DAA Winner: William H. Dobbins, '74

Albion College Distinguished Alumni Award winner William H. Dobbins, '74.

Bill Dobbins loves Albion. Simply stated yet running incredibly deep, there truly is no better way to describe the feeling he has for his hometown and alma mater.

A premedical student who played football, basketball, and baseball (and was part of the 1971 Athletic Hall of Fame baseball team), Dobbins gained admission to the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine after just three years at Albion. His medical training completed, he began practicing in Marshall with his brother James Dobbins, '69. Younger brother Thomas Dobbins, '79, later joined the family medical practice that continues to serve patients today in Marshall and Albion. For a quarter-century, Dr. Bill's care and compassion for his patients were well known throughout the community--and beyond, as he regularly made trips to Jackson to administer care to incarcerated individuals.

Throughout those 25 years, Dobbins helped a number of Albion premedical students gain firsthand knowledge of the practice of medicine--which sometimes included picking them up at their dorms for a late-night baby delivery at the hospital. Those students are practicing physicians and physician assistants today.

In 2003, Dr. Bill changed gears, taking a leadership role in the family business. Since his father, Richard, started Caster Concepts in 1986, Dobbins had helped grow the business and handle the financials. But becoming president and CEO meant going back to school: he received his Executive M.B.A. from the University of Michigan in 2004.

While Dobbins has successfully expanded Caster Concepts into new, technologically focused areas, receiving Manufacturer of the Year Awards in Jackson and Albion, he has continued to give back to the community and Albion College. In 2004, he initiated the Swingin' at the Shell summer concert series. His other community efforts include the Victory for Kids playground project and the Manufacturing Education Fund at the Albion Community Foundation. His close ties to the College's Gerstacker Institute mean that Albion students will often be found hard at work as Caster Concepts interns.

In his leisure time, Dobbins enjoys golf, cycling, and collecting amberina art glass. He and his wife, Karen Knudson Dobbins, '74, have three children: Andrew, Emily, '03, and Caroline, '12.

Bill Dobbins continues to live in the place that he loves--Albion, Michigan.