Alumnus Jim Whitehouse, ‘69, was a two-term president of Delta Tau Delta, on the Interfraternity Council, completed a directed study in the biology department as a biology major and met his wife of 51 years during the four years he spent at Albion College.
Whitehouse is the grandson of former Albion College President William Whitehouse, the namesake of both Whitehouse Hall and Whitehouse Nature Center. As a first year in 1965, Whitehouse wasn’t very verbal about his connection with the college.
“It was interesting when I came as a freshman. I wanted to keep my head down and kind of wanted to keep that quiet so I wouldn’t be singled out by other students,” said Jim Whitehouse. “At that time, the Alpha Chi Omega house sat right in front of Whitehouse Hall, almost touching. It was like eight feet from that and it was a little white brick building. Eventually, it was replaced that year with the current Alpha Chi house. And all the students seemed to think that Whitehouse Hall was named after that cute little white house and I just, ‘Yep, that’s good.’ It was actually named after my grandfather. But the faculty was certainly aware of that and would occasionally embarrass me about that.”
Considering that his parents and grandmother were graduates of the college, Whitehouse never questioned where he was going to spend his college years.
“I always just knew that Albion was it,” said Whitehouse.
During his years at Albion, Whitehouse created many fond memories.
“It’s all about the friendships,” said Whitehouse. “In a given seven-day period I probably talk to five of my college friends to this day.”
When looking back on his years overall, Whitehouse said his favorite memory wasn’t just one thing.
“It’s the friendships not only while I was in college, but also the new friendships I made with faculty, staff and students,” said Whitehouse.
After graduating, Whitehouse spent over 25 years away from Albion. He was president of the alumni association but had to step down after taking the position of associate vice president of major gifts at Albion College in 1992. In 1997, Whitehouse moved back to Albion and has resided here ever since.
Whitehouse shared his love for his Alma Mater with both of his children, who subsequently grew up to be Albion Alumni: T.J. Whitehouse graduated in ‘99 and Jill Whitehouse graduated in ‘01.
“To me, and all of us that are still living who went there, we all just have a tremendous fondness for Albion College and the legacy is an undercurrent of that,” said Whitehouse. “I tend to be [more fond] because I’m more plugged into Albion than anybody else, except my wife. It’s probably more important to me and a big deal that a bunch of us went to Albion. It’s a common point, a commonality that we have. Certainly, we make sure that our two children, their children [and] our grandchildren have all kinds of Albion shirts and stuff like that. We are starting to indoctrinate them.”