Albion College's 2013: A Look Back
December 31, 2013
As 2013 draws to a close, the Marketing and Communications team offers a review of some of the year’s major stories.
A New President for Albion College
The campus community celebrated the appointment of Mauri Ditzler as Albion’s new president in November. Ditzler, currently president of Monmouth College in Illinois, will move into his new role July 1. He succeeds Donna Randall, who became the College’s chancellor July 1 after a six-year term as president. Randall continues as chancellor through June 2014. Mike Frandsen is the College’s interim president for the 2013-14 academic year.
Albion welcomed several notable speakers to enrich the learning for all members of the campus community.
Cleveland Sellers, the president of Voorhees College in South Carolina, recalled his relationship with Martin Luther King, Jr., for the College's annual MLK Convocation and Community Celebration in January.
Alexander McCall Smith shared the wit and charm that have carried dozens of his works to international bestseller lists, as he gave the 2013 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address as the capstone to the Elkin R. Isaac Student Research Symposium in April.
Analysis of a presidency and a walk down memory lane combined for a uniquely enlightening evening as Susan Ford Bales presented the 2013 Stoffer Lecture in August. The youngest child and only daughter of President Gerald R. Ford gave a heartfelt presentation and some thoughtful history to the hundreds of Albion students, faculty, staff and community members gathered for the College's Opening Convocation.
The Albion Advantage was on display over the past year, as evidenced by the impressive work of these students and many others.
Anthropology major Tori Malus, ’15, traveled to India alongside professor Brad Chase for fascinating detective work—work that is providing new insights into the agricultural practices of Bronze Age people of the Indus Civilization, in what is now India.
Work at the Ohio Light Opera taught music and theatre majors Corey Brittain, '14, and Peter Verhaeghe, '14, valuable improvisational problem-solving skills as they leaped to action when costumes ripped and props broke.
An English and communication studies major may seem an unlikely intern for a tech start-up, but Claire Van Raaphorst, '14, told a different story from her experience in London.
Scientific research opportunities took biology major Zander Tu, '15, to the Medical College of Wisconsin in the search for links to tumor inhibition, and chemistry major Carlos Matti, '14, to the University of Cincinnati for lab research in nanoparticle biosensing.
Radio broadcasting enthusiast Paul Stewart, ’16, applied his entrepreneurial skills in developing a capital improvement plan to bring new life to WLBN, the College’s radio station.
Students who made contributions reaching beyond the campus included Marissa Cloutier, ’14, who considered community health in Ghana through Global Medical Brigades, and Ashley Glenn, ’15, who worked to improve living conditions in an economically challenged part of West Virginia through the Appalachia Service Project.
The Briton football team ran the table against its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rivals in capturing its league-best 35th championship, good for an NCAA Division III playoff berth. The Britons posted an 8-2 regular-season record.
Paul Lewis, ’14, became the first Albion male cross country runner to become an NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region champion. A physics major and jazz trombonist, Lewis spent his summer spreading his love for the arts as a touring actor and director with the Missoula Children’s Theater.
National Recognition for Faculty
Albion’s faculty also made news as economics and management professor Vicki Baker was selected for an education think tank, history professor Chris Hagerman explored the link between the Roman and British empires in a recently published book, political science professor Carrie Booth Walling researched the evolution of the United Nations Security Council’s intervention in human rights crises for in her new book, and psychology professor Drew Christopher received a teaching excellence award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.
The Heavens Opened
Winds that ranged up to 80 mph accompanied a rain storm that swept through Albion Sept. 11, taking out trees and downing power lines across the Albion College campus. Interim President Mike Frandsen canceled classes for two days and sent students home for a long weekend while utility crews and the Facilities Operations Department restored electrical service and removed debris. Main campus buildings did not suffer any major damage; however, at the Whitehouse Nature Center, as many as 1,000 trees were uprooted or snapped in half.
The community watched in awe as alumni continued to demonstrate the power of an Albion College education. NASA named Josh Cassada, ’95, as an astronaut candidate, one of only eight selected among more than 6,100 applicants.
Artist David Middlebrook, ’66, celebrated a monumental year as his professional sculpture work was selected for inclusion in the Venice Biennale.
Among younger alumni, Zane Havens, ’12, worked as a quartermaster for a Polynesian voyaging canoe in Hawaii, and psychology alumna Cindy Cardwell Fast, ’08, was honored at the Pavlovian Society’s national meeting.
As the year came to a close, Doug Parker, ’84, made national headlines when he became the chief executive officer of the world’s largest airline, following the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, and John Vournakis, ’61, was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.