Alma Businessman Honored at Community Appreciation Day
Kim Newson remembers the day in 1976 when he was asked by Alma
College President Bob Swanson and Vice President for Advancement Guile
Graham to help solicit community giving for Alma College.
After hearing their pitch, there was no way the Alma businessman could say no.
“I thought the world of Guile Graham, and I was totally amazed at the charisma of Bob Swanson,” says Newson, co-owner of Alma True Value Hardware. “I’ve been helping with the College’s annual community campaign ever since. It was fun then, and it is still fun today.”
Kim Newson at Alma True Value Hardware
is the recipient of the first Alma College Community Service Award,
which will be presented during the College’s Community Appreciation Day
festivities on Saturday, Sept. 22. Newson will receive the award during
halftime of the Alma College football game against Wittenberg
“I’m honored,” says Newson. “I never realized the importance of a liberal arts education until I was older. I recall Professor M.J.J. Smith talking enthusiastically about taking pre-law students to the Roosevelt Library in New York. He would come into the store and buy roasters and all kinds of things for the trips. I learned from him and other faculty that a liberal arts education rounds you, teaches you to read, and teaches you to write. And that’s so important. If I can play a little part in advancing that, then I’ve done something.”
Newson, an Ithaca resident, began working at the hardware store as a teenager in 1966. He took time off to go to college, earning a degree in industrial management. The economy was tough in the 1970s, and finding a job was difficult, so he came back to work at the hardware, eventually becoming a part owner. Today, he and his partner own stores in Edmore and Carson City in addition to Alma.
Newson thrives on building community relationships. He has known many of the College faculty over the years and has hired students to work in his store.
“Professor Joe Sutfin would bring over very talented kids who needed jobs,” he says. “I’ve had a lot of them, like Kim Driver, Dwight Kelsey, Amy Hufferd and Odell Wentworth. Kim and Dwight did my advertising for me. All were outstanding kids.
“There continues to be a huge amount of loyalty between the community and the college,” he says.
A number of activities are planned for the College’s Community Appreciation Day. A family cookout and kids games are planned from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. adjacent to Bahlke Field prior to the football game. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and free for children 5 and under.
Alma College also is participating in the NCAA’s “Take a Kid to the Game Day” promotion. Local high school athletes who wear their team jerseys or warm-ups will receive free admission to the 1 p.m. football game against Wittenberg. General admission to the game is $5 for adults and students and free for children 12 and under.
Win, lose or draw, the first 200 people with a ticket from the football game to stop in the Alma McDonalds will receive a free drink in a custom cup.
For ticket information, call the Alma College Alumni Relations Office at (989) 463-7245.
Posted: Mon, September 17th, 2007 at 10:51AM