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Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award: James Turner

“If I had an X-ray done today, the doctor would find a picture of LMC in my heart,” is how Captain James F.A. Turner feels about the impact Lake Michigan College has had on his life, giving him a solid foundation for his career. 

At LMC, James and his brother Clifton were starting guards on the basketball team, and he was also elected freshman class student representative. He never really left LMC, as he is a founding member of the LMC Alumni Association Board of Directors, and also established the Federal Court Community Education Council office at LMC.

After earning his Associate in Arts degree in 1960 from LMC, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration from Omaha University in 1967, a Master of Arts degree in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1976, then a Master of Arts degree in Executive Development for Public Service from Ball State University in 1978.

Known as the “father” of military civil rights education, in 1968 he established the first Military Human Relations Council. He also initiated and taught the first race relations and equal opportunity classes in the Air Force. From 1971 to 1973, he was a consultant to President Richard Nixon’s secretary of defense on these matters.

James Turner received the Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012.

Photo of James Turner.

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