Charles H. Ludlow obituary

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News

Charles H. Ludlow, a trustee emeritus of Western Michigan University, died May 8 in Kalamazoo. He was 89.

Ludlow retired as vice president and treasurer of the Upjohn Co. in 1984 after 34 years with the Kalamazoo pharmaceutical firm.

He was a member of the WMU Board of Trustees from 1967 to 1987. He served as board chairman twice and vice chairman five times, chaired the University's 1985 presidential search committee, and was named executive director of the University's 1997 presidential search.

Upon completing his 20 years of service on WMU's governing board, Ludlow was praised for giving "his time and talents to Western in the development of such key areas as financial analysis and data processing, while providing wise counsel and setting fiscal standards of the highest integrity."

Ludlow earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from WMU in 1950. Fellow Trustee Emeritus Maury E. Reed, who served on the board with him for many years, says he was a special man.

"Chuck Ludlow was the ideal trustee and perfect mentor for those who followed. He was dedicated and thoroughly engaged in the pursuit of Western's excellence," Reed says. "The time he devoted to his alma mater was legendary. His superb leadership and professional wisdom as chairman of the board and chairman of the [1985] presidential search committee provided WMU a path to prominence in U.S. higher education. Western Michigan University was indeed fortunate for the light and life of Chuck Ludlow."

The same can be said for the broader community, as Ludlow was active in civic affairs and played leadership roles in numerous organizations, including Senior Services, the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, Girl Scouts, Kalamazoo College and the Kellogg Foundation Trust.

WMU named him 1991 Volunteer of the Year and inducted him into its Academy of Volunteers for his leadership of the Kalamazoo area section of the University's "Campaign for Excellence" capital fundraising campaign.

Ludlow and his wife, Marion, funded one of the University's prestigious Medallion Scholarships. In addition, he had served as a director of the WMU Foundation and had been a member of the President's Club as well as the WMU Alumni Association, which presented him with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 1964.


Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, in the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th St., Kalamazoo. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 16, in the First Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo.

More information will be posted at when it becomes available.