Shared stories of fond memories and sentiments about how the college has positively impacted our communities, our employees and faculty members, and our students.
My father helped to first found MMCC. My wife attended Mid from 1969-70. I enjoyed watching the campus construction and development over the years.
I believe that Mid has had a truly positive effect on our community by providing affordable education, coordination between area high schools, enrichment classes, employment opportunities, as well as athletics, and extra-curricular activities.
I remember when we heard that the vote to establish MMCC has passed, and also when a group of us went to Lansing to learn that the State board gave the approval for the college.
I have always been very proud to have been a part of helping to establish MMCC.
When I graduated from Clare High School in 1979, I really didn't plan to go to college but my Father, Tom VanHoose, kept pushing me to register for classes. Registering for classes here at MMCC was one of the best things that I ever did. Al Barnhart's business classes were enriching, and MMCC provided me with a business degree and led me to a BSBA degree from CMU.
I have been at MMCC for almost 20 years. I remember when we just had one office at the Pickard building on the third floor that housed student services and I had to make copies in the closet. We slowly opened more and more classrooms and added more and more students and employees. It's been great meeting the new students, staff and teachers over the years. They have all touched my life in one way or another. Look at us now! Look what we achieved! Happy 50th anniversary MMCC!
As I was completing my high school diploma at Clare Pioneer Adult Ed, the instructors there kept asking me if I was going to Mid. I honestly didn't know what they were talking about, but I politely said, "No" because I wasn't comfortable admitting my naivety; I truly didn't know what Mid was. The faculty and principal continued to ask me, it seemed like every single day. One day my curiosity won out and I asked, "What exactly is Mid?" Oh boy, looking back, am I ever glad that I did! Finding out what Mid was/is turned out to be a life changer for me.
The second most significant memory is when I learned about financial aid, a PELL Grant in particular, and that I could attend with the use of those funds and scholarship funds to pay for my tuition. I didn't have any money to go to college. I also learned that I could work in a part-time job at the college while attending. How I was going to manage driving to campus not just on class days, but all week to work too, was a mystery. Little did I know that the money I earned in working the part-time job was meant to help me with travel expenses related to attending college. Mystery solved.
I have a lot of good memories, but the best ones are my Work Studies I have had over the years in the Facilities Department. One of the best was Jan Noteboom's son, Zack.
The first day he worked for us I sent him out to shipping to get something. When he opened one of the overhead doors, it came off the track. He came to me all worried and told me what happened. I told him "write yourself up for ten demerits!", and walked away. Zack went down to the lower garage where Ron Gibson "Gibby" was working and asked him "where do I find the demerit slips"? Gibby was confused and Zack explained what happened to him. Gibby cracked up and told him I was just messing with him. I messed with Zack for about 6 years. We called him "Acadamia Nut" because he was here so long.
MMCC has been a great place to work, and the people at mid have been like extended family. I think that is what is so special about this place.
I always enjoyed our Spring BBQs the day before Graduation. We had hundreds, maybe 500-700 students attend, and everyone enjoyed the free food, the Staff vs Students Softball games, and the dance at the end of the day. It was a lot of fun. Classes were over, so it was a great end-of-semester party.
I feel that MMCC has given thousands of people an opportunity to get a College Degree that they might not have been able to otherwise.
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