Remembering Kathy Bush
The University of Detroit Mercy lost a dear friend and long-time beloved colleague last summer. Kathy Bush, who most recently served as associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Education, passed away July 20, 2010.
The University held a memorial service on campus for Kathy on Sept. 14, 2010, at which colleagues and former students shared reflections about Kathy and how her life impacted so many people.
For nearly three decades, Kathy was the face of UDM to many students, parents, and alumni. A three-time graduate of the University of Detroit, with an A.B. in History and Political Science (1977), an M.A. in History (1982), and an M.A. in Education (1985), she went off to explore a bit of the world after her undergraduate years. She worked at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., taught at Southwestern High School in Detroit, and served at Maryhouse in New York City. Returning to the University three decades ago, Kathy worked as an admissions counselor and director of the Challenge Program, as director of University Academic Services, and, most recently, as the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Education. While she was the director of UAS, the office won awards from the State of Michigan, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and ACT for its work with challenged undergraduate students. Kathy was also the moderator for UDM's Ask the Professor radio show.
Students who were helped by Kathy continued to correspond with her after they left UDM. Her file is filled with thank you notes from students and alumni who credited her with a key role in their decision to enroll at UDM, to remain here, to complete their degrees, and in their professional achievements. One note indicated that Kathy's hospitality "created for me a positive first impression of the University." Another thanked her for assisting "in making an opportunity for my dream to come true." These were not isolated acts on Kathy's part. They were an everyday occurrence.
Upon learning of Kathy's passing, former students shared kind words on UDM Alumni Pages on Facebook and LinkedIn about Kathy, as well as stories about how she impacted them as students.
"She really helped me with my transfer from MCC and being a 40-something student; she really put my mind at ease. She will be missed. Such a nice lady!" Barb Sullivan Lamb '10
"I was very saddened by the news of Kathy's passing, but realized how I was blessed to have known her. She was one of the (many, many) lights that made my experience as a UDM undergraduate so illuminating." Lauren Todd Ganem '96
"As a fan of Ask The Professor - Kathy will be missed. I loved her laugh, and how much fun she seemed to have. Thanks for the fun radio show - You'll be missed." Brian Stoll
"She was a wonderful student advocate and will be greatly missed." Barbara Godby Baumgardner '06
"That's so sad to hear, she was my professor and my dean....she helped me through so much at the University, and helped me stay focused during a very tough time. I'm so sorry to hear this, and personally extend my condolences to her family." Shannon Green '06
"Kathy was a dear friend during our days as students at U of D. Although we had lost touch in recent years I know she will be missed by all those whose lives she touched. From being penpals during her junior year in Ireland to afternoon Tigers games in the bleachers I find myself recalling the many good times I was fortunate to have shared with her." Douglas Wahl '76
"Kathy will be missed because she had a passion for education and she showed compassion for others not just in words but in deeds. It was a honor to know her. She played an important part in assisting me when I decided to return to the University. I pray that her legacy of caring, compassion, and excellence will not be lost." Shawn Turner-Pewitt '07
"As a former student athlete at UDM, I was able to establish a great relationship with Kathy. She was a great person who always did her best for the students at UDM. I'm sure she will be sorely missed, my prayers go out to her family and closest friends," Stephanie Gray '99
"I just learned of Kathy's passing. I know she will be missed by the many students she mentored and tutored. She and I were colleagues for many years; she was committed to her work, and worked selflessly to serve the university community. Her contriubtions will be remembered." Trinee Moore '78, '77
You can also read a blog entry about Kathy by John Daniels, former director of the Leadership Development Institute on his personal blog.