History

Friends of East Campus

Friends of East Campus

FOEC Photo
Friends of East Campus

Friends of East Campus

FOEC Photo
Friends of East Campus

Friends of East Campus

FOEC Photo

FRIENDS OF HISTORIC EAST CAMPUS

The Friends of Historic East Campus is a non-profit association which seeks to preserve, protect, and work for the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings and land space of the Historic East Campus; the birth site of Western Michigan University. Membership in this Association is open to all alumni, employees, students and/or friends of Western Michigan University who share this goal.

The Friends of Historic East Campus Executive Commitee meet the third Friday of each month. Quarterly meetings include the Executive Committee and the full FOHEC Board. These open meetings are held at noon in the Commons Room, Walwood Hall.

"How Are We Preserving Those Ivy Covered Walls?"

The FOHEC has engaged in a number of ongoing legislative initiatives in recent years including: holding legislative candidate forums; administering candidate surveys; writing letters and Viewpoints to local newspapers; encouraging the formation of a Southwest Michigan Coalition of legislators from the ten counties in our part of the state; testifying in support of WMU funding to both House and Senate Appropriations committees in the last two budget cycles.

This has taken FOHEC a bit beyond the concern for the buildings but we have moved in this direction for two reasons:

1. To strengthen our relationship with WMU leadership and demonstrate that we understand the budget crisis.


   2. To lend credibility to our claim that we exist to PROTECT, Preserve, Restore, and Reuse the buildings on the East Campus. Right now we are feeling much better about WMU's efforts to deal with a number of issues.

A. PROTECTION--There has been good attention paid to securing the buildings from intrusion and vandalism.

 B. THE WMU BOARD OF TRUSTEES--Last Fall the FOHEC chairperson had the opportunity to address the WMU Board of Trustees and clarify our relationship with the University. Please click on the "News" link to read the address.

C. PLANS--Kalamazoo is alive these days with "PLANS".  No real money but lots of plans. A group of local developers calling themselves, "SuiteIdea" are promoting an arena for the old Cole-Gilmore auto dealership property south of Kalamazoo Avenue and east of Westnedge Avenue, a nine acre site mostly owned by the WMU Foundation. Meanwhile, Downtown Kalamazoo and it's many subsidiaries are working with the City and the Chamber to update the Kalamazoo Master Plan. We are watching both of these initiatives very closely because of our insistence that the East Campus is an integral part of Downtown and the Vine Neighborhood. We are building our network and pushing the importance of the East Campus. Again, a new initiative for FOHEC but relevant.   

Meetings & Dates

FOHEC Board meetings are held on the third Friday of each month in Walwood Hall on the East Campus in the Emeriti Lounge on the second floor.

All FOHEC meetings are open to all our members as well as the community.  Please contact Mary Ellen Agar at 269-330-0847 for more information.

Friday, February 18, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
April 17, 2011

 

Spotlight
 

Friends of East Campus - WMU Alumni
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403 USA
| 269.327.2794 Fax
maryellenagar@chartermi.net

FRIENDS OF HISTORIC EAST CAMPUS

The Friends of Historic East Campus is a non-profit association which seeks to preserve, protect, and work for the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings and land space of the Historic East Campus; the birth site of Western Michigan University. Membership in this Association is open to all alumni, employees, students and/or friends of Western Michigan University who share this goal.

The Friends of Historic East Campus Executive Commitee meet the third Friday of each month. Quarterly meetings include the Executive Committee and the full FOHEC Board. These open meetings are held at noon in the Commons Room, Walwood Hall.

"How Are We Preserving Those Ivy Covered Walls?"

The FOHEC has engaged in a number of ongoing legislative initiatives in recent years including: holding legislative candidate forums; administering candidate surveys; writing letters and Viewpoints to local newspapers; encouraging the formation of a Southwest Michigan Coalition of legislators from the ten counties in our part of the state; testifying in support of WMU funding to both House and Senate Appropriations committees in the last two budget cycles.

This has taken FOHEC a bit beyond the concern for the buildings but we have moved in this direction for two reasons:

1. To strengthen our relationship with WMU leadership and demonstrate that we understand the budget crisis.


   2. To lend credibility to our claim that we exist to PROTECT, Preserve, Restore, and Reuse the buildings on the East Campus. Right now we are feeling much better about WMU's efforts to deal with a number of issues.

A. PROTECTION--There has been good attention paid to securing the buildings from intrusion and vandalism.

 B. THE WMU BOARD OF TRUSTEES--Last Fall the FOHEC chairperson had the opportunity to address the WMU Board of Trustees and clarify our relationship with the University. Please click on the "News" link to read the address.

C. THE IVY PULL--A coming event that should be fun is "The Ivy Pull." We recently co-sponsored along with the Kalamazoo Preservation Alliance and the City of Kalamazoo a workshop on "green preservation". The guest speaker toured East Campus and was enthusiastic about what East Hall could be. He also observed that the heavy growth of ivy was probably causing severe deterioration. We contacted Pete Strazdas of WMU to see what could be done. He suggested that his people cut the ivy at the base and in a few weeks when the vines are dead and dry FOHEC will have a community Ivy Pull. It could be fun, will get some good publicity, and incidentally slow down the damage to the buildings.

D. PLANS--Kalamazoo is alive these days with "PLANS".  No real money but lots of plans. A group of local developers calling themselves, "SuiteIdea" are promoting an arena for the old Cole-Gilmore auto dealership property south of Kalamazoo Avenue and east of Westnedge Avenue, a nine acre site mostly owned by the WMU Foundation. Meanwhile, Downtown Kalamazoo and it's many subsidiaries are working with the City and the Chamber to update the Kalamazoo Master Plan. We are watching both of these initiatives very closely because of our insistence that the East Campus is an integral part of Downtown and the Vine Neighborhood. We are building our network and pushing the importance of the East Campus. Again, a new initiative for FOHEC but relevant.   

 

Spotlight
 

Friends of East Campus - WMU Alumni
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403 USA
| 269.327.2794 Fax
maryellenagar@chartermi.net

FRIENDS OF HISTORIC EAST CAMPUS

The Friends of Historic East Campus is a non-profit association which seeks to preserve, protect, and work for the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings and land space of the Historic East Campus; the birth site of Western Michigan University. Membership in this Association is open to all alumni, employees, students and/or friends of Western Michigan University who share this goal.

The Friends of Historic East Campus Executive Commitee meet the third Friday of each month. Quarterly meetings include the Executive Committee and the full FOHEC Board. These open meetings are held at noon in the Commons Room, Walwood Hall.

"How Are We Preserving Those Ivy Covered Walls?"

The FOHEC has engaged in a number of ongoing legislative initiatives in recent years including: holding legislative candidate forums; administering candidate surveys; writing letters and Viewpoints to local newspapers; encouraging the formation of a Southwest Michigan Coalition of legislators from the ten counties in our part of the state; testifying in support of WMU funding to both House and Senate Appropriations committees in the last two budget cycles.

This has taken FOHEC a bit beyond the concern for the buildings but we have moved in this direction for two reasons:

1. To strengthen our relationship with WMU leadership and demonstrate that we understand the budget crisis.


   2. To lend credibility to our claim that we exist to PROTECT, Preserve, Restore, and Reuse the buildings on the East Campus. Right now we are feeling much better about WMU's efforts to deal with a number of issues.

A. PROTECTION--There has been good attention paid to securing the buildings from intrusion and vandalism.

 B. THE WMU BOARD OF TRUSTEES--Last Fall the FOHEC chairperson had the opportunity to address the WMU Board of Trustees and clarify our relationship with the University. Please click on the "News" link to read the address.

C. THE IVY PULL--A coming event that should be fun is "The Ivy Pull." We recently co-sponsored along with the Kalamazoo Preservation Alliance and the City of Kalamazoo a workshop on "green preservation". The guest speaker toured East Campus and was enthusiastic about what East Hall could be. He also observed that the heavy growth of ivy was probably causing severe deterioration. We contacted Pete Strazdas of WMU to see what could be done. He suggested that his people cut the ivy at the base and in a few weeks when the vines are dead and dry FOHEC will have a community Ivy Pull. It could be fun, will get some good publicity, and incidentally slow down the damage to the buildings.

D. PLANS--Kalamazoo is alive these days with "PLANS".  No real money but lots of plans. A group of local developers calling themselves, "SuiteIdea" are promoting an arena for the old Cole-Gilmore auto dealership property south of Kalamazoo Avenue and east of Westnedge Avenue, a nine acre site mostly owned by the WMU Foundation. Meanwhile, Downtown Kalamazoo and it's many subsidiaries are working with the City and the Chamber to update the Kalamazoo Master Plan. We are watching both of these initiatives very closely because of our insistence that the East Campus is an integral part of Downtown and the Vine Neighborhood. We are building our network and pushing the importance of the East Campus. Again, a new initiative for FOHEC but relevant.   

 

Spotlight
 

Friends of East Campus - WMU Alumni
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403 USA
| 269.327.2794 Fax
maryellenagar@chartermi.net

THE FORMATION OF THE FRIENDS OF HISTORIC EAST CAMPUS

Many of us have observed, with increasing concern, the gradual neglect, deterioration, and abuse of the buildings and grounds of the historic district now known as "Historice East Campus" of Western Michigan University.

east hallIn 1979, two of the grand old porticos on East Hall were demolished. Bulldozers had already leveled what one was a park-like setting on the east slope of Prospect Hill to provide space for a football practice field. When campus planners proposed to remove the north and south ends of the oldest building, East Hall, to create parking spaces and forever change the "Historic East Campus;" alarmed citizens organized The Friends of Historical East Campus. Dr. Dale Pattison, Western Michigan University, History Department Faculty emeriti was appointed to be the first Chairperson of The Friends of East Campus.

The Friends of Historical East Campus are dedicated to saving the original buildings on Prospect Hill, the birthplace of Western Michigan University. We seek to motivate the leadership of WMU to find productive uses for these buildings and to help secure the funds needed to restore them to their original appearance, with necessary updates, to serve as fully functional 21st century facilities. The renovation of Walwood Hall and the Little Theatre, on Oakland Drive, serve as examples of what the future could hold for the other building on East Campus.

TrolleyThis "Friends" group is diverse in makeup and includes Western alumni, faculty, staff, employees, and former students of the WMU campus school/high school, Vine Street neighborhood members, civic leaders, historians and friends of WMU. Together we share the goal to preserve, restore and revitalize the "Birthplace" of Western Michigan University.

The Friends of Historic East Campus Executive Committee meet on the third Friday of each month. Quarterly meeting include the Executive Committee and the full FOHEC Board. These open meetings are held at noon in the Commons Room, Walwood Hall, WMU.

The administration at WMU has welcomed The Friends of East Campus as a partner in the planning of the future use of East Campus. During former President, Dr. Elson Floyd's tenure at WMU he recognized the value and potential in saving the "birthplace" of WMU. He asked the "Friends" to assist in suggesting appropriate use for the buildings and to help raise money to pay for the renovation of these buildings. He directed maintenance staff to repair the most pressing needs of East Hall. This resulted in the following: down spouts have been adjusted to transfer water off from and away from the building structure, repairs have been made to prevent ice from forming on the outside of the structure, all damaged stair handrails have been repaired or replaced, and effort has been made to continually remove graffiti from the structure, and the heating system has been regulate to maintain a workable climate within the building.

The University's past president, Dr. Judith Bailey, was also supportive of the "Friends" goals. Unfortunately, due to the present economic condition in the state and at the university level, there is no money available to help in the preservation of East Campus. In September 2003, Dr. Bailey was invited to address the Friends of Historical East Campus. At that meeting she gave the "Friends" permission to seek private funding for the preservation and restoration of the East Hall.

FUTURE PROJECTS:

The "Friends" are interested in working with the WMU Administration to see North Hall (the original library building on the East Campus) renovated to house the WMU Archives and Southwestern Michigan History Collection. The WMU — Archives and Regional History collection is currently located in the north wing of East Hall and this section is in desperate need of repair. We will continue to pursue the preservation for the other buildings on the East Campus.

In the fall of 2004. the Friends of Historic East Campus began a membership drive.  We continue to seek people who have very strong feelings for preserving Western Michigan University's historic East Campus.

We recognize the economic challenges of achieving our ambitious goals but remain optimistic that his magnificent historical site and community resource can be saved for future generations.

This could be our last chance to save "Old East."  Please join us in partnering with WMU to save East Campus.

WE MUST MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD.

THE BUILDINGS CANNOT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

 

 

 

Spotlight
 

Friends of East Campus - WMU Alumni
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403 USA
| 269.327.2794 Fax
maryellenagar@chartermi.net