Judith I. Bailey, president of Western Michigan University, has received the 2005 Graduate Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of her exemplary contributions to education.

In 1968, Bailey earned her bachelor's degree from Coker College in South Carolina (which presented her its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1998) and a master's and an Ed.D. from Virginia Tech in 1973 and 1976, respectively. She attended Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management in 1994 and its 1996 alumni seminar.

After teaching and serving as assistant principal and coordinator of middle school and secondary school, she moved on to higher education. She taught at George Mason University and the University of Maryland and served in leadership roles in the Office of Extension Service of the University of the District of Columbia and the University of Maryland. She then served as vice president of Academic Affairs and provost at the University of Maine and vice president for research and public service and director of the Cooperative Extension Service there.

Next she served as president of Northern Michigan University from 1997 until 2003, where she made a name for herself in the fields of fundraising and technology promotion, providing each full-time student with a laptop computer.

In June 2003, Bailey became the seventh president of Western Michigan University, where she has emphasized promoting the life sciences, WMU’s technical infrastructure, and the university’s largest capital campaign. She was instrumental in establishing in 2003 WMU’s Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center with funding from the Michigan legislature. She also gave direction to the formation of the WMU Research Foundation for the reception of external funding and the transfer of technology beyond the university. The Student Information System, scheduled for completion this year, will provide students greater electronic access to academic resources and services and will consolidate operations across campus.

Since 2003, Bailey has served by gubernatorial appointment as a member of the steering committee for the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor. She also is vice chair of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. She serves numerous community organizations and received the 2002 Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for her leadership in a district including six Midwestern states.

In addition, she was named to the International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the Midwest, 2000 Notable American Women, World Who’s Who of Women, Who’s Who Among American Women, and Strathmore’s Who’s Who, among others. She is a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Phi Delta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi. She is a native of Winston-Salem, N.C.

Bailey received her award and gave the Graduate School’s commencement address on Friday, May 13.

The Graduate Alumni Achievement award was established by Virginia Tech's Graduate School and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association to recognize and honor graduate alumni for outstanding achievement and exemplary contributions to their profession, discipline, community, and society. The Graduate School promotes graduate education as a critical component in the transmission of new knowledge, new research, new ideas, and new scholarship at Virginia Tech. It is responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of graduate education throughout the university, providing support to faculty, staff, and more than 6,000 graduate students. The Graduate School is committed to building a diverse graduate community and vibrant intellectual environment to help prepare graduates to serve as leaders for the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.