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COVER STORY CITY OF ALMA and ALMA COLLEGE TOGETHER By Mayor Mel Nyman and President Jeff Abernathy S ince its founding in 1886, Alma College has stood as a vital community partner, dramatically affecting the lives of those living in mid-Michigan and beyond. The college’s founding was made possible by Ammi Wright, a lumberman, businessman, and civic leader who gave 30 acres of land and more than $300,000 to found and sustain the institution in its early years—a sum equivalent to more than $6.2 million today. More than 125 years later, Alma College continues to value its role in the mid-Michigan community. The campus hosts the annual Alma Highland Arts Festival, which brings thousands of visitors to mid-Michigan to celebrate their Scottish heritage. As part of its mission, the college also promotes a “culture of service” in which students meet local needs through participation with numerous community agencies and organizations. One of the key questions in the college’s most recent plan- ning effort was how it could leverage its presence to ensure that the college can thrive together with the community. The resulting plan, while establishing important educational goals, includes an emphasis on creating a sustainable campus and 22 THE REVIEW JULY/AUGUST 2013