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Tim Allen Returns To Alma Mater

June 28, 1998

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) _ ``Home Improvement″ comic Tim Allen returned to his alma mater to receive an honorary degree and speak to graduates, telling them to avoid complacency.

``It’s better to make bold choices in life, than no choices at all or even mild choices,″ Allen said Saturday at Western Michigan University. ``If you’re idle, you don’t get anywhere.″

A 1976 Western Michigan graduate, Allen attended the ceremony with his family. His wife, Laura, also graduated from the university.

After college, Allen _ still known by his full name Timothy Allen Dick _ was convicted of cocaine trafficking and spent almost two years in jail. The standup-sitcom-film star also pleaded guilty in 1997 to drunken driving and checked into a rehabilitation clinic as part of a court-ordered sentence.

University President Diether H. Haenicke said that Allen has paid for his mistakes and deserved the honorary doctorate of fine arts degree.

``He’s made a very distinguished career for himself,″ Haenicke said.

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