Year in Review: Alma College in the News
2008 proved to be a newsworthy year for Alma College. Following is a summary of the College’s top news stories of last year.
• In February, Alma College was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.
• Also in February, trustees approved planning for campus facility projects totaling $18.75 million, including $4.5 million for academic space improvements and $12.65 million for the construction of a new intercollegiate athletics gymnasium/convocation center. A spring 2009 groundbreaking is planned.
An artist's drawing of the proposed new gymnasium/convocation center.
• The campus mourned the loss of long-time faculty member Bishop Thomas Mar Makarios,
who died at the age of 81 from injuries sustained in an automobile
accident while visiting churches in England. 2008 also saw the passing
of alumni Lee Posey and Carra Jones Smith, whose contributions to the
College have provided educational opportunities for numerous students
over the years, and emeriti faculty Wesley Dykstra, Louis Ray Minor and
• President Saundra Tracy and Provost Michael Selmon introduced a new academic vision for Alma College that focuses on the development of signature programs as the catalyst for increasing enrollment to 1,800 by 2020. Later, in August, the faculty approved new general education requirements for all students.
• In March, an international roster of scientists gathered on campus for the Eugene Kenaga International DDT Conference on Environment and Health. As a follow-up, the scientists agreed on a set of consensus statements urging global policymakers to reconsider the future use of DDT.
• Mike Muckleroy addressed 255 Alma College graduates during spring commencement in April. Muckleroy, whose career is marked by 50 years of energy related business experience, is one of two major developers of a proposed energy park in Alma.
• In June, Alma College received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration from the Michigan Campus Compact. A group of Alma faculty, students and administrators accepted the prestigious award at the Governor’s Service Awards ceremony at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
• In July, the College received a $250,000 McGregor Fund grant for “Internationalizing the Alma Experience,” a program designed to enhance the College’s emerging partnership with Equatorialis University in Ecuador. The program targets faculty and curriculum development in anticipation of the arrival of Ecuadorian students in the fall of 2012.
• For the second straight year, Alma set a fall enrollment record with 458 new students, surpassing the previous high of 452 new students set in 2007. The year’s total enrollment of 1,384 is the highest since 2000.
• The first campus visit of a foreign leader — current or past — occurred in September with a speech by former Mexico President Vicente Fox. More than 1,500 people from greater Gratiot County and the state attended the keynote address of the Robert D. Swanson Responsible Leadership Speaker Series.
• The College continued to make progress on the Open Windows Campaign, the College’s largest-ever fund-raising effort, which targets the strengthening and growing of Alma’s endowment. As of Dec. 31, 2008, the Campaign had surpassed 92 percent of the $35.25 million goal.
• 2008 was a banner year for student accomplishments, with three students awarded Fulbright Scholarships, the Model UN team earning top honors, SIFE gaining recognition in the national competition, and Petoskey senior and physics major Adam Sypniewski receiving attention for his summer internship at the SuperCollider in Geneva, Switzerland.
Posted: Mon, January 12th, 2009 at 8:31AM