Semester-long celebration of Dunn presidency to begin in January

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of WMU President John M. Dunn.

WMU President John M. Dunn

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A spring season filled with events designed to celebrate the successful tenure of Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn will begin in January and provide the entire WMU community opportunities to say thank you and farewell to the University's eighth president.

Dunn, whose trademarks have been his accessibility and focus on student success, has agreed to a series of activities that will put him in close contact with people around the state and nation as well as raise funds to solidify the future for some signature causes important to him and his wife, Linda.

Planned activities

  • Starting Jan. 17, Dunn will visit alumni gatherings in Colorado, Arizona, California, Florida and Washington, D.C.
  • Embark on a Feb. 27 through March 3 Farewell Bus Tour of Michigan that will take him to more than a dozen cities around the state.
  • Be feted at an April 7 Miller Auditorium celebration for the campus and community.

Farewell activities to celebrate the Dunns also will include a May gala at the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine; visits to legislators and editorial boards; and a special fundraising effort to benefit four causes of particular interest to the Dunns—the Student Emergency Fund, the Seita Scholars program, the Bronco Marching Band and the University Art Collection.

"President Dunn has built a tremendous legacy on campus, in Kalamazoo and around the state and nation," says Kenneth Miller, chair of the WMU Board of Trustees. "We want members of all the communities we serve to have a chance to play a part in celebrating, with us, the accomplishments that have changed WMU forever and left their mark nationwide."

Miller notes that throughout the coming months, those coordinating the farewell events plan to reach out to alumni, students and members of the communities involved to make sure as many people as possible have an opportunity to participate in one or more of the events and activities.

The end of an era

Dunn announced Aug. 1 that he would retire June 30, 2017, closing out a transformational 10-year era that touched every part of the University.  The launch of the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, an affiliation that created the WMU Cooley Law School, a focus on sustainability and the establishment of programs for veterans and former foster care youth that became national models are among the initiatives most often cited in describing the Dunn presidency.

In addition, nearly $500 million in construction projects, fundraising success, growth in international representation on campus and a dramatic increase in WMU's honor student population changed the campus environment.

A campuswide search committee is working to find the next president of WMU. Its goal is to identify that person by the end of this academic year.

At the request of the WMU Board of Trustees, Dunn has agreed to serve for a year as President Emeritus following his retirement. In that capacity, he will undertake assignments requested by the trustees and the new president.

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