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10 Things you didn't know about Western Michigan

Friday, September 14, 2007 | 3:01 p.m. CDT; updated 10:55 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

10. Western Michigan is in Kalamazoo, which has 64 parks and a nature center but no zoo.

9. Last season, the Broncos lost 27-24 to the University of Cincinnati in the International Bowl in Toronto. It was the first bowl game hosted outside the country since the 1934 Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba.

8. Singer Luther Vandross briefly attended Western Michigan, but dropped out to pursue his award-winning music career.

7. Derek Jeter grew up in Kalamazoo. He attended Kalamazoo Central High School and was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in baseball in 1992.

6. Gibson guitars were first manufactured in Kalamazoo by Orville Gibson, who founded the company in 1902.

5. ABC Sports’ John Saunders played hockey on scholarship at Western Michigan from 1974 to 1976.

4. Kalamazoo’s Air Zoo, an aviation museum, has the world’s largest indoor mural. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, “Flight of Fancy” is the size of three football fields and illustrates the history of aviation.

3. Some 3,000 medieval scholars travel to Western Michigan every year for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the largest gathering of its kind.

2. Actor Tim Allen (“Home Improvement”), who graduated from Western Michigan, was arrested for selling $43,000 of cocaine to an undercover agent in 1978 at the Kalamazoo airport.

1. The Moped Army was founded in 1997 by three Western Michigan students. With 380 members nationwide, their motto is “swarm and destroy.”


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