NMC Fellows

NMC Fellows, 1964: (Left to Right); Arnell Engstrom, Frances and Gerald Oleson, Ferris Rennie, Ellis WunschThe Fellow is Northwestern Michigan College's highest honor, awarded annually since 1964. Fellows may be nominated because they have demonstrated influential networking on behalf of the College, have demonstrated a pattern of outstanding financial or personal time contributions to NMC, or as a retiree of the College continue to contribute back to their academic or professional fields as volunteers, mentors or advisors. Exceptional contributions in one or more of these areas may justify nomination. No staff, faculty, or trustee shall be named a Fellow while still employed or in office.

2019 recipients: Daniel and Debra Edson

Dan and Debbie EdsonThe Edsons have been committed, passionate supporters of education since they met at Central Michigan University in the 1970s. Debbie Edson then went on to a 41-year career in special education with the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Dan Edson began his career in microbiology, inventing the world’s first blood test for Legionnaires’ disease in 1978. He went on to become an entrepreneur, founding the American Proficiency Institute in 1991. The Traverse City company is now a global leader in assessing the accuracy of laboratory tests. It employs 60 and has 20,000 clients worldwide.

While their success is global, it is important to the Edsons to give back to the local community where they raised their family and base their business. Their philanthropic support of NMC spans 26 years and has included scholarships, the University Center, the Dennos Museum Center, radio station WNMC and the West Hall Innovation Center. The college is a “wonderful resource,” Debbie Edson said.

Read the Complete news release »

View a photo gallery from the 2017 Fellows Dinner »

Past NMC Fellows »

  • 2018: Dr. Edward and Sharon Rutkowski
  • 2017: Ross and Brenda Biederman
  • 2016: Chuck Judson
  • 2015: Bruce Byl
  • 2014: Richard and Diana Milock
  • 2013: Dr. Don Good, Walter J. Hooper
  • 2012: Hettie Molvang
  • 2011: Terry S. Malone
  • 2010: James MacInnes, Elaine C. Wood
  • 2009: Jean Howard, Ted Kidd, Phyllis Kidd, D. Jerome Slack, Margery Slack
  • 2008: Charles E. Benson, Barbara S. Benson, Louise Hagerty, Wayne H. Lobdell, Terry Lobdell
  • 2007: Donald Oleson, Sr., Gerald Oleson, Jr.
  • 2006: Walter E. Beardslee, Elaine L. Beardslee
  • 2005: William G. Janis, Jacqueline E. Ribel, Mark L. Ribel
  • 2004: Rotary Charities of Traverse City
  • 2003: Christian P. Kamm, Shirley S. Okerstrom
  • 2002: Marvin Rorick, Luella Rorick
  • 2001: George C. Comden, Bart T. Stupak, Norman Veliquette, Marjory Veliquette
  • 2000: Nick Rajkovich, Frances Rajkovich
  • 1999: Robert T. Hughes, Robert Rudd, Grace Rudd, Capt. George J. Ryan
  • 1998: Thomas C. Jones, Edward C. Walker
  • 1997: James J. Beckett, Al Shumsky, Dudley Smith, Barbara Smith III
  • 1996: David Lee Gray, Paul T. Johnson, Frances B. Johnson, Donald W. Nugent, Gail M. Nugent
  • 1995: Dr. Charles D. Kesner, Richard W. Olson, Dr. C. Russell Wentworth
  • 1994: Dr. Charles Kelly, Dolores Kelly, Barbara I.C. MacFarlane, Jane E. Norton, Frank E. Noverr
  • 1993: Walter Holland
  • 1992: Susie (Kildee) Janis, Paul Welch
  • 1991: Sen. George A. McManus, Jr.
  • 1990: Helen W. Milliken, JoAnne M. Zimmerman
  • 1989: Gordon Lightfoot, Arthur M. Schmuckal, Mary E. Schmuckal, Adm. Willard J. Smith, U.S.C.G.
  • 1988: Robert L. Goff, Jack B. Stegenga
  • 1987: Marie G. McCarthy, Mrs. William E. Votruba
  • 1986: Bernard C. Rink
  • 1985: Frank W. Tezak, Ralph J. Lautner, Mary E. Lautner, Joseph H. Rogers
  • 1984: Alice A. Drulard, Blake Forslund
  • 1983: Michael Dennos, Barbara Dennos, V. Adm. Paul E. Trimble (Ret.)
  • 1981: Lester M. Biederman, Warren W. Cline, M.D.
  • 1980: Lt. Gov. Connie Binsfeld
  • 1979: Doris Nerbonne, Everett R. Hames
  • 1978: John L. Horton
  • 1977: Julius C. Sleder
  • 1976: Ferris N. Crawford
  • 1974: James P. DeLapa, Andrew L. Olson
  • 1973: Harry L. Weitz, M.D., Sen. Robert P. Griffin
  • 1972: Dorothy C. Hall, Preston N. Tanis
  • 1971: James E. Clune, Arthur G. Whitelock
  • 1970: Harry T. Running, Mrs. Mark (Helen) Osterlin
  • 1969: Corrine J. Naar
  • 1968: Julius H. Beers
  • 1967: Eugene B. Power
  • 1966: Wilbur C. Munnecke
  • 1965: George I. Altenburg, Gov. William G. Milliken, Leslie Tremaine, Bernice Tremaine
  • 1964: Arnell G. Engstrom, Gerald Oleson, Frances Oleson, Ferris J. Rennie, Harold Wise, Imogene Wise, Ellis A. Wunsch, Ph.D.
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