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Statements on the Passing of Kathleen M. Wilbur

Michigan Business Network
November 27, 2023 8:00 AM


LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Future, Inc. (MFI), released the following statement from Lou Glazer on behalf of the board of directors and MFI staff following the passing of board chair, Kathleen M. Wilbur:

“We’re devastated at the passing of our friend and colleague Kathy Wilbur. Her decades of being an advocate for higher education and making Michigan a better place for all have been felt far and wide. While we are grieving the loss of Kathy, we will be forever grateful for the incomparable leadership she provided our organization to develop and fight for big change that would improve the well-being of all Michiganders. Our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time and we hope that as we move forward we can honor her legacy by continuing to work on the issues she so fully believed in.”

The Michigan Future, Inc. board of directors include: Sandy Baruah, Lou Glazer, Paul Hillegonds, Nick Khouri, Peter MacGregor, Angelique Power, and Dale Robertson. Staff includes Patrick Cooney and Donna Lasinski. 


About Michigan Future Inc.
Michigan Future, Inc. is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Our mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations. 

More information can be found at: MichiganFuture.org | @MichiganFuture | Facebook

Governor Whitmer Statement on Passing of Kathy Wilbur  

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement on the passing of Kathy Wilbur.    

"Kathy Wilbur was a dedicated leader and thoughtful public servant who moved Michigan forward.   

“From the legislature to state government to her decades of service in higher education, Kathy always got the job done and was a constant source of truth, stability, and strength. Her legacy will endure at Central Michigan University and Michigan State University, two places where she delivered lasting, positive changes.    

“My thoughts are with Kathy’s family and all those who were lucky enough to work with her.”  


A Statement on the Passing of Kathy Wilbur

Our hearts are broken upon hearing of the passing yesterday of our friend, mentor, colleague and valued director, Kathy Wilbur.

Kathy joined the board of directors of the Citizens Research Council in 2016 and was added to the Council of Trustees in 2022. She also served for many years as a key member of our Nominating Committee, helping to recruit many members of the current Board of Directors.

Kathy’s personality and positions exposed her to many people whom she knew shared the value of our fact-based, independent, non-partisan public policy research, as she so mightily did. After her many years in state government, she moved to higher education and her strong connections in the academic community helped bring several university presidents to our Council of Trustees.

It’s hard to find anyone anywhere, especially in the world of people who care about good public policy, who did not think the world of Kathy.

I personally deeply appreciated Kathy’s ability to identify state and local public policy topics to place on our research agenda for the next year, issues that would benefit from our non-biased analysis.

She was an active fundraiser for the Research Council, helping to secure a foundation grant and many smaller, but significant contributions.

Last year, Kathy was one of four panelists for our remembrance of Kelly Rossman-McKinney. She and the other panelists discussed the challenges for women to succeed in what was a male-dominated work environment. She shared strategies for young women starting their careers and, as we discovered, was herself a mentor to so many women.

Citizens Research Council Board Chair Chase Cantrell worked closely with Kathy:

“Kathy was such a treasured member of our Board of Directors. She very much valued the work of the Research Council and did all that she could, in her precious spare time, to help us succeed. She was the best amongst us. She will be missed as much for her steadying influence on the Research Council as for the fundraising and brand building activities that she performed so diligently.”

Rest in peace, dear friend. We mourn your passing.

Eric Lupher

November 27, 2023

(Photo Credit (CRC): Citizens Research Council’s 2022 Annual Dinner, Honoring Kelly Rossman-McKinney. Kathy Wilbur, right; Megan Brown, center; Rachael Eubanks, left.)

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  • Kathy 2022 annual dinner

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