.

Stetson Chapel in Fall for Best Value Colleges
The Princeton Review examined more than 650 institutions for this year’s list.

4. Fulbright Again Honors K as a Top Producer of Scholarship Recipients

K had six representatives from the class of 2021 in Fulbright’s U.S. Student Program, leading to the College receiving top producer status for the fourth time in five years.

K’s representatives in 2021-22 and their host countries were Helen Pelak ’21, Australia; Katherine Miller-Purrenhage ’21, Germany; Sophia Goebel ’21, Spain; Molly Roberts ’21, France; Margaret Totten ’21, Thailand; Nina Szalkiewicz ’21, Austria; and Evelyn Rosero ’13, South Korea.

Katherine Miller-Purrenhage in Germany
Katherine Miller-Purrenhage ’21

3. Forbes Praises K for Successful Student Outcomes

If you’re a student who wants an excellent education at a great price, K will provide it, according to Forbes magazine. Forbes also says choosing K means you’ll follow in the footsteps of successful entrepreneurs and countless influential leaders in their fields.

The magazine chose K as the top private college in Michigan, ranking it third in the state overall and No. 183 in the country among its picks of the top 500 schools in the U.S.

Students Sitting in a Circle on the Lower Quad for Forbes Rankings

2. K Parents Geoffrey and Kathleen Fieger Create Endowed Scholarship

A generous $1 million gift from Geoffrey N. Fieger and Kathleen J. Fieger will support current and future students by funding the Keenie and Julian Fieger Endowed Scholarship, named for Kathleen and the couple’s son Julian.

Geoffrey and Kathleen Fieger_fb
Geoffrey N. Fieger and Kathleen J. Fieger

1. City Approves 2022 Campus Master Plan

K received approval from the city’s commissioners in October to move forward with a master plan that focuses on enhancing and expanding the on-campus living experience while strengthening the connection between K’s campus and the surrounding community.

Kalamazoo College Campus Master Plan
City commissioners have approved Kalamazoo College’s 2022 Campus Master Plan.

Honors Day Hails Students’ Achievements

Student receives recognition from professor on Honors Day
Kalamazoo College recognized outstanding achievements by its students Friday with the annual
Honors Day Convocation.

More than 300 students were recognized Friday during the annual Honors Day Convocation for excellence in academics and leadership. Students were recognized in six divisions: Fine Arts, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Physical Education. Recipients of prestigious scholarships were recognized, as were members of national honor societies and students who received special Kalamazoo College awards. Student athletes and teams who won Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association awards also were honored. The students receiving Honors Day awards or recognition are listed below.

Fine Arts Division

Brian Gougeon Prize in Art
Mabel Bowdle
Josetta Chekett
Aiden Morgan
Ping Smith

The Margaret Upton Prize in Music
Isabella Pellegrom

Cooper Award
Milan Levy

Sherwood Prize
Marilu Bueno

Theatre Arts First-Year Student Award
Megan Herbst
Raven Montagna
Nguyen Nguyen
Jadon Weber

Division of Modern and Classical Languages

LeGrand Copley Prize in French
McKenna Wasmer

Hardy Fuchs Award
Alex Nam
Joaquin Ramirez

Margo Light Award
Aliza Garcia

Department of Spanish Language and Literatures Prize
Paige Anderson
Evan Pollens-Voigt
Maxwell Spitler

Clara H. Buckley Prize for Excellence in Latin
Beatrice Hawkins

Provost’s Prize in Classics
Elle Ragan

Humanities Division

O. M. Allen Prize in English
May Tun

John B. Wickstrom Prize in History
Daniel Koselka
Ryan Muschler

L.J. and Eva (“Gibbie”) Hemmes Memorial Prize in Philosophy
Madeleine Lawson

Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division

Winifred Peake Jones Prize in Biology

Isabella Pellegrom
Lucas Priemer
Noah Pyle
Vivian Schmidt
Hannah VanderLugt

Department of Chemistry Prize
Lillian Kehoe
Maxwell Rhames
Hannah VanderLugt

First-Year Chemistry Award

Lillian Grelak
Angela Jacobo
Nguyen Nguyen

Lemuel F. Smith Award
Marissa Dolorfino

Computer Science Prize
Addison Atwater
Sophie Decker
Cole Koryto
Chau Ta

First-Year Mathematics Award
Laura DeVilbiss
Joseph Horsfield
Judah Karesh
Alexander Kish

Thomas O. Walton Prize in Mathematics
Matthew Nelson
Xavier Silva

Cooper Prize in Physics
Alexander Kish
Mackenzie Moore
Tristan Uphoff

NSF S-STEM PRIME Scholars Program
Jessica Antonio-Ulloa
Zoie Banger
Caleb Ewald
Corey Garrison II
Sarah Jaimes Santos
Caleb Jenkins
Rachel Meston
Zoee Perez
Yuliana Reyes
Lauren Stallman   

Social Sciences Division

Departmental Prize in Anthropology and Sociology

Alexandra Armin
Clarke Austin
Tali Deaner
Vivian Kim
Malin Nordmoe
Addison Peter
Sara Reathaford

C. Wallace Lawrence Prize in Business
Holly Bowling
Andreas Fathalla
Farah Ghazal
Christian Kraft

C. Wallace Lawrence Prize in Economics
Nikhil Gandikota
Emma Hahn
Lukas Hultberg
Blagoja Naskovski

Irene and S. Kyle Morris Prize
Colton Jacobs
Meganne Skoug

William G. Howard Memorial Prize in Political Science
Joseph Shumunov

Department of Psychology First-Year Student Prize
Madalyn Farrey
Vivian Kim
Malin Nordmoe
Grace Snyder

Physical Education Division

Division of Physical Education Prize
Adnan Alousi
Vivian Schmidt

Maggie Wardle Prize
Jaelyn Horn


Gordon Beaumont Memorial Award
Litzy Bahena

Henry and Inez Brown Prize
Violet Crampton

Davis United World College Scholar
Unayza Anika
Shiqi (Shaina) Bai
Kinga Fraczkiewicz

Virginia Hinkelman Memorial Award
Ryley White

Heyl Scholars

Class of 2026

Zahra Amini
Michael Ankley
Annaliese Bol
Olivia Cannizzaro
Lilli Daniels
Devi DeYoung
Brigid Roth
Anoushka Soares

Posse Scholars

Class of 2026

Christopher Adeniji
Jimmy Arana
Shyane Barnes-Taylor
Erendira Cabrera
Luis Castro-Limon
Litzy Hernandez
Alyson Ramillano
Arely Roman

National Merit Scholars

Class of 2026
Eleanor Parks-Church

Voynovich Scholars

Elisabeth Kuras
Jack Soderberg

Alpha Lambda Delta

Class of 2025

Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that recognizes excellence in academic achievement during the first college year. To be eligible for membership, students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and be in the top 20 percent of their class during the first year. The Kalamazoo College chapter was installed on March 5, 1942.

Paige Anderson
Ava Apolo
Carolyn Bennett
Daphne Bos
Mairin Boshoven
Anna Buck
Isabella Caza
Alexndra Chafetz
Josetta Checkett
Kyle Cooper
Sophie Decker
Ethan DeNeen
Laura DeVilbiss
Adaora Emenyonu
Justin Essing
Madalyn Farrey
Emma Frederiksen
Lillian Grelak
Elizabeth Grooten
Beatrice Hawkins
Megan Herbst
Maya Hester
Ella Heystek
Sierra Hieshetter
Gavin Houtkooper
Amalia Kaerezi
Kiana Kanegawa
Judah Karesh
Roze Kerr
Vivian Kim
Si Yun Kimball
Alexander Kish
Cole Koryto
Madeleine Lawson
Margaret Lekan
Luis Lizardo-Rodriguez
Ava Loncharte
Madeline Lovins
Jacob Lynett
Andrew Mallon
Arjun Manyam
Sophia Merchant
Mackenzie Moore
Alex Nam
Nguyen Nguyen
Malin Nordmoe
Emma Olson
Isabella Pellegrom
Kaitlin Peot
Benjamin Pickrel
Lucas Priemer
Elena Pulliam
Noah Pyle
Julie Rambo
Sara Reathaford
Laura Reinaux Silva Oliveira
Keegan Reynolds
Maxwell Rhames
Sheldon Riley
Luke Rop
Charlotte Ruiter
Leslie Santos
Vivian Schmidt
Eden Schnurstein
Ping Smith
Grace Snyder
Maxwell Spitler
Eleanor Stevenson
Meredith Steward
Hannah Summerfled
Chau Ta
Claire Taylor
Levi Thomas
Sophia Timm-Blow
Tristan Uphoff
Hannah VanderLugt
McKenna Wasmer
Emerson Wesselhoff
Carson Williams
Laurel Wolfe

Enlightened Leadership Awards

Performing Arts: Music

Shiqi Bai
Avery Brockington
Trustin Christopher
Noah Chun
Sally Eggleston
Luke Hanson
Madeline Hanulcik
Emilia Kelly
Caden Lowis
Kira McManus
Emma Morrison
Lorelei Moxon
Chelsea Paddock
Bea Putman
Molly Stevison
Jeremy Tarn
Hannah Ulanoski

MIAA Awards

These teams earned the 2021-2022 MIAA Team GPA Award for achieving a 3.300 or better grade point average for the entire academic year:

Women’s Basketball
Men’s Cross Country
Women’s Cross Country
Men’s Lacrosse
Women’s Golf
Men’s Soccer
Women’s Softball
Women’s Lacrosse
Women’s Soccer
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Men’s Tennis
Women’s Tennis

MIAA Academic Honor Roll

Student Athletes 2021-22
The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association each year honors students at MIAA member colleges who achieve in the classroom and in athletic competition. Students need to be a letter winner in a varsity sport and maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average for the entire school year.

Adnan Alousi
Olivia Anderson
Paige Anderson
Alexandra Armin
Addison Atwater
Annalise Bailey
Spencer Baldwin
Madison Barch
Travis Barclay
Elena Basso
Ella Black
Rose Bogard
Mairin Boshoven
Chelsea Bossert
Alex Bowden
Leslie Bowen
Holly Bowling
Austin Bresnahan
Lukas Broadsword
Jonathan Brunette
Anna Buck
Pierce Burke
Isabella Caza
Ben Chosid
Walker Chung
Madeleine Coffman
Nicholas Cohee
Lucy Cripe
Emma Curcuru
Nick Dailey
Jessica Dant
Zachary Dean
Emmelyn DeConinck
Ethan DeNeen
Sarah Densham
Olivia DePauli
Chris DeVito
Eva DeYoung
Adam Dorstewitz
Rorie Dougherty
Ryan Drew
Hannah Durant
Gina Dvorin
Rebecca Elias
Kelsi Elliott
Sara English
Jake Fales
Colton Farley
Peter Fitzgerald
Payton Fleming
Parker Foster
Andre Fouque
Emma Frederiksen
Aliza Garcia
Brynna Garden
Farah Ghazal
Katie Gierlach
Nicole Gorder
Lillian Grelak
Natalie Gross
Matthew Gu
Sydney Hagaman
Emily Haigh
Ryan Hanifan
Alison Hankins
Lucy Hart
Tanner Hawkins
Noah Hecht
Maya Hester
Sam Hoag
Jacob Hoffman
Garrick Hohm
Jaelyn Horn
Joseph Horsfield
Molly Horton
Tyler Houle
Gavin Houtkooper
Sam Hughes
Lukas Hultberg
Madelaine Hurley
Casey Johnson
Thomas Kartes
Lucas Kastran
Kai Ketola
Hunter Kiesling
Meghan Killmaster
Rylie Kipfmueller
Lena Klemm
Allison Klinger
Ella Knight
Daniel Koselka
Marissa Kovac
Brandon Kramer
Kathryn Larick
Annmarie Lawrence
Ava Loncharte
Jack Loveland
Jacob Lynett
MacKenzy Maddock
Natalie Maki
Grace McGlynn
Dylan McGorisk
Amy McNutt
Luke Middlebrook
Camille Misra
Jana Molby
Mackenzie Moore
Ryan Morgan
Samantha Moss
Anna Murphy
Nicholas Nerhood
Alexis Nesbitt
Caroline Norton
Alina Offerman
Larkin O’Gorman
Jeremiah Ohren-Hoeft
Olivia Oswald
Ella Palacios
Scott Peters
Eve Petrie
Alexis Petty
Sydney Pickell
Benjamin Pickrel
Noah Piercy
Harrison Poeszat
Evan Pollens-Voigt
Grayson Pratt
Doug Propson
Elizabeth Rachiele
Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci
Julia Rambo
Sara Reathaford
Keegan Reynolds
Mya Richter
Sheldon Riley
Michael Robertson
Lily Rogowski
Luke Rop
Alec Rosenbaum
Elizabeth Rottenberk
Jacob Roubein
Charlotte Ruiter
Tyler Sakalys-Moore
Marco Savone
Vivian Schmidt
Eden Schnurstein
Hannah Schurman
Michael Schwartz
Darby Scott
Steven Shelton
Elizabeth Silber
Colby Skinner
Erin Somsel
Armaan Sood-Mankar
Jonah Spates
Adam Stapleton
David Stechow
Alex Stolberg
Hayden Strobel
Ella Szczublewski
Emily Tenniswood
Levi Thomas
Cade Thune
Kaytlyn Tidey
Sophia Timm-Blow
Frances Trimble
Mary Trimble
Oliver Tye
Samantha VandePol
Hannah VanderLugt
Cameron VanGalder
Anna Varitek
Caleb Waldmiller
Riley Weber
Margaret Wedge
Tanner White
Dylan Wickey
Ava Williams
Laurel Wolfe
Tony Yazbeck
Ian Yi
Sophie Zhuang
Margaret Zorn

City Approves 2022 Campus Master Plan

Kalamazoo College Campus Master Plan
City commissioners have approved Kalamazoo College’s 2022 Campus Master Plan.

Kalamazoo College received approval from the city’s commissioners Monday to move forward with a master plan that focuses on enhancing and expanding the on-campus living experience while strengthening the connection between K’s campus and the surrounding community.

The 2022 Campus Master Plan was developed over 10 months by encouraging feedback and input from the West Main Hill Neighborhood Association, the Historic Stuart Neighborhood Association, city officials and members of the K community. The plan updates the 2012 Campus Master Plan and presents a roadmap of how the College envisions the physical campus may evolve over time. The team determined the plan’s goals would include:

  • Enhancing the campus identity and its image along its public edges.
  • Identifying sites for future student housing.
  • Replacing Trowbridge Hall residence hall.
  • Raising the number of students living on campus.
  • Improving pedestrian safety and connectivity to and from campus.
  • Finding holistic parking solutions.
  • Increasing outdoor gathering spaces on campus.

Since September 2021, the master plan process has been guided by a K committee consisting of Associate Vice President for Facilities and Chief Sustainability Officer Susan Lindemann, Vice President for Student Development Malcolm Smith, Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid Mj Huebner and Professor of Physics Tom Askew and informed by campus and community participation. It also included input from the City of Kalamazoo through City Planner Christina Anderson, who helped ensure that the plan connected to the strategic goals of Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, the vision and guide for Kalamazoo’s future, as imagined by community members and stakeholders throughout the city.

“The campus master plan presents a collective vision created through participants who were eager to collaborate on a plan that benefits everyone,” Lindemann said. “We are grateful to the West Main Neighborhood Association, the Historic Stuart Neighborhood Association, the City of Kalamazoo, and our campus partners for their support and confidence.”

As part of its next steps, the College is expected to begin fundraising for a new residence hall while drafting more detailed planning and design for that hall. The campus master plan is available for public view at the College’s website.

“Our master plan creates opportunities to foster an inclusive and supportive campus with updated facilities, safer and more accessible pathways and improved gathering spaces, while continuing to foster partnerships with the city and community at large,” Kalamazoo College President Jorge G. Gonzalez said. “This plan helps ensure that our future footprint will serve the needs of all our community members.”

About Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo College, founded in 1833, is a nationally recognized residential liberal arts and sciences college located in Kalamazoo, Mich. The creator of the K-Plan, Kalamazoo College provides an individualized education that integrates rigorous academics with life-changing experiential learning opportunities. For more information, visit www.kzoo.edu.

Forbes Praises K for Successful Student Outcomes

Students Sitting in a Circle on the Lower Quad for Forbes Rankings
Forbes magazine last week chose Kalamazoo College as the top private college in Michigan.

If you’re a student who wants an excellent education at a great price, Kalamazoo College will provide it, according to Forbes magazine. Forbes also says choosing K means you’ll follow in the footsteps of successful entrepreneurs and countless influential leaders in their fields.

The magazine last week chose K as the top private college in Michigan, ranking it third in the state overall and No. 183 in the country among its picks of the top 500 schools in the U.S.

To choose this year’s top schools, Forbes focused on factors including whether students graduated on time, secured high salaries after graduation and found successful careers. A student’s average post-graduation debt was also a guiding statistic.

“We know that a college degree is a significant investment for any student, and one that’s been compounded by recent years of financial turmoil for many,” Forbes Senior Education Reporter Emma Whitford said. “This list reflects the public and private universities that are going above and beyond to deliver on that investment.”

Forbes used data from federal government databases and its own publications as well as the data company PayScale, the public policy think-tank Third Way, and the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics to compile its rankings, which include profiles of each institution.

“Kalamazoo’s academics are centered on the K-Plan, an individualized, four-year study plan that incorporates an open curriculum, study abroad, experiential learning and a senior-year capstone,” Forbes says of K. “The competitive Heyl Scholarship covers full tuition for students from the Kalamazoo area who study the sciences. Kalamazoo’s Theatre Arts department has produced some prominent names in entertainment, including Tony Award-winning playwright Lisa Kron, actor Steven Yeun and comedian Jordan Klepper.”

The recognition from Forbes is the latest K has received in a plethora of national rankings and honors distributed this summer. Reputable sources such as Money magazine, the Princeton Review, the Fiske Guide to Colleges and the Colleges of Distinction online guide are just a few to extol K.

“These honors are a credit to the exceptional students we admit, and the faculty and staff responsible for their opportunities from academics to study abroad, leading to outstanding post-graduation outcomes,” Dean of Admission Suzanne Lepley said. “We’re not surprised to receive the recognition, although we’re extremely proud of it.”

Princeton Review Honors K Among Best Colleges

Kalamazoo College honored among 388 best colleges
Kalamazoo College has once again been nationally recognized by the Princeton Review in its popular guide, “The Best 388 Colleges.”

Kalamazoo College has once again been nationally recognized by the Princeton Review in its popular guide, The Best 388 Colleges. The 2023 edition of the book will feature Kalamazoo College among the top 14 percent of colleges and universities in the country and will be available to purchase on August 23.

The Best 388 Colleges, released annually by the Princeton Review, chooses colleges from the nation’s 2,700 institutions based on data it collects from administrators about their academic offerings, and surveys of its students who rate and report on their experiences.

The colleges selected are currently listed on the Princeton Review’s website.

“We salute Kalamazoo College for its outstanding academics and we are genuinely pleased to recommend it to prospective applicants searching for their ‘best-fit’ college,” said Rob Franek, the Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief and lead author of The Best 388 Colleges.

The book won’t rank colleges individually, however, it gives K faculty high marks—95 out of 99—for student accessibility. Students in surveys for the Princeton Review say their professors “present challenging information and generally work to achieve camaraderie with students.” Furthermore, faculty “definitely understand that classes may be difficult and really, truly want to help students learn the best they can.” Professors also view students “as equals and peers and are open to listening to everyone’s ideas in classes.”

In K’s academic profile, The Best 388 Colleges lauds the K-Plan, the College’s approach to an education in the liberal arts and sciences, for an open curriculum in which “students have more time to explore exactly what they want to learn.” That approach allows each student to find their niche quickly in a small-school environment and helps everyone find campus and community activities they care about, the book says.

“K’s inclusion in The Best 388 Colleges is based on how students rate their experiences in classrooms and labs, with their professors, in community engagement and in their extracurricular activities including athletics,” Dean of Admission Suzanne Lepley said. “The idea that K is repeatedly honored year after year through the publication reflects the opportunities available to our students and the quality education they receive.”

Fiske Guide to Colleges Credits K for Imperative Projects, Engaged Faculty

Fiske Guide to Colleges logo for 2023
The 2023 version of the “Fiske Guide to Colleges”
praises Kalamazoo College for its independent
scholarship opportunities, academic excellence,
experiential education efforts and
intercultural experiences.

Kalamazoo College again is featured in a global guide to institutions of higher education that has been trusted by students, families and guidance counselors for nearly 40 years, the Fiske Guide to Colleges

Edward B. Fiske was the New York Times education editor for 17 years. During that time, he thought college-bound students needed better information in selecting a college or university. He wrote the Fiske Guide to Colleges to help them and updated it annually with an editorial team. 

The guide now includes a selective, subjective and systematic look at more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and the UK along with indexes that break down schools by state; academic, social and quality-of-life ratings; financial aid availability and acceptance rates. 

In the 2023 version, available now, the publication says K students “pursue a liberal arts curriculum that includes language proficiency, a first-year writing seminar, sophomore and senior seminars, as well as a senior individualized project—directed research, a creative piece, or a traditional thesis—basically anything that caps off each student’s education in some meaningful way.” 

In addition to senior integrated projects promoting independent scholarship opportunities, the guide praises other tenets of the K-Plan, the College’s integrated approach to an excellent education, including: 

  • Academic excellence. The flexibility and rigor of K’s curriculum provides students with a customized academic experience. According to the guide, professors rate highly for their enthusiasm and accessibility while giving students the individual attention they need. 
  • Experiential education. Students connect classroom learning with real-world experience by completing career development internships or externships, participating in civic engagement and service-learning projects, and getting involved in social justice leadership work. 
  • International and intercultural experience. Students choose from 56 study abroad programs in 29 countries across six continents. The guide quotes a biology major as saying, “Kalamazoo College does study abroad so well that it seems ridiculous not to take advantage of this opportunity. They make it financially accessible and ensure that you won’t fall behind by going abroad.” 

“K’s academic terms may be fast-paced and the workload demanding, but students are given the flexibility to pursue their interests through individualized projects and off-campus exploration,” the publication says. “The result is a student body defined by open-minded, global citizens.” 

New Fellowship Provides Post-Grad Opportunity Abroad for K Students

Bob Sherbin establishing fellowship abroad
Robert Sherbin ’79

A generous leadership gift from Kalamazoo College alumnus Robert Sherbin ’79 will open the door to independent exploration outside the United States for Kalamazoo College graduates.

Sherbin has established the Jerry Sherbin Fellowship, named in honor of his father, which each year will provide one K senior with a stipend to pursue an academic year post-graduation, independently exploring a subject of deep personal interest outside the United States. Applicants will be assessed based on their proposal’s creativity and personal significance, their passion for the subject, and how the work may shape their future plans. The first fellowship abroad will be awarded in spring 2023.

“The College’s K-Plan emphasizes international study and engagement, so this fellowship wonderfully complements a student’s K education,” said Provost Danette Ifert Johnson. “It provides yet another avenue for students to pursue a project of personal interest in a deep and meaningful way prior to starting their graduate study or career. We are grateful to Bob for creating this opportunity for current and future generations of students.”

While an English major at K, Sherbin studied abroad at the University of Nairobi, one of only six American undergrads—and the only K student—there at that time. As a senior, Sherbin applied for a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, an external grant through the Watson Foundation that provides the opportunity to design and execute a one-year project overseas. Before attending graduate school at Northwestern, Sherbin spent a year in Central and West Africa as a Watson Fellow, conducting a sociological study of long-distance truck drivers. This opportunity was transformative, helping guide Sherbin’s path to becoming an international journalist and later, a global corporate communications executive. Today he is the vice president of corporate communications at NVIDIA, a technology company based in Silicon Valley.

Sherbin said, “The Watson Fellowship was the most formative experience of my life. I’d not taken an intro to sociology class. My French was appalling. And I didn’t know a soul within thousands of miles, when aerograms were the WhatsApp of the age. But K had given me the tools to learn and sparked my passion to figure out the rest. It’s my hope that this fellowship will enable students to widen their perspectives, taking them from Dewaters to Danang, from the Upjohn Library steps to the Russian steppes and beyond, and discover ways to make a difference before they head into the rest of their lives.”

Colleges of Distinction: K Provides Top-Notch Undergrad Experiences

Students outside Light Fine Arts at K, one of the Colleges of Distinction
Students study outside Light Fine Arts on a spring day at Kalamazoo College.

A guide for college-bound students and families is recognizing Kalamazoo College as one of about 400 schools from across the country to earn high marks for top-notch undergraduate experiences.

K is included in the 2022–23 Colleges of Distinction online guide, which lauds schools for going beyond what typically drives rankings to offer a personalized education catered to students’ interests. It spotlights K through the K-Plan, the College’s framework for exceptional academics within the liberal arts and sciences.

“When we focus all of our attention on how schools stack up against one another, we lose track of what really matters: the students themselves,” Colleges of Distinction Founder Wes Creel said. “Every student has individual needs and their own environment in which they’re most likely to thrive. We want to extend our praise to the schools that prioritize and cater to students’ goals.” 

High school guidance counselors, college administrators and the Colleges of Distinction selection team nominate excellent schools for inclusion before each institution is vetted to determine its quality through its support for students in all aspects of their lives. Colleges of Distinction judges its nominees on their teaching quality, student engagement, community engagement and outcomes through a selection process that includes in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools and stakeholders.

K received accolades in each area along with honors for its undergraduate programs in science, math and technology; health and medicine; arts and humanities; multidisciplinary studies and social science.

“We pride ourselves on being an institution that prioritizes hands-on student experiences inside and outside the classroom to reflect a well-rounded education through independent scholarship, study abroad opportunities, civic engagement, career development and more,” Dean of Admission Suzanne Lepley said. “When students enroll at K, they should feel confident we will do everything we can in their four years to set them up for success for the rest of their lives. This recognition from Colleges of Distinction confirms that.”

K is also recognized among the top Colleges of Distinction in terms of equity and inclusion as it caters to the unique needs of their students regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender or ability.

“A great undergraduate experience is more than just graduating and getting your first job,” the Colleges of Distinction website says. “Colleges of Distinction graduates are prepared for anything. They are strong writers, speakers and thinkers because their professors have encouraged and challenged them one-on-one. They have meaningful professional experience from internships and advanced research, and they know how to work together with people different than themselves because they have been active on campus, traveled abroad and pursued service opportunities. In other words, when you graduate from a College of Distinction you will be equipped to find better solutions in the workplace, your community and the world at large.”

$500K Gift Establishes Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics at K

Dana Getman, Katie Getman and Teresa Getman for Equity Endowment
Dana Getman ’68 (center) with his wife, Teresa (left) and his daughter Kate Getman. A previous supporter of the Fitness and Wellness Center as well as the Athletic Field Complex, Dana Getman is establishing the Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics with a $500,000 gift.

Kalamazoo College has announced a $500,000 gift in support of women’s athletics from Dana Getman ’68.

The gift establishes the Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics, which supports the College’s strategic plan, Advancing Kalamazoo College: A Strategic Vision for 2023.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, which required many colleges and universities to offer a women’s athletics program equivalent to any offered for men. Historically, however, many women’s teams have struggled to achieve the same level of funding as men’s teams at K, as at other colleges, said Becky Hall, director of athletics at K.

“Achieving more equity between our women’s and men’s sports programs has been a need and a goal at K as long as I’ve been here, and a gift like this goes a long way toward making that a reality,” Hall said.

Getman hopes creating this fund will inspire others to recognize and address inequities women face in athletics and beyond.

Dana Getman and Becky Hall discuss the Getman Endowment for Equity
Kalamazoo College Director of Athletics Becky Hall thanks Dana Getman ’68 for his $500,000 gift establishing the Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics during a fund announcement event with Kalamazoo College women’s coaches.

It’s an issue with personal meaning for Getman, who has three daughters, as well as four granddaughters who have been active in high school athletic programs. While one granddaughter went on to play tennis at Smith College, a women’s college, the other three have not participated in college athletics.

Recently, one of his granddaughters received several offers to play softball at smaller colleges, yet at every college and university she visited, the women’s programs fell short of the men’s. She saw discrepancies between locker rooms, field maintenance, seating and more. Ultimately, she decided not to play softball when she heads off to college in the fall.

“Watching her apply to various schools and evaluate their athletic programs and women’s softball, and then, for various reasons, giving that up, taking a pass on playing in college, is the backdrop to this gift,” Getman said. “The College may have the best intentions of equity, but it may take a long time to get there. If alumni come along and help, maybe that’s what it takes.”

Getman said that in watching his granddaughter play in the high school softball district finals recently, he was struck by how the players are athletes above all. Equity in athletics, he feels, can help promote equality in all areas.

Women's athletics coaches with Director of Athletics Becky Hall and Dana Getman '68
A fund announcement event for the establishment of the Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics included (front row, left to right) Director of Athletics Becky Hall, Dana Getman ’68, Women’s Lacrosse Coach Jess Smith, Women’s Basketball Coach Katie Miller, (back row, left to right) Women’s Tennis Coach Mark Murphy, Softball Coach Kelli Duimstra, Women’s Soccer Coach Bryan Goyings, Swimming and Diving Assistant Coach Beth Mitchell, Women’s Volleyball Coach Hunter Bishop, Cross Country Coach Kyle Morrison and Golf Coach Josh Burt.

Getman said he trusts the athletic department at K to be good stewards of the endowment. He knows the needs are great and hopes other supporters will come forward to contribute.

One of the first plans for the endowment is to add Hornets vinyl wall wraps to the women’s locker rooms to make them more personalized and welcoming, Hall said, and more on par with the men’s locker rooms.

“We plan in the future to use this fund to support and enhance equity in our women’s athletic programs’ operating budgets,” Hall said. “We also hope to fund additional staffing in the future to benefit our women’s teams.”

Getman has been a previous supporter of the Athletic Field Complex and the Fitness and Wellness Center.  In his time at K, he studied English and worked for The Index selling advertising.

“In my first two or three weeks, I came to the uncomfortable conclusion that everybody on campus knew more than I did,” Getman said. “Living in that milieu, or society, was very exciting, meeting with people, discussing ideas and discovering new concepts. It was always stimulating and a fun place to be.”

At that time, Getman joked, the best English students wrote for The Index, the next-best took photographs, and he fell into the third category, those who ended up selling advertising.

“I wore a steady path down to the walking mall and got to know all the secretaries on each floor in the Gilmore building,” Getman said. “There was a jewelry store where I said, ‘Well look, the College is where guys propose—of course you want your name out there.’ And they placed an ad.”

Following his time at Kalamazoo College, Getman returned to his family’s business, guiding its evolution from building equipment that transported concrete that aided in the construction of the Mackinac Bridge to becoming a leading, worldwide supplier of safe and efficient mining equipment. He has led the Getman Corporation in multiple capacities for four decades, including his current role of chairman of the board.

“We are grateful to Dana Getman and to all our donors for their generosity and support,” Hall said. “Our goal is to continue to raise the bar, to make them proud, and to work hard every day to impact the student-athletes in our women’s programs in a positive way. Our coaches know the responsibility and power they hold, and they hold it with a lot of pride, a lot of passion, emotion and enthusiasm.”

If you would like to contribute to the Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics fund and support women’s athletics, please make a gift online.