DAA Winner: Forrest W. Heaton, '60
Forrest Heaton, or "Wally" as he is called by his Albion classmates, was known early on for his compassion, leadership, and love of music. An economics and political science major and Dean's List student, he was also active in Delta Tau Delta fraternity and helped to organize the Charlie Brown Orchestra on campus.
After graduation, Heaton went on to a management career with Olivetti Corporation. That culminated in his leadership of the company's management and sales education/training programs. He then founded two publishing/educational marketing subsidiaries for Prentice Hall, Inc., serving as president through 1984. After joining American Express in 1985, he was appointed vice president, providing leadership to American Express' worldwide strategic account management program before his retirement in 1998.
Heaton has many passions, which include writing, poetry, and music. Playing guitar, singing, and writing music led him to release a self-published DVD entitled Sweet Mary on the St. Croix and, later, a CD entitled Delts in Duet featuring tenors Tom Leavy and Dick Morse. He also wrote and published Heaton's Hit Parade Songbook, followed by Aunt Mary & Uncle Wally & Friends with the Young at Heart Songbook.
He married his college sweetheart, Sally Ann MacArthur, '60, and together they raised three children, Matthew, Sara, and Amanda. Sally died of cancer in 1997. Following her death, he established the Heaton Endowment at Albion College, which provides scholarship assistance to first-year and/or sophomore females with special interest in literature. The Heaton Endowment also provides motivation for senior women and/or men via the Heaton Prize for top honors in English. Heaton also co-chaired his 50th class reunion at Albion this year.
While living in Summit, New Jersey, Heaton volunteered with Stephen Ministries at the Central Presbyterian Church, where he assisted pastors in one-to-one confidential ministry to members experiencing life difficulties. Through his work in this ministry, Heaton met and married his current wife, Mary.
He and Mary reside in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
DAA Winner: Michael A. Jurasek, '81
Mike Jurasek is an everyday hero: a community leader, selfless provider of time and financial support, and a family man. His story of local boy (Concord High School) becoming a star athlete at Albion College (cross country and track), and then staying to give back to the community makes him a positive role model. Jurasek's achievements as a teacher, coach, and member of the community are proof that he is one of the "best of best."
For more than 25 years, he has touched lives in a meaningful way each day as an educator and coach. The academic success of his student athletes consistently exceeds the school's norm. Through Jurasek's skillful coaching, Albion High School cross country and track teams have set school records, won numerous conference titles in both the Twin Valley and Southern Michigan Athletic Conference, and garnered multiple state championships.
Jurasek continues to demonstrate genuine leadership, dedication, and service to others in many ways. With reductions in the local manufacturing sector, a majority of the students who attend Albion High School are challenged both socially and economically. He provides guidance and holds the students accountable to do their best. And he has provided the encouragement for young men and women who would not normally consider advanced education or military service to successfully pursue these opportunities. As head coach, he has helped his students become collegiate athletic competitors at more than 25 different institutions.
A five-time recipient of Coach of the Year honors within the Albion Public Schools, Jurasek is the director of Michigan's Indoor Track Series and is the current selection chairperson for Team Michigan in the Midwest Meet of Champions. He is an eight-time recipient of the Kellogg Distinguished Educator Award. Jurasek remains active with Albion College cross country and track and field programs in his spare time.
He and his wife, Cheryl, reside in Concord, Michigan. They have two children, Lesley and Christopher.
DAA Winner: Walter L. Pomeroy, '70
It is incredibly appropriate that during the Albion College Year of Sustainability, Walt Pomeroy is being honored by his alma mater. On April 22, 1970, just weeks before his graduation from Albion College, he was a pioneer in creating and celebrating our nation's first Earth Day. The geology major appeared on a CBS-TV prime-time special hosted by Walter Cronkite that day, Earth Day: A Question of Survival. That was only the beginning of his lifelong dedication to environmental causes. He contacted activists on other college campuses who agreed that the next logical step was the formation of a student lobby for the environment. Described as "lobbyists in blue jeans" by one newspaper, the new Michigan Student Environmental Confederation took its message to the state capitol in Lansing.
In 1981 Pomeroy joined the Mid-Atlantic Division of the National Audubon Society and served there as regional vice president. He remained with the society for 17 years. He was later appointed the executive director of the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, Inc., where he assisted in watershed and river planning, environmental clean-up activities, and public education programs throughout Pennsylvania. During his professional career, Pomeroy helped write and lobby for numerous state and federal environmental laws relating to water and air pollution, wildlife habitat preservation, and wilderness protection.
His service to his alma mater includes many visits to campus to meet with faculty, staff, and students. He has also participated in the Geology Department Colloquia, and conducted a workshop that focused on environmental activism.
His local community service includes serving as an assistant master for his local Boy Scout troop in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Pomeroy has traveled as a scoutmaster leader at the World Boy Scout Jamboree in Thailand and the Andes foothills in Chile. In 2004 he received the Boy Scout District Award of Merit for his service and leadership in the community. He continues to assist with National Audubon Society field trips as well as consulting to help watershed associations with planning and management concerns.
He and his wife, Lin, live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. They have two sons, Brian and Brent.
DAA Winner: William H. Richardson, '62
Bill Richardson's love of learning and humanity that began and blossomed at Albion College have influenced countless lives throughout Michigan and around the globe.
After college, he taught Latin and English in the Pontiac School District, at the time one of the finest school systems in Michigan. As the socioeconomic composition of the district evolved, Richardson reworked his courses to address the needs of his students and provide them with the communication and research skills that would serve them well after high school. While at Pontiac Central High School, Richardson also was the facilitator for Japanese and Russian language instruction as well as the coordinator of programs for the talented and gifted. During his 33 years at Pontiac Central, he taught or coached more than 10,000 young people.
In 1988, he was recognized by students and the superintendent of schools as a "Prominent Pontiac Teacher" for the high expectations he always held for his students. Richardson was also honored by the Oakland Community College/Detroit Edison Foundation Summer Program designed for at-risk urban students in 1993. The following year, he was presented the Comcast Cablevision Educator Award for his unique use of cable television programming in the classroom. He was one of only 28 teachers nationwide selected to participate in the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium (SERC) Japanese Project Facilitators' Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
Richardson currently works at Oakland University as the director of the summer English Language Institute in Guizhou Province, China, educating Chinese English teachers in China's poorest province. Over the past 24 years, he has trained more than 4,000 English teachers from primary schools to university level, most of whom continue to reside in the rural Guizhou province. And he has advanced international understanding through the common medium of literature, as well as his open and accepting manner.
Richardson's wife, Lynne, passed away in 1977. He currently resides in Waterford, Michigan. He has four children—Michael, William, Jennifer, and David, '93.