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Recognizing outstanding alumni

Chippewas to receive Alumni Awards Sept. 16

​Each year, Central Michigan University recognizes its alumni and foundations for their contributions to the university and community. This year's CMU Alumni Awards recipients have generously given their time and resources to a wide variety of causes impacting campus improvements, student success, research and athletics.

On Friday, Sept. 16, CMU will give awards to six alumni and a foundation, as well as recognize the 10 within 10 recipients at the annual CMU Alumni Awards ceremony:

Distinguished Alumni Award

Michael DeGagne, '87, is the seventh president and vice chancellor of Ontario's Nipissing University. In addition to his 25 years of public sector leadership experience, DeGagne has worked with the federal government's Aboriginal programs and was the founding executive director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, a national organization that addresses the legacy of Indian residential schools.

Alumni Commitment Award

Michael Franckowiak and Gay Ebers-Franckowiak, both 1975 graduates, are longtime supporters of their alma mater. Their generous support can be found in multiple areas across the university, including the Grawn Renovation Fund, the North End Zone Project, Football Championship Fund, the Events Center, Athletic Facility Program and the Biological Station on Beaver Island.

Alumni Service Recognition Award

John Kaczynski, '03, '08, has served CMU in many ways. He has held the roles of president and vice president for CMU's Young Alumni Board, co-founded Lansing's Capital City Chip Crew, and raised funds for his alma mater. He also is a member of the CMU Public Administration Advisory Board and mentors students involved in Model United Nations. Within his own community, Kaczynski is a leader through his roles in the Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association, the R.E. Olds Automotive Museum and the Tri-County Planning Board.

Heather Jensen, '92, '00, serves her community in many ways as a teacher at Hillside Elementary School in Harrison, Michigan. As a member of the School Improvement Team, she helps design creative interventions to help struggling students succeed. She also leads professional development and curriculum teams and has helped secure approximately $100,000 in professional development and technology grants for the school. Through the Michigan Reading Association, Jensen has contributed to reading and literacy education across the state — focusing on impoverished rural counties in central and northern Michigan.

Honorary Alumni Award

Barry Waters has served as director of the CMU Bookstore since 2003 — consistently growing revenue in the past 12 years. Waters is an annual contributor to CMU Athletics and attends many events on campus, including sporting and student-hosted events.

Foundation Partner Award

The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation has supported CMU for more than 20 years with a lifetime giving of more than $1.2 million. The foundation has impacted a wide variety of projects and programs on campus, including the CMU College of Medicine, the CMU Education Building Project, the Physical Disabilities and Adaptive Living Research Laboratory, and the Strosacker Room in Park Library. Additionally, the foundation established the Charles J. Strosacker Endowed Medical Scholarship.

Attend the Alumni Awards ceremony

Celebrate the legacy and impact of these CMU Chippewas at the Alumni Awards ceremony Friday, Sept. 16, in the Bovee University Center Rotunda. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. The dinner program begins at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 each. Register by Friday, Sept. 9.

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