2012 Commencement on April 21
More than 230 graduates will participate in Muskegon Community College’s 84th Commencement exercises on Saturday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the Frauenthal Center. Admission is limited to advance ticketholders.
MCC President Dale K. Nesbary, Ph.D., will provide introductory and closing remarks. Donald Crandall, M.D., chair of the MCC Board of Trustees, will confer the degrees, while MCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa Sturrus will present the graduates. Director of Nursing Pamela K. Brown will award the nursing pins.
MCC students Chloe Andrews and Tammie Anderson will deliver the keynote addresses (see profiles below). MCC Alumni Relations Committee member Mark Shunta, O.D., will present the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to Anthony Kolenic, Jr., J.D. (see profile below).
Rev. Duane Bennett of the Mt. Zion Church of God in Christ, will give the invocation. Laurence G. Visconti, vice president of the MCC Faculty Association, will announce the Faculty Association Scholarships and Nicholas Strait, director of medical-surgical services at Mercy Health Partners, will present the Hadden Awards.
Music will be provided by the combined MCC Wind Ensemble and West Michigan Concert Winds, the MCC College Singers, and the Muskegon Regional Pipes and Drums.
Keynote Speaker Tammie Anderson
Tammie Anderson hasn’t had an easy life. Placed for adoption as a youngster, she shuffled between Florida and Michigan living with different families. She endured many struggles in her personal life, including the tragic death of her twin children.
She tried college once but dropped out. Then, at age 38, with the encouragement of her husband and the No Worker Left Behind program, she enrolled at MCC. She discovered its life-changing counselors and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society. The self-proclaimed quitter began living the honor society’s tenets. She volunteered in the community, led by example - especially to her children - and became a productive team member.
“I realized everything I was doing was having an impact and making me stronger,” said Tammie, who received a $1,000 Athena Scholarship from the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce to complete her studies at MCC.
Her hard work and dedication led to her induction into PTK. She was its service vice president and led its Commit to Complete initiative. The Michigan Region of Phi Theta Kappa awarded her its Arlene Quigley Scholarship. Tammie tutored MCC students in business and accounting. She competed on the college’s first women’s bowling team, a national finisher, and received the team’s Kingpin Award.
Tammie’s MCC internship at Crockery Township Hall led to her current position as an Administrative Assistant for the Building/Zoning Departments. She plans to attend Grand Valley State University to pursue a business degree.
Keynote Speaker Chloe Andrews
A Muskegon, Mich., native, Chloe Andrews overcame family financial and personal difficulties to receive academic honors and a newfound resolve at Muskegon Community College.
While earning a 3.9 GPA at Reeths-Puffer High School, Chloe faced a difficult decision when her family lost their home and relocated to Colorado. She stayed behind to complete her senior year. She was accepted at the University of Colorado but when her mother decided to return to Michigan, Chloe quickly scrambled to find a college or university within the state.
“I thought that MCC was just my back-up choice, but in the end, I realized it was the smartest choice I have ever made because I have my associate’s degree paid for,” said Chloe, who will continue her education this fall at Grand Valley State University. She will major in political science with aspirations to become a lawyer. “I met great people here and now I know what I want to do.”
Earning a 3.7 GPA at MCC, Chloe worked two jobs, including being honored as Kohl’s Employee of the Month. She received an MCC Social Sciences Scholarship - Political Science Award and another scholarship from Grand Valley State University.
“I am extremely grateful for everything that has happened to me in my life because I would not understand completely the way life works,” she concluded. “I am a stronger person and will continue to make myself a better person.”
Distinguished Alumnus Anthony Kolenic Jr., J.D.
An attorney for more than 30 years at Warner Norcross & Judd, Anthony Kolenic Jr., J.D., has been rated as one of the Best Lawyers in America annually since 1995 by Employee Benefits Law. The 1973 MCC graduate is receiving MCC’s highest award for his exemplary personal life, professional achievements, and community service.
“This college is a real gem in our community, “said Kolenic. “My instructors at MCC were absolutely outstanding, and every single one of them helped me.”
After earning his associate’s degree, Kolenic attended Michigan State University for his bachelor’s degree, and then completed his Juris Doctor in 1977 graduating magna cum laude at the University of Michigan. Kolenic has extensive experience in the area of benefit plans and executive compensation within the private and governmental sectors. He has been named Michigan Super-Lawyer for six consecutive years.
Within the community, the Muskegon, Mich., resident has served as past-president and present board member of Muskegon County Catholic Education Foundation and president of the Muskegon County Museum.