Ming Li Obituary (1959 – 2022) – Kalamazoo, MI

Ming Li, age 63, of Portage passed away August 4, 2022 at his home surrounded by family. He was born April 1, 1959 in Guangzhou, China to parents Xing Ming Li and Kai Ping Tang.
Ming met his future wife, Wan Chen, during his time in college. Together, they lived a very exciting life, full of globetrotting experiences! Ming began his academic journey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Guangzhou Institute of Physical Culture. Ming and Wan’s first home in the United States was Lawrence, KS, where Ming pursued his PhD at the University of Kansas, earning his Doctorate of Education in physical education and sport administration. They later moved to Statesboro, GA and eventually Athens, OH, before landing in Kalamazoo, MI.
During his 11-year tenure at Ohio University, he served in multiple roles, including interim executive director of the Center for International Studies at Ohio University, inaugural chair of the Department of Sports Administration in the College of Business, acting associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Health and Human Services for a year, director of the School of Recreation and Sport Sciences and director of the master’s program in athletic administration there.
Upon moving to Kalamazoo and the beginning of his 9-year tenure as Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University, his accomplishments remained abundant. Under Li’s leadership from 2013-22, the college acquired more than $52 million in external funding, significantly contributed to the enrollment of WMU, developed the college’s first ever strategic plan, strengthened the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, expanded international student enrollment, buoyed the reputation of the college, and implemented several innovative programs. CEHD also developed an innovative doctoral program, the Ph.D. in Education and Human Development, and led efforts at WMU to award credit for students’ prior learning experience in five CEHD graduate programs through the Prior Learning Assessment program.
Outside of work, Ming served as a leader in various organizations, such as the Alliance for Sport Business and the North American Society for Sport Management, as well as on the editorial boards of several professional journals, including the Journal of Sport Management and Sport Marketing Quarterly. In 1996, he worked for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as an Olympic Envoy. In 2011, he worked as a consultant for the sports department of the Organizing Committee for the Asian Games.
Ming traveled extensively for work and with his family – to Egypt, China, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, just to name a few!
Ming was devoted to his family and was an avid gardener, taking pride in the vegetables he harvested every year from his backyard to share with friends.
Ming is survived by his wife, Wan Chen, as well as his daughters, Madison Li (Jack Winstead) and Holly Li.
Memorial services will be held Sunday, August 28th, 2022 at 3:00pm at the Fetzer Center, 2251 Business Ct, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.
Above all, Ming was devoted to the efforts of CEHD and its programs to improve the quality of K-12 education. Any and all donations can be directed to the Dr. Ming Li Memorial Fund, which will be directed towards initiatives at WMU close to this heart.
To share a memory or leave a condolence for Ming’s family, please visit https://www.langelands.com

Published by Langeland Family Funeral Homes on Aug. 10, 2022.

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