A Message from the President
Welcome to Albion College!
Please join us on November 12 for Albion Spirit Day 2011. Once on campus, I think you'll quickly notice an energy and excitement we've been feeling throughout this fall semester.
New facilities always generate buzz, and this fall the campus community has been delighted with the improvements to the main floor of Stockwell Library. You may notice the first change before you walk in: After 30 years, Stockwell once again serves as the library entrance, having been moved from the adjacent Mudd building. Inside, the main floor has been transformed into Cutler Commons, a multifaceted and flexible learning space that features the latest technology, student-chosen furniture, and our new café, Read Between the Grinds, which offers coffee and pastries from Zingerman's of Ann Arbor. Students and faculty are taking full advantage of the invigorating space, which 1975 alumna Sally Stark Cutler made possible through her generous gift.
You'll see more additions at the football game vs. Trine University: our new football field and track as well as Brit, the first athletic mascot in Albion College's 176-year history. Schmidt-Fraser Field at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium was dedicated at Homecoming and honors Briton football coaching legends Pete Schmidt and Morley Fraser. The artificial turf surface can be cleared of snow during the winter, providing a year-round practice field for our student-athletes. The Elkin R. Isaac Track was replaced with a new base and all-weather running surface, and was accompanied by field event upgrades as well. The changes represent phase one of a multiphase plan for improvements to the College's athletic complex.
A large majority of our students regularly use our athletic and wellness facilities—whether they're student-athletes or intramural participants, or simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. On that note, the College is celebrating its theme year of wellness with regular activities and special events that promote health and wellness as a lifestyle for a lifetime. Of course, for students, preparing for life after Albion is a key component of wellness, and it starts from their first year on campus through the Albion Advantage, our four-year education model that thoughtfully integrates our rich liberal arts tradition with experience-based learning opportunities. In its second year, the Advantage already is helping students to realize their professional goals, offering them and their families assurance that in a challenging economy an Albion degree will enable graduates not only to find meaningful employment, but to make meaningful contributions to their communities and to society at large.
Spirit Day is a wonderful opportunity for Albion College and the Albion community to celebrate our heritage and together look toward the future—a future we're excited about. I hope that you take the time to look around, talk with our terrific faculty and students, and enjoy this special day on our campus. I look forward to seeing you on November 12.
Donna M. Randall
Distinguished Alumni Awards
Each year, Albion College presents the Distinguished Alumni Awards to alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to Albion College. The purpose of the Distinguished Alumni Award is to publicly recognize alumni for distinguished personal and career accomplishments and for exemplary contributions to society that bring credit to Albion College. Additionally, the Distinguished Alumni Award publicly honors alumni who have performed distinguished service for Albion College through cumulative contributions or by an extraordinary act or effort that advances the College.
The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is presented to alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and achieved a career of noteworthy accomplishment. Recipients are selected on the basis of excellence in career achievements and contributions to community/humanity.
Shari Parker Burgess, '80
Vice President and Treasurer
Paul R. Dixon, '83
ASCEM Multi-Lab Program Manager
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, New Mexico
The Distinguished Alumni Service Award
To honor the most outstanding gifts of service, the Distinguished Alumni Service Award aims to annually highlight and celebrate unselfish service and support to the College and/or Alumni Association. Recipients must have demonstrated a continuing interest in Albion College.
Carolyn Aishton Ouderkirk, '64
Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Retired
New York, New York
Past award recipients are listed by class year and year of induction. Read about the accomplishments of the 2013 recipients in the College's news release.
Please consider a nominee for a 2015 award by completing a nomination form below. Deadline for nominations is January 5, 2015. Only nominations submitted through an online form will be considered.
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award - Qualifications
Those chosen for this prestigious award must be distinguished in his or her chosen business, profession or life's work and be a person of such integrity, stature, demonstrated ability and renown that the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the College will take pride in, and be inspired by, his or her recognition. Career accomplishments, professional impact, and significant publications/research (primary authorship) will be considered when reviewing nominations.
Distinguished Alumni Service Award - Qualifications
Nominees of this award must have contributed time, talent or financial resources to one or more programs to benefit the College. Recipients must be individuals who, in deed or action, reflect and recognize the importance of his or her education at Albion College, demonstrate pride in alma mater, and whose interest and loyalty are evident.
Up to eight Distinguished Alumni may be chosen annually. The men and women selected must meet the following criteria:
- Only alumni of the College shall be eligible for the award.
- Nominees must be living at the time the nomination is submitted.
Exempted from consideration for the award are current members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, members of the College's Board of Trustees (not including honorary Trustees), faculty, and staff. Once an individual is no longer in any of the above categories, s/he will be eligible for consideration.
For more information on Albion College's Distinguished Alumni Awards, contact the Office of Alumni Engagement.
Young Alumni Awards
From space research to market research, city planning, pediatric medicine and mathematics education, Albion College's 2014 Young Alumni Award recipients represent the diverse fields of endeavor open to Albion graduates. A dinner and ceremony honoring this year's awardees was held Saturday, April 26 in Albion College's Science Complex Atrium.
Congratulations to the 2014 honorees!
Andrew Beck, ’04
Post-doctoral researcher in planetary geology, Johns Hopkins University
Silver Spring, Maryland
Andrew Beck is a postdoctoral research associate at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, analyzing data gathered by NASA's Dawn Mission to asteroid 4 Vesta. His doctoral dissertation focused on anchondrite meteorite petrology and the geologic evolution of 4 Vesta, a protoplanet in the asteroid belt thought to be similar in construction to the protoplanets that coalesced to form Earth. Not only has Beck won a number of awards for research excellence, over the past seven years he has published 15 papers in refereed journals. Beck was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, where he supported Smithsonian outreach programs as a presenter at science-centered museum events.
Daniella Frank, ’05
Pediatrician, U.S. Army
Led by deep concern for the less fortunate, Daniella Frank spent two years learning Mandarin and teaching English in China before entering medical school. While a student at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, Frank did clinic work with Haiti Health Ministries, spent six weeks in a public obstetrics-gynecology ward and pediatric malnutrition unit in Malawi, and returned to China to work with volunteer orthopedic and reconstructive surgeons. Now a captain in the U.S. Army, Frank is stationed as a pediatric resident physician at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington.
Stephen Gordon, ’04
President, Global Visibility Group
Royal Oak, Michigan
Steve Gordon is founder of Global Visibility Group, a world-class development, sales and marketing firm in the supply-chain arena for the defense, automotive, heavy truck, aerospace and construction equipment industries. The company expects to source and fulfill some $50 million in sales in 2014. He is also founder and president of the real estate management company Bright Black Investments. Gordon is a board member of the Michigan chapters of USA Cares and the National Defense Industries Association, is active with Habitat for Humanity and coaches an under-13 baseball team. Gordon has also made a major gift to the Albion Athletics Phase II project and has challenged his Briton baseball teammates to match his support.
Watch Steve’s address to event attendees on YouTube
William Green, ’05
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Terre Haute, Indiana
Will Green is assistant professor of mathematics at Rose-Hulman, ranked for the last 15 years as U.S. News and World Report's best engineering program for undergraduates and master's degree candidates. A productive researcher, Green was recently invited to the selective American Mathematical Society Research Communities program in partial differential equations, harmonic analysis, complex analysis, and geometric measure theory. Committed to undergraduate education, Green advises mathematics competition teams and advises and reviews undergraduate research for publication. He serves on the alumni advisory board of Albion's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and has participated in the department's seminar series.
Jennifer Swindlehurst Howland, ’04
Community Development Manager, City of Grand Haven
Grand Haven, Michigan
As community development manager for the City of Grand Haven, Jennifer Swindlehurst Howland oversees everything from planning, inspection and code enforcement to grant management, economic development, capital improvement planning and community redevelopment. She also serves as the city’s zoning administrator and in 2013 was interim director of Grand Haven's Main Street Downtown Development Authority. Prior to her return to Michigan, Howland served as manager for the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, a $4.68 million HUD Sustainable Communities program in St. Louis, Missouri, overseeing the project timeline and budget and integrating input from more than 150 regional organizations.
Additional Young Alumni Award Information
The Young Alumni Awards recognize noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who have graduated from Albion College within the past ten years. Each year, honorees offer inspiration and encouragement as models for principled leadership and a wholehearted commitment to serving others. In addition, the Young Alumni Awards serve as an opportunity for current and future Albion students to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of alumni who have achieved notable success quickly following graduation.
Honorees were selected from nominations submitted online. Nominations were reviewed based on the following criteria:
- Excelled early in life and shown potential for continued success.
- Received recognition as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievements.
- Attained increasingly responsible positions within their organization, business or field of work.
- Received recognition for significant professional contributions, discoveries or creative work through honors, awards and/or media attention.
- Served as an outstanding young role model for current and future Albion College students.
The nominating process for the 2015 Young Alumni Awards will open later this year.
DAA Award Winner: Molly Ann Swart (Smyk), '82
Molly Swart credits her Albion experience as a member of the Ford Institute's first class in 1978 for having a significant role in shaping her world view, her career, and her life. A SOAR leader and Lomas Project 250 Award winner while a student, she says Albion helped provide her with the confidence to pursue and win a $25,000 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship for study abroad after graduation. That led to two years in Toulouse, France, where she learned more than just the language and culture. That experience set her on her career path in international business.
Swart's life has personified the phrase, "think globally." After a brief stint as a technical interpreter for French foreign trade expositions, Swart joined the French Embassy Trade Office/Ubifrance. Now senior trade advisor there, she serves as the liaison for French industries doing business in the U.S., assisting the companies in attracting and retaining U.S. customers, marketing their products, and organizing banking, tax accounting, immigration, and legal affairs. But it isn't just business; she is a diplomat in many respects. Swart embodies global thinking in all aspects of her life, from hosting French interns in her home to involving high school students in fundraising for various causes.
In honor of her contributions to the French trade ministry, Swart was awarded the Chevalier (Knight) de l'Ordre National du Mérite by the President of France. This is one of the highest civilian honors in France.
Swart acknowledges Albion and specifically the Ford Institute, alongside her family, as catalysts for her dedication to public service and volunteerism. Committed to "giving back," she currently is a Visiting Committee member for the Ford Institute and has participated in regional alumni events. In her community, she has served on the boards of the French American Chamber of Commerce and the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit, and as the executive director of the French American Automotive Business Association. A past president of the Birmingham Rotary Club, she received a district Presidential Citation from Rotary International. She and her husband, David Smyk, reside in Birmingham, Michigan. They have two children, Mallory and Cameron.