Vice mayor, WMU professor to speak at next breakfast series

contact: Alyssa Benson
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Don Cooney.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The vice mayor of the City of Kalamazoo, who is a Western Michigan University professor of social work, will be the next speaker at the upcoming Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series hosted by the Haworth College of Business.

Dr. Don Cooney, associate professor of social work, will give a presentation titled "The Foundation for Excellence: The City of Promise Moves Forward" at 8 a.m. Friday, April 28, in 2150 Schneider Hall.

The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at Free parking is available in Fetzer Center Lot 72F.

Don Cooney

Cooney joined the faculty at WMU in 1977 and teaches courses in the history of social welfare, community practice, social change, and race and culture. He was elected vice mayor in 2015 and also serves on numerous boards and committees outside of city government, including the Michigan Association of Children with Emotional Disorders, World Trade Peace Center and Task Force for Prevention of Youth Violence.

The City of Kalamazoo

The City of Kalamazoo was founded in 1831, when Titus Bronson recorded the original plat for the Village of Bronson at the County Register of Deeds Office. Shortly thereafter, Gov. Lewis Cass selected the village as the county seat, which spurred the rapid development of the community. After a series of incidents, including being fined for stealing a cherry tree from another settler, Bronson’s enemies successfully changed the name of the town to Kalamazoo in 1836. 

Today, Kalamazoo is home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three higher learning institutions, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, diverse and affordable housing, award-winning water and water reclamation systems, and many parks, lakes and golf courses. A variety of industries and businesses call Kalamazoo home, including major players in the pharmaceutical, medical science and craft beer industries. The city also offers many cultural attractions including music, visual art, dance, theatre and more.

Upcoming presentations

  • May 19: Kathy Beauregard, director of athletics, WMU

Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series

The Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the local community to hear top business leaders and WMU faculty, alumni and friends of the Haworth College of Business discuss current topics of interest.

For more information or to register, contact the Haworth College of Business at (269) 387-6059 or at

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