2022 Outstanding Alumni named

TRAVERSE CITY —  Northwestern Michigan College is proud to announce the 2022 recipients of the college’s Outstanding Alumni award:

Richard Gray Download a high-resolution photo of
Richard Gray here
Richard Gray, GLMA 2013 (awarded posthumously): Following his graduation, Gray continued his relationship with the Great Lakes Maritime Academy as a mentor and adjunct faculty member, in addition to his rising career. Devoted to his growing family of three young children with a fourth expected this fall, Gray’s life was cut tragically short in a shipboard accident in early 2022. The many nominations he received represent the positive influence he demonstrated to so many. One nominator wrote, “He always had a positive attitude and was willing to teach anyone anything if they asked….Richard was the best of the best.”

Dr. Annie Kritcher Download a high-resolution photo of
Dr. Annie Kritcher here
Andrea (Annie) Kritcher, 2001–2003:
A Traverse City native, Kritcher studied engineering at NMC, going on to complete her B.S. in nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan and an M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley. She has been with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2012. Currently, she is a physicist and the design lead within the Inertial Confinement Fusion team, as part of the National Ignition Facility. She has served as lead researcher on several projects and has published over 35 reviewed scientific papers in journals such as Nature and Science.

Bob Sutherland Download a high-resolution photo of
Bob Sutherland here
Bob Sutherland,
1982–1983: As the visionary owner of Cherry Republic, Sutherland launched the business in 1989 selling t-shirts sporting the motto "Life, Liberty, Beaches and Pie" out of the trunk of his car. Cherry Republic has flagship destinations in Glen Arbor and Traverse City, satellite stores, and a nationwide website and catalog business. With a commitment to clean energy, farmland preservation, outdoor recreation, and youth development, Sutherland designates a portion of sales to charity each year. One nominator wrote, “one of the best examples I know of a company with multiple bottom lines that gives back to the community on many levels. It's a model for many to follow, but few can match.”

Since 1988, Northwestern Michigan College’s Outstanding Alumni award has recognized graduates and past students for significant professional achievements and/or exemplary leadership in the local or global community. Recognition is based on the achievements of the nominee and positive perspective as to the role that NMC played in their lives. Visit nmc.edu/alumni for more information and a nomination form. Nominations received by March 1, 2023 will be considered for 2023 recognition.

Release date: June 22, 2022

For more information:

NMC Alumni Relations
(231) 995-2825


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination