by Geoff Larcom, Published April 11, 2011
YPSILANTI – Ed and Suzanne Jakeway attended the homecoming dance at Eastern Michigan University in 1958, and were married five years later. Now, more than half a century after that happy homecoming event, the Jakeways remain one of the most recognizable and involved families at Eastern Michigan.
Jakeway, a prominent Flint area lawyer, and Suzanne, a longtime teacher, are the recipients of EMU's Presidential Award for Advancing Philanthropy, emblematic of their 20 years of efforts on behalf of Eastern. The couple has continuously supported a variety of athletics and arts and sciences initiatives at Eastern, including a recent donation to help fund the purchase of new band uniforms.
Dennis Beagen has spent much of his professional life supporting Eastern Michigan, with fundraising efforts that span from improving the Quirk/Sponberg Theatre building to helping raise over $800,000 for the annual Undergraduate Symposium at EMU. Beagen, who has served as head of the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Arts since 1981, is the recipient of the EMU Presidential Award for Faculty and Staff Leadership in Advancement.
The Jakeways and Beagen are among eight people who will be honored for their exceptional contributions to EMU during "Invest. Inspire. A Night of Recognition" on April 14 at the EMU Student Center Grand Ballroom.
Also being honored are Kirk Profit, Michael Hawks, Brenda Stumbo, Bob Tetens and Sabrina Gross. The five will receive the Presidential Award for Community Partnership for their contributions to Lakeside Park, on the shores of Ford Lake.
The group was part of a collaboration that enhanced public access to Ford Lake and created headquarters there for the Saline High School and EMU rowing programs. The new facility will include a new boat house, an outdoor classroom/picnic area, boat and fishing docks, pathways, scenic overlooks and parking.
The project drew on funds from EMU, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation, the Saline High Rowing Program and a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources secured by Ypsilanti Township.
Profit, an EMU graduate and Ypsilanti native who has been involved with Eastern in various ways through most of his life, is a former state representative who now works as a lobbyist with Governmental Consultant Services, Inc. (GCSI).
Hawks, an EMU graduate who was recently appointed as an EMU regent, lettered in football at EMU and served as chief of staff for the majority leader and speaker of the house in the Michigan House of Representatives. Hawks now also works at GCSI.
Stumbo and Tetens have performed a wide variety of roles in area local government and public service. Stumbo is currently township supervisor for Ypsilanti Township. Tetens, an EMU graduate, serves as director of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission. Gross, an ardent supporter of area and Saline High School rowing and chair of the boathouse project, is an assistant to the Pittsfield Township clerk.
"Invest. Inspire. A Night of Recognition" marks the one-year anniversary of the public phase of "INVEST. INSPIRE. The campaign for Eastern Michigan University." To date, the campaign has exceeded $41 million and is now less than $9 million away from the $50 million goal.