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April 20, 2006
CONTACT: Pamela Young
734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu
Vicki Reaume
734.487.0250
alumni.relations@emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University to honor eight prominent alumni

YPSILANTI — Eight accomplished Eastern Michigan University alumni, who excel in such areas as television, business, education and coaching, will be honored at the 45th Annual Eastern Michigan University Alumni Awards Dinner May 6.

The EMU Alumni Association will host the Alumni Awards Dinner, its showcase event, Saturday, May 6 at the Ypsilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest. The evening will feature a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a seated dinner and program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55 per person or $400 for a table of eight, and can be purchased by contacting the Office for Alumni Relations at 734.487.0250. 

“We are carrying on the tradition of honoring those who have committed their time and energies to EMU,” said Vicki Reaume, executive director of alumni relations. “This university could not have achieved the success we have today without individuals such as the distinguished group we are honoring this year.”

The awards celebrate Eastern Michigan alumni who have demonstrated the value of their college education, exceptional service to humankind, and who have an ongoing interest in EMU.  Four categories of awards will be presented: Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Alumni Achievement Award, Distinguished Alumni Award and the Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award. This year’s awardees are:

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: presented to alumni whose achievements have been dignified by personal honors bestowed upon them by their peers and who have demonstrated the worth of their education through their post-college achievements.  Generally, they have been graduates of Eastern Michigan University for less than 10 years. The three honorees are:

Tamara L. Click (’03) and William R. Click (’03), of Clinton, Mich., have made a significant impact within the field of historic preservation. This husband and wife team established EMU’s Historic Preservation Alumni Chapter in 2003 after graduating with master’s degrees in Historic Preservation. Because of their dedication, it is one of the University’s largest and most active chapters. The couple also teamed up to lead an array of activities for the 25th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Program. The Clicks currently own and operate an historic preservation consulting firm, Click & Associates. Bill Click is also the host of the DIY (Do It Yourself) Network’s preservation program, “Restoration Realities.”

Karinda L. Washington (’01), of Detroit, graduated from Eastern with a bachelor’s degree in written communication. She is a member of the Young Adults Revitalizing the Detroit Task Force and was a candidate this year for the Detroit City Council. Washington is office manager for Michigan Legal Services and for Community Legal Resources, both non-profit organizations that provide pro bono legal assistance to low income families in Detroit.  In addition, Washington is the CEO of BOTS Entertainment, a company that has gained recognition from corporations including the Detroit Pistons and Rolling Out Magazine.

Alumni Achievement Award: presented to alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen field, clearly demonstrated the value of their college education and maintained a continuing interest in Eastern Michigan University. Generally, they have been graduates of Eastern Michigan University for 10-25 years. The honorees are:

James Bolosh (’91), of New York, N.Y.,vice president of programming at HGTV (Home and Garden Television) and the creative force behind the network’s top 10 shows, including “Designed to Sell,” “Cash in the Attic,” “House Hunters” and “Weekend Warriors.”  He also has produced series for Country Music Television and VH1, working with such celebrities as Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Madonna.  Bolosh’s degree in communication and theatre arts has helped him gain prominent positions in his field. He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and has been a Grammy Voting Member since 1996.  He is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Crystal Nevada Thornton (’89), of Kernersville, N.C., has served as primary news anchor for numerous television stations from coast to coast, using her degree in telecommunication and film from EMU to facilitate her career. She was nominated for an Emmy in 2001 and 2002 for producing and hosting “DFW Close Up,” a community affairs program at KDAF-TV in Dallas, Texas. Thornton is host of “The Master’s Music,” a television show on Totally Christian Television that airs in 170 nations. A talented singer, Thornton recently released her first solo recording, entitled: Crystal Thornton “A Little Lower than Angels.”

Distinguished Alumni Award: presented to alumni who have achieved extraordinary distinction in their chosen field, demonstrated unusual service to humankind and maintained a continuing interest in Eastern Michigan University.  Generally, they have been graduates of Eastern Michigan University for more than 25 years. Awardees are:

Joseph A. Chrzanowski (’73, ’78), of Rochester, Mich.,executive director of dealer network planning and investments at General Motors Corporation, where he has worked for the past 33 years. He started at GM after completing his bachelor’s degree in accounting at EMU and later returned to complete his master’s degree in business administration. After graduation, Chrzanowski continued to share his time and talents with EMU. He co-founded the Dr. Russell Ogden Scholarship in memory of his former mentor and professor, and is a current member of the College of Business Dean’s Development Board. Chrzanowski has donated generously to the EMU Foundation and is included within the Bronze Society for lifetime giving.

Perry Watson (’72, ’76), of Detroit, is one of the most successful coaches that the Detroit area has produced, putting into practice his bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in guidance and counseling. Watson is the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he has coached for the past 11 seasons. Watson is the second winningest coach in Titan history, with more than 200 career victories.  He has led the team to participate in two NCAA National Championship tournaments.  Before joining Detroit-Mercy, Watson was the assistant coach of men’s basketball at the University of Michigan, during the infamous “Fab Five” era. 

Dr. John W. Porter Distinguished Service Award: presented to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Eastern Michigan University or the Alumni Association of Eastern Michigan University.  Recipients need not be graduates of Eastern Michigan University. This year’s honoree is:

John E. “Jack” Johnson (’52), of Livonia and Traverse City,whois considered a legend among physical education teachers, coaches and athletic administrators within the state of Michigan. In 2002, the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association renamed one of its major awards the “Jack Johnson Distinguished Service Award” in his honor. He is still involved in athletics, especially at Eastern, formerly Michigan State Normal College, where Johnson received his degree in education. He is a charter member of the Eastern Michigan University Athletic Club and is active on the board of the E-Club Alumni Chapter. Johnson also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan High School Coaches’ Association, of which he was executive director from 1991-2001.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions.  EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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