Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Week of June 21, 2017

Wednesday's Luncheon Meeting will be in the
Michigan Union's Anderson Room

RCAA Members Attend RI 2017 Convention
Glacier Hills Rotarians Hear about Michigan Mines

Bev Seiford - Actions for Peace: How about us?
One of the most meaningful things Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams said at our Peace Conference was " Don't tell me your values; tell me what you do, and I'll tell you what your values are!" So what are OUR values about Peace and what are WE, The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, going to do with them? Eric Lipson will kick off this session by sharing information about Rotary International's Peace initiatives. Then Bev Seiford will engage all of us in table conversations about our CALL TO ACTION. What can WE do right here in our own backyards to demonstrate our values about Peace?  Come bring your creativity and bounce it off your table mates. Let's work together to continue to lead the Rotary way!! Bev Seiford is a senior partner at Dannemiller Tyson Associates and a member of our Rotary of Ann Arbor Club.

Song Leader:  Jim Irwin
Accompanist:  Tom Strode
Inspirational Speaker: Norma Sarkar

Greeters:  Lois Stenger, Dan Stewart

Attendance:  Vic Stoeffler, Janet Torno


Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • June 22 (Thurs): Joint Committee Chair and Board Meeting, Collyer Smith
  • June 28 (Wed): Program: Welcome our new president John Ackenhusen and thank outgoing president Collyer Smith
  • June 28 (Wed): Meet the District Governor evening in Blenheim, Ontario, for more info
Farther Out:
  • July l5 (Sat): Rotary Leadership Institute training seminar, Holiday Inn, 3600 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, $84. Contact Dan Romanchik or visit for more info.
  • Sept 11 (Mon):  Golf & Tennis Outing, Travis Pointe Country Club
  • Sept 17 (Sun): Playscape Grand Opening, Chuck Blackmer
  • Sept 23 (Sat): One Rotary Summit in Troy (details later at
  • Oct 11 (Wed): New member induction and orientation

If you would like  your meeting to appear here, email
Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.

Notes of Interest


RCAA members attend RI 2017 Convention
The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor was ably represented at the RI Convention in Atlanta, GA last week by John and Ruthie Ackenhusen, Ashish and Norma Sarkar, and Dan Romanchik. Below, John introduces the song "It's a Great Day to be a Rotarian" to the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians. 
The song "It's A Great Day To Be A Rotarian," written by our own Jim Irwin to memorialize the phrase used as her theme by Past President Maurita Holland, was featured in "Staccato," the publication of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM).  Ruthie and John Ackenhusen performed the song with the help of pianist extraordinaire Darrell Gaukroger of Australia at the IFRM Sing-Along booth, engaging Rotarians from around the world to sing along.
Glacier Hills Rotarians hear about Michigan mines
More than 25 Rotarians and special guests attended the June 16th meeting of Rotarians at Glacier Hills.  Past President Ashish presided and, along with Club Administer John, surprised everyone by presenting Glacier Hills with a regal, full-sized American flag and stand.  This is much more befitting for the Pledge of Allegiance than the 5” x 6” flag used at meetings this year.  The flag is a wonderful addition to the Board Conference Room.  Thank you Rotary Club of Ann Arbor!!   
Guest speaker Steve Kesler gave a most informative and compelling presentation on Michigan Mines Matter – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Steve is Professor Emeritus, Economic Geology, LSA, at the University of Michigan, and a member of our club.  Many attendees remained after the meeting to ask additional questions of Steve including when he’ll come back to present again!
Ashish gave an update on affairs and projects of our Club and a summary of his time spent at the Rotary International conference.  He highlighted the dedication and official opening of the Universal Access Playground on September 17th.  Glacier Hills will be transporting interested residents to the opening. 
A special thank you was extended to Club member and resident of Glacier Hills, Burt Voss, for all of the planning time he devotes to Rotarians at Glacier Hills.  He does a masterful job.
The next Rotarians at Glacier Hills meeting will be September 15, 2017.  Enjoy your summer!



Does your committee need some help? Let us list it here. Send your listing to Dan Romanchik,

  • Harpoon Staff
    One or more volunteers are sought to assemble the Harpoon template each Friday.  It takes an hour or so of easy work.  This draft is then provided to others who actually format it and post it on the website.  Agnes Reading has been doing this invaluable function for several  years, and she needs a break.  Contact Agnes for more information.

Notes from the Meeting

President Collyer rang the Rotary bell and everone stood to sing “God Bless America.” Fritz Seyferth came to the podium and delivered a wonderful Inspiration that dovetailed with our speaker and guests: “Friendship takes time…not to let things slide…it’s intentional, it’s instructional. Friendship takes love, not the conditional kind….”
Shelley MacMillan and Joanie Knoertzer then led us in a rousing celebration of Al Storey’s birthday (96!). First we sang a combination of “Dearie, Do You Remember?” with new lyrics by Joan, interspersed with “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Marvelous. Next, of course, came “Happy Birthday to You.” Collyer made the announcement that there would be cake following the meeting. Bravo and Happy Birthday, Al!
We were then treated to a special ceremony. Roy More and Boy Scouts of America CEO Missy Stricherz, accompanied by six Scouts, conferred the Cliff Dochterman Award on Greg Stejskal, “An Eagle Scout, and member of the National Eagle Scout Organization and Order of the Arrow. This community would be worse if not for his dedication,” said Roy, himself a lifelong scouting supporter and Eagle Scout. The Cliff Dochterman Award is granted “to recognize an individual Rotarian or Rotaractor who acts as a role model and renders distinguished and dedicated service to Scouting through active service, leadership or other exemplary contributions….” Greg, who was seated at the opposite corner of the room, came up, obviously surprised and touched by the recognition. Roy was also honored with an award for his long service to the BSA by Missy, with  several of the photos in the slide presentation featuring Roy’s contributions. Congratulations, Greg and Roy!
After greeting visiting Rotarians and guests, Collyer nodded to Leo Sheddon, who came up to deliver a special appeal. Leo, always the conveyor of an uplifting message, explained that he was representing “Sally Hart Petersen, chair of the Membership Committee.” He began with a question: “Who are the [Rotary] recruiters?” The answer, plain and simple: “We are. While the Committee’s been hitting the numbers, 15 recruits in the fall and 15 in spring, we need your help to find those Service Above Self people. Please think about new recruits over the summer. I know October 11 seems far away, but think of us.” Collyer emphasized Leo’s words: “Who are the recruiters? It starts with everyone – it starts at the top.” He then mentioned some prospective recruits, such as the parents of Rotaractor Megan Gupta, who attended a meeting a couple weeks ago.
Loren Rullman, a wonderful Rotarian who possesses the talent of squeezing more information into a single sentence than any other person living, delivered a thoughtful introduction to our speaker, Susan Pile, Senior Director of University Unions and Auxiliary Services. Prior to Loren’s address your reporter had never experienced carpal-tunnel. Loren began by asserting a prime credo of University facilities management: “Environments matter. Where students can experience other ideas and cultures they didn’t realize before. We want to invest strategically in our buildings, where learning and perspectives occur. Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to introduce Susan Pile.”
“Thank you, Loren, for that very nice introduction. I am excited to be here to share the Union story with you today.” She then gave some impressive numbers: “In 2015 the Michigan Union Building served 1,400 student organizations and activities. Nine thousand people come through the Union every day. And over the course of 2004 to 2021 we will have completed 21 projects; one of the most aggressive in academia in this country.” 
Ms. Pile then addressed the upcoming major renovation, “which will begin in May of 2018, and last for two years. We had considered doing the work in increments, but we found that that would have been even more expensive.” As it is the project will cost in excess of $85 million. “While we are very grateful for that money,” she soberly observed, “it will not cover all costs.” Special attention will be devoted to beautifying the north entrance with a new port cochere, covered with a glass arch, and oak paneling along the hallway. In addition, certain walls will be removed, “opening up spaces, such as the Willard Ward Lounge, which will also get a new fireplace.” In a fundamental way, the project will be a journey back to basics: “The original designers got it right.” Open, light-filled spaces will reappear for the first time in decades. Judging from the ‘ahs’ emanating from the audience, one of the most exciting renovations will be the Inner Courtyard, next to the Starbucks on the main floor. “They enclosed the balcony with offices,” Pile explained, “We’re going to open it back up. We even found the original designs for the railings [in the Bentley Library].” The Courtyard itself will be covered with a massive but elegant skylight. Shade of some of the recent design at the DIA’s dining court, incorporating the brick walls in a dramatic way. Ms. Pile emphasized a paramount goal: “To create vibrant and engaging gathering spaces.” The second floor will concentrate on housing student offices and activities. Special concerns will include the ceiling of the great ballroom: “We have to be careful with that,” she acknowledged.
Perhaps, rather than reflect on the inconveniences incumbent to any great renovation (consider the three-year projects at the U-M Museum of Art, the Clements Library, and the DIA and the Freer-Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.), we should imagine those graduating students in 2020; the first to have experienced a renovated and enlivened Michigan Union.
Collyer rang the Rotary bell, adjourning the luncheon meeting.
“Be The difference that makes a difference.” – Nagaraja Rao
Notes by Ed Hoffmann, Photos by Fred Beutler


Meeting Statistics
A total of 95 Ann Arbor Rotarians were on hand for the Boy Scout awards and the presentation on the Union renovations. We also had one Member-elect (Joe Diederich). We were honored with the presence of three Visiting Rotarians; (1) James McClelland of Ann Arbor North, (2) T.R. Shaw of Cereal City Sunrise in Battle Creek and (3) former Ann Arbor Rotarian Rick Vanden Heuvel, now of Dexter. We also had 12 guests, including half a dozen Boy Scouts on hand to kick off the awards ceremony. Just before lunch, eight Rotarians met in meetings of the STRIVE and G&TO committees. Four more met with John White for his annual performance review. On Friday, June 16, twelve current Ann Arbor Rotarians were among the 27 persons present at the Glacier Hills satellite meeting.
Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians:
None this week.
Rotarians on the Move
Loren Rullman, a twenty year Rotarian in three clubs, will be leaving the University in July to start a new position with Workshop Architects, a architecture, planning, and consulting firm. Fortunately for all concerned, he will not be moving from Ann Arbor or leaving our club. Since his U-M contact information will not be active after July, please use this phone number or email to contact him: (734)546-5505 or Best wishes to Loren for his first foray beyond academia in over three decades!



  • June 21: Phil Hughes
  • June 22: Jim Cook
  • June 23 Neel Hajra
  • June 24: Amy Goodman, Chuck Ritter

Websites of interest to Rotarians

Rotary International: The RI home page has links to About Rotary, The Rotary Foundation, Club Locator and Member Access. Our Club is in Zone 29. The zone has 17 districts and covers portions of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.

District 6380Our district's website includes 51 clubs in the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb in Michigan and Kent in Ontario. The district’s monthly newsletter and articles of district-wide interest are posted there.

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor: Our Club’s website provides background material and information including the current Annual Report, Active Framework (aka Strategic Plan), New Member Nomination Form, Committee Descriptions, Club and Golf Outing brochures, synopses of upcoming programs and an archive of Harpoons. Find us on Facebook.

Submit news, committee meetings, and announcements to the Harpoonthe newsletter of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Contact the Club to subscribe by email.

Our Club also sponsors the following Rotaract and Interact Clubs:

 U-M Rotaract Club

Huron High Interact Club

Pioneer High Interact Club

"Rotary Serving Humanity"