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Macomb Community College Foundation celebrates donor impact at seventh annual Donor Scholarship Luncheon

– Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:00PM

More than $445,000 in scholarships awarded to more than 350 students so far this academic year

At its seventh annual Donor Scholarship Luncheon, the Macomb Community College Foundation recognized donors whose generous contributions make an ever-increasing number of scholarships available to current and incoming Macomb students. More than 170 donors, students and college representatives attended the event at the Macomb University Center on the college’s Center Campus in Clinton Township, with donors connecting with students who benefited from the donors’ generous donations.

So far this fiscal year, the foundation has been able to award more than $445,000 in scholarships to more than 350 students, an approximately six percent increase in the dollar amount of scholarships awarded over the previous year. Beyond scholarship programs, contributions also support program funds that advance the college’s mission.

“We are grateful to have so many friends of the college who embrace Macomb’s mission of education, enrichment and education – and who directly support our mission through their personal philanthropy,” said James O. Sawyer IV, president, Macomb Community College. “We are grateful to you for sharing in our passion for the work of Macomb Community College and helping us sustain a distinctive institution acutely focused on our community’s needs.”

Keynote speakers Kathy Grenda and Don Ritzenhein, who recently established the Katherine L. Grenda and Donald N. Ritzenhein Endowed Scholarship for Students in the Arts, welcomed student Caelan Davis, the first recipient of the new scholarship. Davis, 23, of Warren, is a first-year transfer student from Baker College and is pursuing a general studies associate degree. She plans to transfer to Wayne State to complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology and, ultimately, a Ph.D. in child development.

“We love the students who come here, work hard, and have dreams and aspirations,” said Grenda. “But as we all know, so much depends on money. If you don’t have it, chances of going to college become less. I saw many students in my administrative career drop out of school for lack of funds. This is not a good thing for them or for us as a community.”

The student speaker, Aysha Abdul Shahid, 21, currently of Warren and previously of Dubai, is a second-year student at Macomb and is working on an associate degree in accounting. After graduating from Macomb this fall, she plans to transfer to Walsh College to complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Ultimately, she intends to earn her CPA license and open her own business. Shahid is the recipient of the Shirley Glass Endowed Accounting Scholarship.

“They say things come in the right time,” said Shahid. “Just when my dad said he couldn’t afford my education, I received the Shirley Glass Endowed Accounting Scholarship. This meant I could continue my education and take a step closer toward a degree and be the first female in my family to graduate and make my family proud.”

New scholarships announced at the luncheon include:

  • Don G. Apfel Environmental Sciences Scholarship – An endowed scholarship to support students studying environmental sciences.
  • Nancy T. Darga Nursing Scholarship – Established in memory of Nancy Darga to provide assistance to students in the Macomb nursing program.
  • C & D Dysarz Applied Technology Program Scholarship – Established to provide assistance to students enrolled in the applied technology program.
  • The Sherrel Jamesha Finley Memorial Scholarship – Established in memory of Finley, a 2018 Macomb alum, to assist students facing challenges in achieving their educational goals
  • Fox Elementary School Scholarship – Established in honor of Fox Elementary School retirees Sue O’Brien, Brenda Shepherd and Debbie Gilletti to assist students who attended Fox Elementary School.
  • The Katherine L. Grenda and Donald N. Ritzenhein Endowed Scholarship for Students in the Arts – An endowed scholarship for students who wish to pursue a variety of arts disciplines including speech communication, humanities or social sciences.
  • James Raymond Martin Memorial Scholarship – Established in memory of James Raymond Martin for students in the business program with career interests in finance, real estate or entrepreneurship.
  • Macomb County EMA Medical Control Authority – Established to support the top two achieving students in the paramedic program.
  • OneMacomb Fund – Established to support current and future Macomb students with awards from competitive art contests held in Macomb County.
  • The John S. Piet & Christine Piet Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship – An endowed scholarship established in memory of John S. Piet III, artist and faculty member at Macomb, to support study abroad expenses for travel to Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain and Mexico.

The new program fund announced at the luncheon was:

  • Civic Engagement Fund – Established to support civic/voter engagement among Macomb students.

For more information about supporting the college with a donation, contact the Macomb Community College Foundation at 586.445.7302 or by email at


Keynote speakers Don Ritzenhein and Kathy Grenda established the Katherine L. Grenda and Donald N. Ritzenhein Endowed Scholarship for Students in the Arts.


Aysha Abdul Shahid, recipient of the Shirley Glass Endowed Accounting Scholarship, shared her personal experience as an international student.

About the Macomb Community College Foundation

Established in 1999, the Macomb Community College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that manages contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations for the educational purposes and objectives of the college.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media contact:  Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,