Local WMU Alumni, including Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell, Honored with Golden Apple/Keystone Awards

golden apple and keystone winners 2016Kalamazoo, MI, Sept. 2016

Western Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) is honoring five local alumni: Robert “Bob” Ezelle, Tesea Neal, and Von Washington, Jr. with Golden Apple Awards, and Mayor Bobby Hopewell and Tim Terrentine with Keystone Awards. This year’s group of recipients are unique in that all five work within an hour of the university, and are influential members of the west Michigan area.The recipients exemplify CEHD’s mission to develop exceptional education and human development professionals who positively impact our global society.

The Golden Apple Award is given to honor outstanding individuals who attended or graduated from the CEHD and are presently working or retired from the many professions involved in the educational experience. The award winners have been personally selected by their peers as being representative of educational excellence and commitment.

Robert “Bob” Ezelle (BS, ’94, Physical Education, Health Education minor) is the Chief Operating Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo, a position he has held for more than thirty of his forty plus years there.  A lifelong Kalamazoo resident, Ezelle’s dedication to instilling a sense of worth and value into each of the Boys & Girls Club’s members and providing a safe environment that fosters holistic growth opportunities for Kalamazoo youth has impacted thousands of lives and inspired the respect of local, state, and national leaders.  Ezelle will retire at the end of this year.

Teresa Weatherall Neal (MA, ’00, Educational Leadership) is the Superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS).  A Grand Rapids native, Superintendent Neal attended GRPS and has worked in the school system for over forty years.  She has been instrumental in developing and implementing programs and initiatives that wrap support around students in need.  She has a love for both the students of Grand Rapids and the city itself and charges her staff to take ownership over their students and city as well.

Von Washington, Jr. (MA, ’94, Educational Leadership) is the Executive Director of Community Relations for The Kalamazoo Promise.  Washington, Jr.’s works closely with key community stakeholders to develop and promote ongoing initiatives around a common vision of making Kalamazoo a leading education community.  The Kalamazoo Promise is a one of a kind scholarship program that provides resident graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools with up to 100 percent of their tuition and mandatory fees for up to 130 credits at Michigan’s public universities, fifteen private colleges and universities, and community colleges.

The Keystone Awards were created to recognize accomplished alumni of human development programs in the CEHD whom have either demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and distinction in the field of human development (Keystone Meritorious) or achieved substantial professional growth and advancement over a short period of time in his or her chosen profession in the field of human development (Keystone Early Career).

Kalamazoo Mayor, Bobby Hopewell, (MA, ’14, Organizational Learning and Performance), recipient of the Keystone Meritorious Award, is also the President and CEO of Mobile Health Resources.  Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Mayor Hopewell has spent his entire adult career in the service of others.  From his professional positions in healthcare to his board memberships and civic responsibilities, he has demonstrated leadership and passion for improving the lives of all citizens in Kalamazoo.

Tim Terrentine (BS, ’04, Family Studies), recipient of the Keystone Early Career Award, is the newly appointed VP of Development and Alumni Relations and the Executive Director of WMU Foundation and WMU Alumni Association.  Previously, Terrentine worked with Southwest Michigan First as the president of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce.  His career success is marked by expertise in strategic planning, passion for empowering individuals through leadership programs, and the ability to inspire others to action.

The College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University is a diverse and vibrant institution of professional education, preparing individuals annually for leadership in their fields. The college is comprised of six departments: counselor education and counseling psychology; special education and literacy studies; family and consumer sciences; human performance and health education; teaching, learning and educational studies; and educational leadership, research and technology. Approximately 100 regular full-time faculty serve 2,500 undergraduate and over 1,300 graduate students, with majors enrolled in programs leading to bachelor's, specialist's, master's and doctoral degrees.

For more information about the Golden Apple and Keystone Awards, including past recipients, click here.