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Macomb Community College celebrates 60th anniversary

– Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:00PM

Highlights included ribbon-cutting of new South Campus entrance and announcement of exciting initiative to stimulate economic development 

While honoring the achievements of the past, Macomb Community College’s 60th anniversary celebration focused on new initiatives and commitments designed to contribute to Macomb County’s future economic vitality.  Today’s special event for more than 300 guests included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the college’s new 12 Mile entrance on South Campus  and an announcement about the creation of  Macomb’s new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.  

JPMorgan Chase also announced a $1 million commitment to the college’s new Innovation Fund, doubling the size of the fund and formalizing it as: Innovation Fund Macomb Community College, Powered by JPMorgan Chase & Co.  In late August, Macomb Community College’s Board of Trustees had authorized establishing the fund with a transfer of $1 million from the college’s Strategic Fund.    

The Innovation Fund is an integral part of the new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is designed to stimulate economic development and job growth by funding and mentoring promising entrepreneurs and next-stage companies with high-growth potential.  It is expected the fund will be operational by January 2015. The center has opened on the college’s Center Campus in Clinton Township and will initially provide meeting space and resources, such as mentors, for students seeking to start their own businesses.

 “The success of Macomb Community College is due to the synergy between the community and the college,” said Dr. James Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College. “Even as we celebrate the achievement of the past six decades, Macomb’s board, faculty and staff continue to focus on moving forward to maintain relevance and value for the next 60 years.  Today’s announcements underscore our commitment to actively invest in strategies and programs that directly impact Macomb County’s and the region’s economic vitality.”  

The anniversary event also officially opened the college’s new entrance from 12 Mile Road into South Campus.  Renovations were designed to improve student access into the campus, as well as to Wayne State University’s (WSU) new Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC), which is located across from Macomb on the north side of 12 Mile Road.  The ATEC represents a deepening of ties between Macomb and WSU, with the programs offered at the new center representing well-crafted pathways to meaningful and sustainable careers in the areas of computer science, business and advanced manufacturing.  

Other speakers featured at the anniversary celebration included Christine Bonkowski, vice chair, Macomb Community College Board of Trustees; Mark Hackel, Macomb Community College alumnus and Macomb County Executive; Maria Silamianos Sherman, community director, Macomb Community College Foundation, and president, Omega; and Vito Brasile, Macomb Community College student.  Chauncy Lennon, managing director for workforce readiness, JPMorgan Chase, made the announcement about the company’s commitment to the Innovation Fund.  

Macomb Community College ( traces its roots back to Sept. 16, 1954, when the first of 17 courses was offered evenings to 84 students at Lincoln High School in Warren.  This semester, more than 23,000 students are pursuing academic coursework on Macomb’s South Campus in Warren, Center Campus in Clinton Township and online.  The college also trains police, fire and emergency medical professionals at its East Campus near Mount Clemens, provides workforce training at its Michigan Technical Education Center on the site of the former tank plant in Warren, and has nearly 4,000 students completing their bachelor’s degree or pursuing advanced degrees at the Macomb University Center on the college’s Center Campus. 

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Media Contact: James Melton, 586.445.7271,