Janis wins statewide community college alumnus award

Susie Janis Michigan Community College Association 2023 Outstanding AlumnusTRAVERSE CITY — Susie Janis, NMC alumnus, supporter and longtime Traverse City area community leader, received the 2023 Outstanding Alumnus award from the Michigan Community College Association Thursday.

High-resolution image of Susie Janis

A Traverse City native, Janis attended NMC from 1965–1967. Since then, as the Grand Traverse region has evolved and grown, she has become a key player in many different facets of the community affecting quality of life. Development of the arts and culture, education, child development, and health care have all been central issues Janis has nurtured and supported over the decades as a consummate volunteer, mentor and philanthropist.

A tireless advocate for the opportunities provided by community colleges and a spokesperson for the benefit that the community college experience had on her own life, most recently Janis served as co-chair of NMC's Be What's Possible comprehensive campaign, one of the largest campaigns undertaken by an independent community college. It raised $40.3 million over a goal of $35 million during the five-year campaign (2016–2021).

"NMC is so fortunate to have someone like Susie behind us. Her high-powered combination of enthusiasm and dedication to the mission of community colleges is virtually unmatched," said NMC President Nick Nissley.

Janis also served as a leader on several other major fundraising projects for the college, including the capital campaign in the 1980s to build the Dennos Museum Center, a cultural centerpiece and landmark for the college. She is a past member and former president of the NMC Foundation board.

At NMC, she earned both the Outstanding Alumnus award, in 2010, and the NMC Fellow award, the college's highest honor, in 1992. The NMC Foundation has instituted an award in her honor, the Susanne M. Janis Award, to be given for volunteer service and leadership. She was also honored by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce with a Distinguished Service award.

Statewide, Janis served as a governor's appointee to the Michigan Community Economic Excellence Board from 1988–1991. She served as a commissioner on Michigan's Bureau of History from 1993–1999 and on the Michigan Humanities Council from 2005–2009.

The MCCA Outstanding Alumnus Award was first presented in 1985. The award is presented to a Michigan community college alumnus based upon achievement in their professional career, service to humanity, honors received and a strong commitment to the purpose and philosophy of the community college mission.


Release date: July 28, 2023

For more information:

Cari Noga
NMC Communications Director
cnoga@nmc.edu(231) 392-1800 (call or text)


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