Students Honored for Service with Scholarship

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Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D., Jeff Humphrey, Tyler Douglas, Nieya Brown, Hezekiah Turner and President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., (L to R).

The University of Olivet honored six students with the John W. Porter Community Responsibility Scholarship at the 21st annual Leadership for Individual and Social Responsibility Awards Dinner May 17 at the Country Club of Lansing.

Students were selected for demonstrating individual and social responsibility through their involvement and service to the college and their community.

Recipients include Nieya Brown ’20, a journalism and mass communication major from Eagle; Tyler Douglas ’18, a psychology major from Griffin, Indiana; Jeff Humphrey ’19, a sociology and anthropology major from Olivet; Erie McClendon ’19, a psychology major from Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Taahir Muhammad ’19, an environmental science major from East Orange, New Jersey; and Hezekiah Turner ’20, a business administration major from Detroit.

“I asked our professional advisers for nominees for this year’s Porter Scholarship award and when I reviewed the list they and I had put together, I found all the nominees to be wonderful, deserving students,” said Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D. “I reviewed their transcripts and saw the ‘dean’s list’ noted on many different semesters. All of these students are leaders on campus in clubs, student organizations, student government and athletic teams. There are two President’s Leadership Institute Fellows and a resident assistant among this year’s recipients. These students are committed to their studies and give so much of themselves in support of other students; we wanted to honor and acknowledge their efforts through the awarding of this scholarship. Dr. Porter would be proud of them all.”

In 1969, Dr. Porter was unanimously selected State Superintendent of Public Education by the Michigan Board of Education. At 38, he was the youngest chief state officer and the first black state school superintendent in the nation. In 1979 to 1989, Dr. Porter served as president of Eastern Michigan University. From 1989 to 1991, he served as the general superintendent for Detroit Public Schools. During his tenure, the district went from having a $160 million deficit and unbalanced budget to a $35 million surplus.

In 2001, Dr. Porter was awarded the The University of Olivet Leadership Award for his commitment to Olivet’s educational philosophy of individual and social responsibility. In gratitude of this honor, he established an endowed scholarship for current students at The University of Olivet who demonstrate leadership and community involvement.

Ric Walton, Chief Jim Blocker, Rina Risper and President Corey (L to R).

In addition to the students awarded with scholarships, three Michigan business leaders were honored for their commitment to their communities. 2017 honorees included Jim Blocker, Battle Creek police chief, Rina Risper, owner and publisher of The New Citizens Press, and Ric Walton, president of Walton Insurance Agency, who reflect the college’s vision of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility.

For more information about the Leadership for Individual and Social Responsibility Awards Dinner, contact Carol Flanigan, senior director of annual giving and donor services, at 269.749.7625 or cflanigan@uolivet.edu.


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