Office of the President
Welcome to Albion!
Albion College was founded on the frontier of Michigan Territory nearly 180 years ago with a single primary purpose: to enhance, enrich, and empower its community, benefiting those who made the bold decision to head west and find the best place to build better lives for themselves and their families.
Well into the 21st century, that purpose is just as relevant. We still imagine ourselves as a frontier college. The frontiers are different—driven by intellectual, societal, and technological forces—and our mission is much broader, but our founders' extraordinary efforts serve as a valuable guide. They confronted their challenges, and our community today is doing the same—like many communities across America facing similar challenges.
That means bold decisions must continue to be made, and Albion students, graduates, faculty, and staff together are doing just that. They are thoughtfully addressing the issues and making the decisions that not only are building our local and regional communities, but enriching society nationally and internationally.
In short, Albion College is an exciting place. Our students are learning 24/7—in the classroom and lab, in the professor’s office and on the playing field, and in the dining hall and dorm room. The uniquely American creation that is the residential liberal arts college is seen here every day through the close interactions between students and faculty, and it is reinforced by the discussion, debate, and critical thinking that is required not only to determine the many local, regional, and global challenges we face, but to tackle them—and solve them.
Indeed, the bigger the challenge, the greater the need for the liberal arts approach. The collective impact of Albion’s 23,000 alumni, who have found their vocation across all walks of life, stands as proof of the timeless techniques that have served them and our society well.
Another thing about our graduates: They are unusually fond of their alma mater. Continue to explore Albion College—both online and on campus—and you will begin to see why. Here’s a hint: It starts with community.
Mauri A. Ditzler
George S. Chavel, '81
Professional Association: President and Chief Executive Officer of Sodexo North America.
Education: B.A. Degree, Albion College, 1981.
George Chavel is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sodexo North America. Sodexo, with FY‘13 revenues of $8.9 billion, is the leading provider of Quality of Life Services.
Under Mr. Chavel’s leadership, 133,000 employees across the U.S., Canada and Mexico provide a vast array of services that help Sodexo’s more than 6,000 client locations improve their organizations by focusing on positively impacting the lives of their people and the people they serve. Mr. Chavel also serves on the global Sodexo Executive Committee as a Group Chief Operating Officer and is a member of the worldwide Operating Committee that represents 80 countries. Since joining Sodexo in 1991, George Chavel has held a wide range of leadership positions including Vice President for the Hospitals/Acute Care Division and Chief Operating Officer and Health Care Market President for Sodexo North America.
Mr. Chavel is a strong advocate for employee development and building diverse and inclusive workplaces. Since becoming CEO in 2007, Sodexo has achieved numerous accolades for its commitment to diversity and inclusion including the Catalyst Award; multiple 100% rankings on the Human Rights Campaign Equality Index; and #1 on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity twice. Chavel has also led the organization in the implementation of the Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo’s global promise for sustainability focused on positively impacting the environment and local communities we serve.
Mr. Chavel chairs the Sodexo Diversity Leadership Council and serves on the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Corporate Advisory Board, the Albion College Board of Trustees, and the boards of the Hispanic College Fund, the Maryland Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and the Sodexo Foundation. Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization founded in 1999, has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Sodexo funds all administrative costs for the Foundation.
Mr. Chavel is a former board member of the National Committee for Quality Health Care (NCQHC) and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL). Prior to joining Sodexo, he spent seven years in the restaurant franchising industry. He began his professional career with Arthur Andersen.
A native of Michigan, Mr. Chavel graduated from Albion College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Management.
Thomas L. Ludington, '76
Professional Association: Judge, United States District Court - Eastern District of Michigan.
Education: Albion College. 1976, Cum Laude. University of San Diego School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1979.
The Honorable Thomas Ludington graduated from Albion College in 1976. Upon graduation, he continued his education, earning his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1979. He was admitted to the practice of law in 1979 in the State of California and in 1980 in the State of Michigan. Judge Ludington was nominated to the United States District Court by President George W. Bush in 2002 and commissioned in June 2006.
Prior to his appointment as judge, he practiced law with Currie and Kendall, P.C. from 1980 - 1995. He was then elected to the 42nd Circuit Court, State of Michigan and served as chief judge until his appointment to the federal bench.
In addition to his appointment, Judge Ludington has taught various classes in the fields of law and banking, bankruptcy and law office management. He has served on various boards including: Director of the Albion College Board of Trustees, Saginaw Valley State University Foundation and Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation. He was also selected as Fellow of the American Bar Association and the Michigan State Bar Association. He presently serves on the U.S. Courts committee for the State Bar of Michigan.
Judge Ludington’s Albion College involvement includes: Student Senate, LAAW Camp Leadership Committee, Current Ford Institute Visiting Committee, 1991 National Leadership Conference, Mentor Program Volunteer, Member of National Campaign Committee and Regional Volunteer.
He and his wife, Katrina, have two sons, John and Christopher. The Ludingtons live in Sanford, Michigan.
Mr. Ludington serves as an Albion College Trustee because…
he believes the education he received at Albion made a significant contribution to the quality of his life and would like the College to continue its contribution to new students.
Mark E. Newell, '77
Professional Association: Vice Chairman (Retired) of Latham and Watkins LLP.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Albion College, 1977. Doctor of Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School, 1981. Master in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1981.
Mark Newell received his A.B. degree from Albion College in 1977, majoring in Economics and Political Science. He graduated summa cum laude with honors in Political Science and was an Albion Fellow and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1981, where he graduated magna cum laude and served as an editor and as Treasurer of the Harvard Law Review. He also received a Master of Public Policy degree in 1981 from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Following graduate school, Mr. Newell served as a law clerk to Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1981-82) and to Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., of the United States Supreme Court (1982-83).
From 1983 to 2011, Mr. Newell worked as an attorney at Latham and Watkins LLP, a full-service international law firm with more than 2,000 attorneys in more than 30 offices in 14 coun-tries. He became a partner in 1989. Mr. Newell's practice centered on complex business litigation, with a particular focus on insurance coverage, tort, environmental, and appellate matters. He represented Ford Motor Company, Siemens Corporation, 3M Company and other major companies in litigation matters. Mr. Newell spent much of his career at Latham & Watkins in leadership roles. He was Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington D.C. office from 1993-2000; he served on the firm’s Executive Committee from 1999-2011; and he was the firm’s Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Partner from 2002-2011. He retired at the end of 2011.
Mr. Newell has served on the Albion College Board of Trustees since 2008. He previously served as Chair of the Board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee, and now chairs the En-rollment and Marketing Committee. In addition, in 2013 he served as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee that conducted the search process that culminated in the selection of Dr. Mau-ri A. Ditzler as the 16th President of Albion College. Mr. Newell also currently serves on the Ex-ecutive Committee of the United States Golf Association, where he is a member of several com-mittees and currently serves as Chair of the Rules of Golf Committee.
Mr. Newell serves as an Albion College Trustee because…
of his deep gratitude for the challenging, intellectually rigorous education he received at Albion from its brilliant and dedicated faculty. He is the third member of his family to attend Albion College, following his mother Janet Albaugh Newell (’53) and his sister Nancy Newell (’75).