Alumni Voices

Lifelong friends make positive impact on Michigan’s foster youth

OU alumni advocate for the welfare of vulnerable children and youth

Two women on a couch, laughing


icon of a calendarMarch 30, 2023

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Oakland University alumni Gail Bagale, CAS ‘68 and Kate Thoresen, CAS ’67 and ’72, have spent the last 16 years advocating for the welfare of vulnerable children and youth.

Gail, the founder of Child's Hope and the Save Our Children Coalition, has dedicated her life to social work and child advocacy. Her leadership and tireless work have made a significant impact in preventing the abuse of children and teens.

Inspired by Gail's good work, Kate Thoresen organized the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care. Her all-volunteer, grassroots network of individuals, congregations, and child welfare agencies has raised awareness and invited involvement on behalf of children in foster care.

Under Kate's leadership, the coalition has grown exponentially, with local coordinators reaching 13 different regions at one time. Since 2009, Kate has helped channel thousands of dollars of in-kind donations yearly to meet the urgent needs of children and youth experiencing foster care, as well as foster, adoptive, and kinship families. Kate and her husband Tom have also become foster parents, welcoming into their home numerous young people who face unimaginable challenges.

Gail and Kate will be honored together as the Community Engagement Award recipients during the annual Alumni Night of Excellence celebration, Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac.

We encourage you to learn more about the impact of other awardees and their outstanding achievements by visiting the Alumni Night of Excellence webpage.

Let's celebrate the remarkable contributions of our alumni who are making a significant difference in their communities.

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