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Lake Michigan College Seeks Alumni Award Nominations

December 16, 2011

BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI - Continuing on a 21-year tradition, the Lake Michigan College Alumni Association Board of Directors is seeking nominations for its 2012 Alumni Awards. The College first presented Alumni Awards in 1986. Since then, more than 70 recipients have been honored. Best consideration for the 2012 awards will be given to nominations received by February 24, 2012.

"The impact of Lake Michigan College alumni is felt not only in our local communities, but at the state level and around the country,” stated LMC Alumni Board President Kay Miller. “This is our opportunity to recognize those achievements and to inspire our current and future students to pursue their dreams.”

To be considered for the awards, nominees need to have attended Lake Michigan College or its predecessor, Benton Harbor Community College, and have earned at least 30 credit hours through the College.

There are three award categories. The Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award, named in honor of the first president of Lake Michigan College, is given to an alumnus who has accomplished significant success in his or her personal or professional endeavors. Recent winners of the Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award include Steven C. Fairbanks (president and CEO, Iowa Mold Tooling Co.), Mamiella Chavis-Brown (counselor, South Bend Community School Corporation), John Miller (former tribal chairman, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians), Dr. Gyl Kasewurm (owner, Professional Hearing Services, Ltd.), Sam Monte (owner, Monte Package Company), Roger Kullenberg (retired, Kalamazoo Gazette) and Theresa Orlaske-Rich (General Motors).

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to a recent alumnus who attended LMC approximately 10 years ago and has demonstrated significant achievement and distinguished themselves in their career, education or community such that they would be role models to current LMC students. Recent Alumni Achievement Award honorees include Mary Jo Tomasini (CEO, Competitive Edge), Brad Gorman (Whirlpool Corporation), Melissa Zmyslo (Berrien County Health Department), Dana Harris Slagle (Jet Magazine), Melissa Ruth Garland Hawk (Hunt, Suedhoff, Kalamaros) and C. Jesse Green (Michigan Trial Lawyers Association).

The Alumni Service Award is given to an alumnus who has offered significant personal contributions to the College or community, with community being broadly interpreted as local, the state of Michigan, or the nation. Recent past selections for the Alumni Service Award are Patrick Lynch (pharmacist and operator, Hill’s Prescription Shop), Nancy Conybeare (formerly of Lake Michigan College), Karen Kolberg Kietzer (Berrien-Cass-Van Buren County Counselors Association), Melissa Stolfo (Goodwill Industries), Paula Wygonik (Competitive Edge), Paul Landeck (Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant), Sharon Tyler (formerly of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance), Mary Goff (former mayor, City of St. Joseph), Neldine Edwards (We Can Make A Difference) and Gloria Ender (president, Freedom Finishing).

To nominate an individual for an alumni award, access the nomination forms online at

For more information, contact Mary Klemm, Foundation and Alumni Services manager, by phone at (269) 927-6849, or by email at

Upon nomination, an application will be sent to the candidate. Award winners will be recognized at the College's 2012 Commencement ceremony on May 6.

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