March 31, 2008
Wyandotte Distinguished Graduate

Ranka, Karen Eriksen - 1960
Rynew, Arden - 1961


Karen Eriksen Ranka - Class of 1960

Karen Eriksen Ranka, Wyandotte Roosevelt Class of 1960, has been a tireless volunteer for organizations and causes that support health, the arts, the environment and women's causes.

A review of her activities at Roosevelt demonstrates her early involvement in a variety of activities - W.A.A.C. (World As A Community) Class, Wy-News, Senior Annual, Journalism, Quill and Scroll, Future Nurses and the Ski Club. After graduation from Roosevelt, Karen earned a B.S. in Education from Eastern Michigan University and completed graduate courses at William and Mary. Karen taught history at Carlson High School and English in Brazil.

A resident of Grosse Ile for 30 years, Karen is involved in many philanthropic endeavors in the downriver community. In 1988 she co-founded the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's downriver "Light the Night Charity Fundraiser Walk". She remains actively involved in making this and many of the Society's other annual events very successful. She also co-chaired the Franconi Leukemia fundraiser, the Downriver Women for Children's Hospital fundraiser and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Hunt for a Cure" fundraiser.

Because she is committed to the mission to find a cure for leukemia and other blood-related cancers, Karen has served on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Board of Trustees for six terms and recruits many volunteers to aid in this work. In 2002, Karen received the President's Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America.

Karen also serves on the Board of the Downriver Council for the Arts, which promotes the visual and performing arts. She co-chaired the Arts Council's "Tahiti Night" fundraiser and served as a committee member for the organization's Salute to Excellence.

In support of environmental issues, Karen also works with Michigan Ducks Unlimited, Detroit River Chapter, of which she is a founding member. That volunteer work is focused on preserving the Detroit River and local wetlands.

Karen is active in many church organizations and is a member of the American Association of University Women and Soroptomist International of Trenton, which has honored her as the Woman of Distinction of 2000. In 2008, Karen was named the Women's History/Community Honoree by the Grosse Ile Women's History/Community Organization.

Karen and her husband Bob have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and one grandson. She and her husband were recognized for their community involvement as the 2006 Salute to Excellence Honorees Downriver.

Arden Rynew - Class of 1961


Arden Rynew took his passionate interest in art and distinguished himself in the motion picture and television industries. His innovative ideas and leadership have revolutionized how movies and television shows are produced. Arden authored the classic treatise Filmmaking for Children and won five Emmy Awards for his lifetime of work.

Arden Rynew's artistic abilities were recognized early at Roosevelt High School by his favorite art teacher, Marion Pulver. While at RHS, he won numerous National Scholastic Art Awards, The Grumbacher Award and was offered five scholarships.

Arden began his advanced studies at the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts and the University of Michigan where he earned a B.S. Degree in Design and a Masters Degree in Fine Arts. After teaching at the University of Michigan and Adrian College for over two years, Arden joined the New York school system where he taught art and filmmaking in elementary schools. At the Graduate School of Film & Television at New York University, Arden earned a second M.F.A.

It was at N.Y.U. that Arden became an integral part of the motion picture industry. He was invited to work in Los Angeles where he introduced the innovative "Flying Spot Scanner" that dramatically changed post production work in Hollywood. At Universal Pictures, he was the Manager of Operations and introduced the MCA Laser Disc System. In 1983, Arden Rynew received his first Emmy Award for editing an NBC movie and numerous rock videos.

Beginning in 1984, Arden was the Senior Editor of Laser Edit/Laser Pacific Media where he worked on such shows as: Cheers, Seinfeld, Melrose Place, The Simpsons, Hollywood Tales, Top Gun, Judgment Day: Terminator II, and Titanic. During his employment at Pacific Media, he won an Emmy Award for editing the movie "Special Bulletin". His Emmy Award for "Moonlighting" was awarded for special effects. Arden also won two Emmys for the "Simpsons". The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences also awarded him a special Emmy for his work on "Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue," an anti-drug show that was the highest rated television show in the history of the medium.

Sine 2005, Arden Rynew has been employed for the Viacom/Warner Network where he is editing and producing the show "B in Tune". Presently he is working on the restoration of "Porgy & Bess", (from 1954 that starred Sidney Portier). Arden is also the Co-Chairman of the West Coast Chapter of the Alumni Association for the Architecture & Design School of the University of Michigan.

Arden and his wife Sari reside in Studio City, California. They have two adult sons, Zachary & Joshua.