Kalamazoo College Readies for Homecoming 2010

CONTACT: Jim VanSweden, 269.337.7291

(KALAMAZOO, Michigan) A record high 1,000 alumni and guests have registered to attend the 2010 Homecoming Weekend at Kalamazoo College, Oct. 15-17. All alumni are invited, and special reunion events are being planned for class years that end in 0 and 5. This year’s Homecoming Weekend will also include Emeritus Club reunions for the classes of 1940, 1945, 1950, 1955, and 1960.

A full schedule of events is available at www.kzoo.edu/homecoming. Reunion highlights include: a 5K run/walkthrough campus and surrounding neighborhoods; a Professional Development Institute that connects “K” alumni to current students in order to help students prepare for “life after ‘K’”; a “College Update” with President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran; a showcase of student documentary films; a poetry reading by professors Di Seuss and Gail Griffin; tours of the College’s 60-acre campus near downtown Kalamazoo, 140-acre Lillian Anderson Arboretum in Oshtemo Township, and A.M. Todd Rare Book Room in Upjohn Library Commons; countless alumni gatherings on campus and around Kalamazoo; receptions featuring current and former “K” faculty; alumni soccer and volleyball games; and, yes, a football game (Kalamazoo “Hornets” vs. Olivet, 1:00 Saturday at Angell Field).

The annual Alumni Association Awards Ceremony (Friday, 7:30 pm, Dalton Theatre, Light Fine Arts Building) honors several “K” alumni and employees for their distinguished achievement, service, athletic accomplishment, and contribution to the College. This year’s award recipients are:

Larry Bell ’80, recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award presented to alumni in recognition of their excellence and achievement in their professional field. Bell is president and founder of Bell’s Brewery, one of country’s oldest and most successful microbreweries, and a recognized leader in the craftbrewing industry. Beginning in 1983 with $200 as a birthday present from his mother, and investment funds and in-kind support from numerous individuals, Bell now presides over a company that sells more than 150,000 barrels of beer annually in 18 states—and is poised for even greater growth. Larry has also participated in a number of alumni panel discussions for students, hosted class reunions for his classmates, and provided significant funding for the Farms to K local foods initiative, and other College initiatives.

Jon Stryker ’82, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award presented to a person that has made exceptional personal contributions to the College and has performed effectively in leadership positions. Stryker is president and founder of the Arcus Foundation that works to achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity, and race, and to ensure conservation and respect of the great apes. An architect by training, his generous support has helped sustain many of the College’s most distinctive programs and highest priorities including study abroad and enrollment diversity. Most recently the Arcus Foundation has provided the funding and vision to establish the College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, whose mission is to support the pursuit of human rights and social justice by developing emerging leaders and sustaining existing leaders in the field of human rights and social justice. Stryker also serves on the College’s board of trustees.

Kim Cummings, professor emeritus of sociology, recipient of the Weimer K. Hicks Award that honors current or retired employees who have provided significant long-term contribution to the College. Officially retired from Kalamazoo College in 2007, Cummings’ legacy as a teacher, mentor, and friend to generations of “K” students continues to this day. Having spent nearly four decades teaching sociology at Kalamazoo, Kim not only taught students the fundamentals of the subject, but through such classes at “Building Blocks” and “How to Change the World” he also introduced them to a world of citizen activism and service-learning beyond the confines of College’s Academy Street campus.

Athletic Hall of Fame inductees include several student athletes, coaches, and teams that have attained distinction at the College. These include: Harry Rapley ’38 (Football, Basketball, Track and Field), Hardy Fuchs ’68 (Soccer Coach),Dennis Kane ’75 (Football), Jim Hosner ’78 (Tennis), Emily Trahan ’03 (Volleyball), the 1976 and 1978 Men’s Tennis Teams, and the 1988 Men’s Soccer Team.

Jane (Hunter) Parker ’48, Tom Smith ’55 and Mary Lou (Schofield) Smith ’55, and Karen (Lake) De Vos ’59 each received a 2010 Emeritus Club Citation of Merit award by demonstrating their affection for Kalamazoo College through their loyalty, involvement, and service to the College; their continued financial support; and their civic, church, school, and community activities that reflect credit upon the College.

Founded in Kalamazoo in 1833, Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu) is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the “K-Plan” that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, learning by practice, and both international and intercultural engagement.