Students Receiving Diplomas In 2 Jackson College Ceremonies This Year

Doctors in Jackson

Three alumni will be awarded at the graduation ceremony.
Left to right: Curtis, Shirkey and Slete. (Courtesy Photo)

JACKSON, MI -- An estimated 280 graduates will walk across the stage on Saturday to get their Jackson College diplomas.

So all family and friends can see their graduates, JC is having two commencement ceremonies on May 4, in the Harold Sheffer Music Hall, Potter Center.

The morning ceremony, at 10 a.m., features graduates from the health sciences, business and computer technology and human services programs. The afternoon ceremony, at 2 p.m., features graduates of the liberal arts, science, engineering and mathematics and skilled trades and agriculture programs.

Graduates and their families are invited to the receptions following each ceremony.

Students completing graduation requirements for fall 2018 and winter or spring 2019 are eligible to participate in the ceremonies.

JC President Dan Phelan will speak at both ceremonies. Class representatives Jacob Smith and Haley Rose will speak at the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectfully.

Also participating are the Jackson Jazz Band, Jackson Community Concert band and the national anthem by Associate Professor Alana Tuckey.

Recipients of the Crockett Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service awards will also be recognized at the ceremonies.

State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, is receiving the Distinguished Service Award and will be recognized in the morning program. Shirkey has served Michigan’s 16th senate district since 2014 and was elected majority leader in January.

He also represented the 65th district in the Michigan House of Representatives for four years and is the founder and owner of Orbitform, an engineering company that manufactures equipment for a wide range of industries and applications.

“(Jackson College’s) impact on the economic comeback is not one we can ignore,” Shirkey said in a news release. “They train students to join the workforce and become extremely valuable members of our society.”

The Distinguished Service Award is given annually in recognition for service to the community and the college.

Dr. Frederic Slete, a 1978 JC graduate, is receiving the Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award and will be recognized in the afternoon program.

Slete, a Jackson dentist, has served patients in private practice since 1983. He also has served in several community groups, including the Jackson Community College Alumni Association and the Jackson College Foundation Board of Directors.

The Crockett award is given annually to honor distinguished alumni. It is named for a pioneering woman physician, who grew up in Jackson and attended what was then Jackson Junior College before finishing her education at the University of Michigan and Howard University.

Crockett became the first black woman to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. The award named for her is given to a person who has displayed a positive and personal involvement in the betterment of humankind and has ongoing contact with JC.

The Second Lieutenant Zenneth A. Pond Soaring Young Alumni Award also is being awarded to Dr. Jonathan Curtis, a 2010 graduate, this year. The new award honors excellence and leadership in an alumnus age 35 or younger and is named for Pond, an alumni who became the first Jackson Junior College student to receive his pilot’s license in the Civilian Pilot Training Course. He became a World War II fighter pilot.

Curtis owns and operates Curtis Chiropractic in Chelsea. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and is an ambassador for the Chelsea Chamber.


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Curtis Chiropractic
1170 South Main Street Suite 600
Chelsea, MI 48118
(734) 593-9135