Albion Celebrates Retiring President Ditzler With 100-Car Parade

Photos by Dje Parish, ’21, and Marlo Scholten, ’21

May 22, 2020 | See more coverage on WWMT-TV and MLive

More than 100 cars and 150 people—not to mention two bicycles and a fair number of dogs—rolled out on Thursday, May 21, to say farewell to retiring Albion College President Mauri Ditzler and his wife, Judi.

Participants, which included members of the Albion College family as well as the Albion community, decked out their vehicles for a lineup that winded around (and around) the Erie Street parking lot, proceeded north onto Hannah Street and west onto Michigan Avenue.

“A liberal arts college teaches people to find solutions to problems, and this provided a new way to honor a great College president at a time when social distancing and health and safety make the traditional ways of saying ‘thank you’ impossible,” said Bob Anderson, vice president for alumni relations and development. Anderson came up with the idea for a car parade to honor Albion’s 16th president. “Mauri never let a challenge stop him from moving forward, and today over 150 did not let COVID-19 stop them from honoring him.”

The Ditzlers greeted the parade in front of the President's Home, at 501 E. Michigan Ave., which has become both a College and community gathering place since his arrival in 2014. Ditzler's presidency officially ends June 30.

“What a perfect way to see so many dear friends,” Ditzler said afterward. “It reminded me of how special this community is and how much I will miss all of you. My Albion adventure has been so very special.”