Albion College Awards Briton Medallions to J. Donald Sheets, ’82 and Angela Sheets, ’82

Esteemed honor recognizes 30 years of distinguished service to the College; strong ties to Albion community

May 11, 2021

President Johnson awards Briton Medallions to J. Donald Sheets, ’82 and Angela Sheets, ’82.

J. Donald Sheets, ’82 and Angela Sheets, ’82 were awarded the Briton Medallion during an in-person Commencement ceremony on May 8, 2021; one of two ceremonies the College held to recognize graduates of the classes of 2020 and 2021.

Albion College, one of the top 50 innovative liberal arts colleges in the country, on Saturday awarded esteemed Briton Medallions to two longtime Midland residents, J. Donald Sheets, ’82 and Angela Sheets, ’82, recognizing 30 years of dedicated support to the College. Board of Trustees Chair Michael J. Harrington, ’85 made the announcement at the College’s Commencement ceremony for the graduating Class of 2021.

“Don and Angela are Britons of action, and they have proven it again and again with their deeds – seeing the need for action and boldly and proactively taking it,” Harrington said. “For 30 years, they have helped launch new programs, partnerships, and capital improvements to make Albion a shining light for learning and leadership.”

The Briton Medallion is a rare honor that is reserved for distinguished alumni and friends of Albion College who have made significant and sustained contributions to the College through volunteer service, commitment, advocacy and financial support. 

“Don and Angela are shining examples of the Briton spirit,” said President Mathew Johnson. “Since they graduated in 1982, they have shared their wisdom, enthusiasm, time and financial resources to strengthen our College and ensure an Albion education is accessible to all. Their contributions to our College and campus have helped to create a learning community where all feel they belong.”

Having met at Albion in 1979, Angela and Don married in 1984, building lives together in Midland, Michigan, where they both worked for Dow companies. Angela was in public relations with Dow Chemical for 10 years before leaving to raise their two boys, J.D and Andrew. Don stayed with Dow Corning Corporation for 35 years and held several senior executive roles, eventually retiring as vice chairman and chief financial officer. 

Throughout their careers, Don and Angela remained steadfast in their support of their alma mater. Angela, who was an admission tour guide as an undergraduate, helped launch the Alumni Ambassadors program and was its first-ever chair – creating a process for alumni to be engaged in admissions. Don has served as an Albion trustee since 2006, and as chair of the Board from 2013 until 2020. Among his many accomplishments, he was Board chair when Albion significantly expanded its commitment to creating a diverse campus. 

“We give back to Albion because we care deeply about this college and its success for generations to come,” said Angela in remarks to the Class of 2021. “We wanted you to have as rewarding a college experience as we had. And we want your children to have that experience, too.”

Among other accomplishments, Don and Angela were part of a small group that partnered with the City of Albion to drive local economic development and build bridges between the community and the College. In addition to economic development, these efforts accelerated the growing diversity of the College and provided real-world educational opportunities for Albion students. Don and Angela’s financial support also launched a scholarship fund to bring an Albion education within reach for high-achieving students. 

“Albion alumni know the value of a strong liberal arts education. We know that the small classes, the mentoring from professors, the close-knit community and the campus activism help our graduates find their purpose and succeed in the world,” said Don. “Angela and I are proud to be Albion alumni, and we are honored to be recognized for doing work that we love.”

As part of Commencement weekend, Albion College also honored the Class of 2020, whose ceremony on campus was not possible last year. In addition, the College held a series of small receptions, celebrations and ribbon cuttings for new or expanded campus buildings including the Serra Fitness Center, the Seely-Berkey House for faculty and staff, and the Bonta Welcome Center. For more information on Albion’s Commencement ceremonies, visit

About Albion College

Albion College is a private liberal arts college of approximately 1,500 students and is nationally recognized for its academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition, a learning-centered commitment, and a future-oriented perspective. The College is a leader in preparing students to anticipate, solve and prevent problems in order to improve the human and global condition. Albion immerses students in the creation and processing of knowledge and graduates skilled architects of societal change, active citizens, and future leaders. The College is dedicated to the highest quality in undergraduate education and is committed to diversity as a core institutional value.

Albion, Michigan is a culturally diverse community in the south-central part of the state. The College recognizes the value of community, both on- and off-campus, and has invested resources in supporting the revitalization of the greater Albion community. This work offers an increasingly vibrant city around the campus that provides students with a fuller experience as they prepare to become engaged citizens in their own communities. For more information, visit