PROFILE OF A MUSEUM
Donald R. Newland was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan January 17, 1944, to Donald Russell and Helen Elizabeth Newland. He has three siblings, Renaigh Rogers, David, an Air Force veteran and Scott, who served in the Army. The family moved to Ft Lauderdale, Florida in 1946, where he and his siblings attended school. Don graduated from Stranahan High School in 1961.
Don entered Western Michigan University in the fall of 1961, interning at Kalamazoo State Hospital. He received his Associates Degree in Psychiatric and Clinical Occupational Therapy. Don was working at Blodget Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan when Corina Francis Gutierrez, an attractive lab technician caught his eye. June 12, 1961, after a three week engagement, Don and Corina were married. They have two sons. Marco, born in 1962 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Troy, born at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1967. They are blessed with two granddaughters and three grandsons.
While continuing his studies at Grand Rapids Jr. College, Don realized he was going to be drafted in the near future, and made the decision to join the United States Army. This would enable him to continue his studies with the Medical Corp. In March, 1966 Don reported to Ft. Knox, Kentucky for basic and advanced infantry training. He was then transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Texas for medical training, where he attained the rank of Combat Corp Man, and entered surgical school. In the fall of 1966, Don was awarded a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in Occupational Therapy. He transferred to Ft. Lewis Washington, where he reported to Madigan Army hospital as a non-commissioned officer in charge of the occupational therapy unit. During part of the 1968 Tet offensive Don saw active duty and was sent TDY to transport wounded soldiers to Madigan for triage.
During Donís military service our country was in the midst of the Vietnam War, which in the 20th Century was the longest and most controversial war of its time. The University of Austin tower shooting, race riots in many cities, draft protests, the capture of the USS Pueblo, and anti war protests; including the shooting of students by the National Guard at Kent State University campus all happened during this period.
In 1969 Don requested an early out and returned to Western Michigan University, where he received a Bachelor Degree in Science, History and Education. He continued his education and received his Masters Degree in History and Management. While still attending school, Don began working at the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Corporation in their animal research center for new drug development. After completion of college, Don transferred to a new clinical epidemiology unit. From 1974 through 1980 Don moved up the management line, and became manager for several medical units and special projects. In 1981, Don relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, and worked for the next ten years as Senior Clinical Manager for Phase 4 research and medical intervention information. In 1991, Don transferred to Fresno, California to a new job in clinical drug research. During that time Upjohn was bought out by Pfizer; however Don continued his job in the same capacity. The Vietnam War had taken its toll on Don, making it increasingly difficult for him to continue to work, and in 2003, he went on long term medical leave. Don received numerous awards for excellence during his military service and in his career of clinical, medical and occupational development.
Don had decided that he would like to spend some time working as a volunteer; preferably with veterans at the local VA hospital or at the Veterans Memorial Museum. Having visited the museum several times, he had the opportunity to visit with the Director Art Hill one Friday. The next day Mr. Hill called and asked him to become one of their volunteers. Don reported to work the following Monday and after a few months, was asked to take over the library. Having been at the museum a few years now, he still enjoys the men and women that are there and still likes the challenge. He feels great to be part of a vibrant and active group of past servicemen and women.