DAA Winner: Deborah Wyatt Fellows, '78
Deb Fellows promptly began contemplating the life of a writer upon graduating from Albion with Phi Beta Kappa honors and majors in English and sociology. After many months of traveling, she found a magazine job in the big city ... working on such inspiring titles as Industrial Waste and Water and Sewage Works.
After two years in Chicago's trade publishing scene, she moved to Northern Michigan to figure out how to wed her now-true passion for magazines with her desire to live in the beautiful northern reaches of the Great Lakes State. Not long afterward--in June 1981--with a pledged $20,000, Fellows, at the age of 24, launched Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. From day one, its mission was to share stories that celebrate and protect the natural resources, small communities, and unique lifestyle of Northern Michigan.
Today, Fellows' Traverse City-based company, MyNorth Media, employs 26 people. Thirty years after its first issue, Traverse has a circulation of 30,000. It has won Magazine of the Year honors from the International Regional Magazine Association as well as First Place General Excellence awards from the City and Regional Magazine Association. Traverse is also the flagship of a group of eight magazines that includes Northern Home & Cottage. There's a book division, too: published titles include Fellows' own Reflections of a Life Up North, The Cottage Cookbook, and others.
Three years ago, MyNorth Media launched MyNorth.com; in 2010, the Web site received nearly a half-million visitors. Earlier this year, MyNorth Media was chosen as part of Folio magazine's Folio 40 for its innovative and successful use of multimedia.
Fellows has led national webinars for Folio, and she speaks at conferences around the country on such topics as blending new and traditional media. A member of Alpha Chi Omega who wrote for The Pleiad, Fellows has never forgotten Albion--regularly hiring students as interns. She's a former board member of the Leelanau Conservancy and also belongs to the smart growth-focused Elm Street Writers Guild.
Deb is married to psychiatrist Neal Fellows; they live on the shores of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau County and have four children: sons Ben, Peter, and Austin, and daughter Olivia.
DAA 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.
Briton Tailgates on the Road
Thanks for tailgating with us on the road this season!
Join us for an upcoming Briton away game -- coming to a town near you!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Alumni Engagement.
Class of 2011
Class of 2011, Pre-Game Tailgate, Ferguson Building Parking Lot, Albion College
Chairs: Sumedha Makker and Libby Schulte
Who is coming back?
James Goodnight. '11
Michael Hall, '11
Megan Reichenbach, '11
Libby Schulte, '11
Rhonda Vander Zwaag,'11
Eve Van Eck,'11