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Dwight B. Waldo



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Dr. Dwight Bryant Waldo was the first President of Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Waldo was born in Arcade, N.Y. but spent his childhood in Plainwell, Michigan. Waldo was elected principal of WMU on April 1, 1904. He served as president from 1904 through 1936. When Western Michigan first opened, it was known as the Western State Normal School and later as the Western State Teachers College. One of Waldo's first moves, creating a rural school department, cemented WMU as a teaching college. It was the first such department in the nation and prepared teachers to effectively educate students in rural parts of America. Waldo also firmly believed in diversity on campus, and during his tenure many females and minorities were given the opportunity to attend the college.
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