Albion Celebrates Retiring President Ditzler With 100-Car Parade

May 22, 2020

Biology professor Sheila Lyons-Sobaski and family

Gianna DeCola, Class of 2031 and daughter of men's lacrosse coach Jake DeCola

Ditzler speaks with news media following the parade.

The Ditzlers greet Religious Studies professor Jocelyn McWhirter.

French professor Dianne Guenin-Lelle shares well wishes.

Judi and Mauri Ditzler enjoying a last beautiful afternoon at the President's Home.

A message from Tami Rummel in Institutional Advancement, who drove the lead car in the parade.Previous

Chemistry professors Lisa Lewis and Craig Bieler

The Ditzlers with Jim, '69, and Marsha Green Whitehouse, '70, with Goodrich Chapel in the background.

English professors Jess Roberts and Nels Christensen

Ditzler waves as a parade participant takes a photo of him.

See more coverage on WWMT-TV and MLive

More than 100 cars and 150 people—not to mention two bicycles and a fair number of dogs—rolled out on Thursday, May 21, to say farewell to retiring Albion College President Mauri Ditzler and his wife, Judi.

Participants, which included members of the Albion College family as well as the Albion community, decked out their vehicles for a lineup that winded around (and around) the Erie Street parking lot, proceeded north onto Hannah Street and west onto Michigan Avenue.

“A liberal arts college teaches people to find solutions to problems, and this provided a new way to honor a great College president at a time when social distancing and health and safety make the traditional ways of saying ‘thank you’ impossible,” said Bob Anderson, vice president for alumni relations and development. Anderson came up with the idea for a car parade to honor Albion’s 16th president. “Mauri never let a challenge stop him from moving forward, and today over 150 did not let COVID-19 stop them from honoring him.”

The Ditzlers greeted the parade in front of the President’s Home, at 501 E. Michigan Ave., which has become both a College and community gathering place since his arrival in 2014. Ditzler’s presidency officially ends June 30.

“What a perfect way to see so many dear friends,” Ditzler said afterward. “It reminded me of how special this community is and how much I will miss all of you. My Albion adventure has been so very special.”