Class of 1964's reunion gift of $4.1 million caps Alumni Weekend 2014
Mike Chirenje, Carl Cotman, Jim McClung receive Distinguished Alumni Awards
WOOSTER, Ohio – The Class of 1964 celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation — and their continuing commitment to the college and its students — in style on Saturday, by announcing a reunion gift of $4.1 million.
One portion of that gift will endow the Class of 1964 Scholarship fund, while another is earmarked to help support the construction of a new integrated science facility. "We share the vision of the college's trustees," said Nancy Braund-Boruch, chair of the 50th anniversary committee, "that Wooster's unique style of education and commitment to students requires a facility that is uniquely Wooster."
The announcement, which was made during the 130th annual meeting of the alumni association on Saturday morning, was one of the highlights of Alumni Weekend 2014. More than 1,100 Wooster alumni and their guests enjoyed picture perfect weather as they reunited with classmates, toured campus, and attended lectures by fellow alums on topics ranging from understanding the neurobiological basis of behavior to the Federal Reserve's role in the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath. Attendees included two graduates from the Class of 1944, celebrating their 70th reunion, and a member of the Class of 1989 who travelled 9,400 miles and crossed 10 time zones, from Sri Lanka to Wooster.
Distinguished Alumni Awards, the highest honor bestowed by the alumni association, were presented to three graduates of the college:
Dr. Zvavahera "Mike" Chirenje '77 is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe, and executive director of the university's Collaborative Research Program on Women's Health, in partnership with the University of California-San Francisco. He oversees a research unit with 400 employees running clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of HIV, and was chief investigator on a three-year study comparing the efficacy and safety of two prevention methods.
Dr. Carl W. Cotman '62 is a professor of neurology at the University of California-Irvine and founder of the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders. His landmark studies have advanced understanding of Alzheimer's disease and other age-related disorders. He has authored or co-authored nine books and hundreds of articles in the fields of neurobiology, the development of Alzheimer's disease, and the recovery of function after brain injury.
James A. McClung '59 is the founder and CEO of Lismore International, a consulting firm that provides service in the areas of sales plans, marketing opportunities, custom advisory boards, mergers, and acquisitions. He also is a former senior vice president of FMC, a multinational chemical, machinery, and defense manufacturer. He was a founding member of the U.S. Russia Business Council and has been active in global business organizations including the Japan America Society and the Economic Club of Chicago. He has served on Wooster's board of trustees since 1997.
In accepting his award, Chirenje said, "The liberal arts education I received here at Wooster is second to none." Chirenje and Cotman both cited the influence of a legendary Wooster chemistry professor on their lives and careers. "Ted Williams was just an inspiration," Cotman said. "It was he that got me started in research."
McClung praised the ability of a Wooster education to provide both a foundation and the flexibility to live and work in a rapidly changing and ever more interconnected world. "Life is full of the next big thing," he said, and a liberal education helps develop nimble minds that can see it coming and adapt.
The College of Wooster is America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student's own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.
Enjoy the Alumni Weekend 2014 photo gallery.