Alumni Service Award: Joseph DeFrance
Joseph DeFrance, Jr. graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1949 and attended LMC before transferring to Western Michigan University. At that time LMC was named Benton Harbor Junior College and classes were held in the lower level of an old elementary school on Pipestone Avenue.
Joseph fondly remembers the closeness between the administration, the faculty and the students. He recalls how much his instructors cared about students getting the most out of their classes, and perhaps this experience partly inspired Joseph to lead an exemplary life of service to our country, our community and our college.
Joseph served in the United States Army before working for the IRS from which he retired in 1990 after almost forty years. In addition to his work life, he has volunteered at the local St. Joseph/Lincoln Senior Center, and as a mentor to children in the Y-Uncles and HOST programs.
Joseph has volunteered as an usher for The Mendel Center for twenty-five years. In 2010 he was named The Mendel Center’s Volunteer of the Year. He has also been recognized with the Salute to Excellence Award from the Women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Benton Harbor.
Joseph and his wife, Diane, have been married for 63 years, and have two daughters and four grandchildren.
The Alumni Service Award was presented to Joseph DeFrance, Jr. in 2018.