The College of Education and Human Development Outstanding Alumni Award is one of the University's highest alumni awards and is given to alumni who bring distinction to their alma mater through professional achievements and who have enjoyed a high level of success in their careers. The 2nd annual Outstanding Alumni Awards will be presented to Hon. Dennis Archer, Dr. Fritz Erickson, and Dr. Carol Whitney at the WMU Night of Excellence on Friday, Oct. 11. These award winners, along with the Golden Apple and Keystone Award winners, will attend the homecoming football game as honored guests.
The Hon. Dennis Archer (B.S.‘65, Special Education), recipient of the College's Outstanding Alumni Award, is chair emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC and CEO of Dennis W. Archer PLLC. Since graduating from WMU, he has served as a public school teacher, attorney, Michigan State Supreme Court justice, and the 59th mayor of Detroit. During Archer’s two terms in office, he worked to successfully lower unemployment and initiated over $20.2 billion worth of new projects in city development. While mayor, Archer was named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing magazine and one of the "25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America" by Newsweek Magazine. Archer has served on numerous professional associations, including as president of the American Bar Association from 2003-04, the National Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and the National League of Cities.
Dr. Fritz Erickson (B.S.‘80, Elementary Education), recipient of the College's Outstanding Alumni Award, is the 15th president of Northern Michigan University, a position he has held since 2014. At the university, Dr. Erickson is known for his strong student-centered decision-making and for successfully developing university partnerships with the community, businesses, industry and K-12 schools. Prior to his tenure at NMU, Dr. Erickson served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University. He also held administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Eastern Washington University and Michigan Technological University. Erickson is the author of a technology book series and has written numerous magazine and journal articles. He has published textbooks based on a pedagogical model designed to enhance learning outcomes, as well as books on the topics of youth suicide and children with reading problems.
Dr. Carol Whitney (B.S.’66, Elementary Education; M.A.’69, Teaching), recipient of the College's Outstanding Alumni Award, is the founder of Gifted Students of Ohio, where she has a practice of gifted students she works with individually. She is also a licensed educational therapist, working with twice exceptional students as a gifted education specialist. She initiated and built the first gifted program in Dublin, OH, and also started the first highly gifted magnet program in Ohio. She then began and built the first gifted program for the Olentangy Local Schools. Dr. Whitney has written four books on gifted education and has been published in numerous journals and textbooks. She has also made several radio and television appearances discussing how to help gifted children reach their potential through skillfully crafted curriculum and motivation techniques.
The College of Education and Human Development will also recognize four alumni at the Golden Apple and Keystone Awards Ceremony on Oct. 10. Golden Apple Award recipients include Dr. Margaret McGlinchey, assistant superintendent of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (B.A.’95, Elementary Education; M.S.’00, Special Education; Ed.D.’03, Special Education) and Dr. Wayne “Rusty” Stitt, superintendent of Schoolcraft Community Schools (M.A.’99, Educational Leadership; Ph.D.’10, Educational Leadership). Keystone Award recipients include Dr. Kirk Brumels, chair of the Department of Kinesiology at Hope College (M.A.’90, Athletic Training; Ph.D.’05, Educational Leadership) and Kristen Johnson Brogan, RD, chief mindful living officer at On Target Living (B.S.’09, Dietetics and Exercise Science).
For more information about the Golden Apple and Keystone Awards please visit the College of Education and Human Development Alumni Awards webpage.
All recipients will attend the homecoming game together to cap off their honorary weekend.