WMU LBGT alumni group to host homecoming reception

contact: Deanne Puca
| WMU News
Pride Alumni Network Homecoming Reception flier.

The annual event is in its third year.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Pride Alumni Network will host its third annual Homecoming Reception and Social from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center. The organization will be recognizing alumna Tammy Collins with its second annual Alumni Community Impact Award for extraordinary work impacting the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community in Kalamazoo.

Tammy Collins

Collins graduated from WMU in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. After seven years in the graphic design field, she founded Evolve Visual Design in 2002, which specializes in the design of corporate communications.

She has a long history of using her design talent to help the LBGT community—mostly on a reduced-rate or pro-bono basis. She worked with Milwaukee Pride when she previously lived in Wisconsin. Collins has continued this work by serving the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, where she has created their marketing materials for the last seven years entirely on a volunteer basis, including work on Kalamazoo Pride.

In addition to her design work, Tammy and her wife, Amy, have been dedicated volunteers with the Kalamazoo Pride event, members of the center's steering committee for several years and have also been facilitators with the center’s youth group program. She also currently serves on the board of directors for the resource center and was the co-chair of Kalamazoo Pride for the past two years.  

Talk to highlight LBGT history project

This year's event also includes a presentation by Sharon Carlson, Archives and Regional History Collections director, who is working on a collection of LBGT history at WMU. The Pride Alumni Network also has an LBGT 'scrapbook' started by a group on campus in the 1980s that will be ceremoniously donated to archives that evening.

"The paper trail for documenting the experiences of LBGT students is incomplete," Carlson says. "One of the earliest organizations on the campus was the 1980s Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Support. Goals of support and education continue today with campus organizations such as OUTspoken. I view this event as the launch of a serious effort to collect the GLBT history of WMU."

Pride Alumni Network

The leadership committee planning the event includes WMU alumni Megan Anderson, Tracy Hall, Codie Stone and Joe VanDerBos as well as Jen Hsu of the WMU Office of LBGT Student Services.

The event is paid for with host donations from alumni and local friends of WMU. Registration is requested at mywmu.com/pridealumni.

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