Faces of Milan

Isabelle Schultz

Isabelle Schultz

The first thing Isabelle Schultz emphasizes about her community activities is that she didn’t do it alone. She asks for a lot of help, and most always gets it.

As a stay-at-home-mom, Isabelle rose through the volunteer ranks of nursery and elementary schools, bake sales, church suppers, Scouts and kids’ sports before the former Michigan State Journalism Major stepped into a writing career as an outgrowth of doing public relations for her husband’s automobile dealership.

She was soon writing news and human interest stories for the Milan Leader, Ann Arbor News, Ypsilanti Press and even the Detroit Free Press. She received an Ann Arbor Lions Club award when her Ann Arbor News story about TDDs resulted in setting up a Washtenaw County-wide emergency communication system for the deaf. While working on the U of M Graduate School’s Rackham Reports staff, her in-depth article on the Middle English Dictionary was nominated for a national award. Soon after, she was offered the post of Editor at the Milan News, a new Milan weekly.

Her involvement and awareness of the community and its needs led to the creation of Milan’s Citizens for Better Schools Committee on which she served for 11 years. Her term as trustee and secretary of the Saline Community Hospital Board, during which she served on and chaired several committees, lasted for 16 years. She has also been President and Secretary of the Milan Women’s Investment Club.

In the mid 1960’s, Isabelle and other area mothers recognized the need for childcare in the area and organized the Cooperative Children’s Nursery School in Milan. This program continues today at Milan Children’s Preschool.

When some were advocating tearing down Milan’s historic Old Fire Bard she helped organize a committee and worked to restore it. She and her husband, Duane, established a Milan High School Alumni Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a graduating, college bound senior. She helped to establish the Greater Milan Area Community Foundation in 2005. As a founding member and first President, she calls her work on the foundation her “most rewarding” achievement to date. In 2007 she was inducted into the Milan High School Hall of Fame and in 2008 she was given the Washtenaw County Woman of Achievement Award by the Miss Washtenaw County Scholarship program. In 2014 she honored with an ATHENA award which recognizes individuals who have helped women reach their full potential. The Milan Chamber of Commerce presented Isabelle with a Community Service Award in 2015.

Photo Credit: Mary Kerkes

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