William E. Upjohn
Dr. William E. Upjohn (1853-1932), founder of the Upjohn Company, was known as Kalamazoo's "First Citizen" because of his active role in the community. He helped institute the commission-manager form of government and served as the city's first mayor under the new system (1918-1921). He helped direct the construction of Bronson Hospital (1904) and several area churches (1926). He also established the Kalamazoo Foundation (1925) and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research (1932). His belief in the "happy use of leisure time" led him to donate land for Upjohn Park (1919), to help fund an "Art House" (1928) and a municipal golf course (1929) and to build the Civic Auditorium (1931).