Plein Air Art Show
Linda Walker, right, puts the finishing touches on the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan exhibit now on display at Glen Oaks Community College while art student Jordan Hawkins looks on. The oil painting “New Year’s Day at Wolf Tree” is the work of Richard Jordan.
Glen Oaks to feature art exhibit from Plein Air Artists of West Michigan; opening reception is Fri., Jan. 24

Glen Oaks Community College now features the work of the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan in the Flora Kirsch Beck Art Gallery on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College. Over 40 pieces of art comprise the exhibit and represent 19 artists.

The opening reception will take place on Friday, Jan 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with many of the artists on hand for the event. The public is invited to attend.

Plein air painting comes from the French term “en plein air” – meaning “in open air.” The Plein Air Artists of West Michigan (PAAWM) was established in 2008. The group is an association of artists who seek inspiration and artistic growth though painting directly from nature.

“We paint outdoors, year around,” said Linda Walker, graphic arts instructor at Glen Oaks coordinating the exhibit and member of the West Michigan PAAWM for ten years. “Our Paint Outs fall on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. It is a loosely organized group — and membership is by participation. We welcome new artists at any level wanting to learn and advance their development as artists.”

Viewers may vote for their favorite painting for the “Best of Show” award. The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display through Feb. 21. Persons may make special arrangements for the exhibit to be open on request by calling (269) 294-4353.

Glen Oaks Leaf Logo
Glen Oaks Community College to recognize former trustees

Glen Oaks Community College will recognize eight former Glen Oaks Board of Trustee members and welcome them to Trustee Emeriti status on Friday, Dec. 13, at 11:30 a.m. during a luncheon held on the concourse at the college, 62249 Shimmel Rd., in Centreville.

The college establishes the rank of Emeriti status upon retirement to those who have made long-term contributions to the college. To be eligible, trustees must have had a minimum of twelve years of continuous, honorable regular service prior to retirement.

The following eight former trustees received Trustee Emeriti status at the November Board of Trustees’ meeting and will be recognized at the event. They are:

Gretchen Dresser    18 Years

Jim Moshier              18 Years

Taylor C. Snow         16 Years

Patrick J. Haas         13 Years

Norman H. Haas      12 Years


In addition, the following former trustees are being recognized posthumously, and family members have been invited to the event.

Barry A. Mumby       18 Years

David F. Locey         16 Years

Richard Maurer        14 Years


State Rep. Aaron Miller will present a Proclamation of Appreciation for their service during the event.

Members of the community who wish to celebrate and wish the new emeriti well may do so; however, they should RSVP to Diane Zinsmaster at (269) 294-4233, or via email at: Everyone is welcome.


Background on recipients:

Gretchen Dresser (1987-2005), of Sturgis, served 18 years on the board. She, along with her late husband, Raymond, were actively involved in many community organizations and many associated activities and events. The two were also a driving force in the development of the Dresser Business Development Auditorium through a major contribution.


Jim Moshier (1997-2015), of Sturgis, served 18 years on the board, serving as secretary for over 10 years. Moshier owned and operated a pool supply business in Sturgis until retirement. He and his late wife, Diane, wrote columns for the Sturgis Journal and he is the author of “From the Middle, from the Hip and Now a Few for You.”


Barry A. Mumby (1995-2003), of Colon, served on board for 18 years including serving as chairman 1995 to 2003. In addition, he was a founding board member of the United Soybean Board, traveling to 23 foreign countries representing American farmers and serving as chairman two years.

In 1979, with four partners, Mumby launched Mendon Seed Growers Corporation and eventually was sole owner – and at the time, he had no idea that the seed corn venture would spur in St. Joseph County and the region to the extent that it did.


Mumby received MSU’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003, received Michigan’s Outstanding Young Farmer Award in 1979, was Leonidas’ Little League baseball coach, was Leonidas’ 4-H swine leader and fair swine superintendent, and he was the 4-H commodity leader. He was active in the St. Joseph County Farm Bureau and served on the Federal Reserve Board Midwest region. Mumby passed away in 2017.


Taylor Snow (1999-2007), of Three Rivers, served 18 years on the board. He served as vice chairperson from 1997 to 2003 and chairperson from 2003 to 2007. In addition, he served on the Glen Oaks Foundation Board from 2007 to 2017. Snow retired from First National Bank where he was a senior vice-president/sr. trust officer.


David F. Locey (1995-2011), served 16 years on the board. He was a long-time Sturgis resident, community leader and friend of many. Locey’s family describe him as “vibrant, hardworking, funny and giving.”

Locey owned and operated David F. Locey C.P.A., P.C. in Sturgis. In addition to his work as an accountant, he and his wife, Cherie, owned Timberly Tree Farm, a well-known spot in Sturgis for Christmas trees. They were known for giving away trees to families who couldn’t afford them.

For several years, Locey was an instructor at Glen Oaks Community College and facilitated many business seminars.  He is said to have always had time to give to others and local organizations.  In addition to Glen Oaks, he volunteered in organizations including the Sturgis Kiwanis Club, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sturgis Hospital Board.

Locey had a true appreciation for exercise including hiking the Grand Canyon.  He enjoyed the outdoors and loved time spent with his family.

Locey died in 2013

Richard Maurer (1983-1997), of Three Rivers, served 14 years on the board.

He enlisted in the Army in 1952 and was released in 1954. He spent 35 years in Johnson Corp., where he was the VP of sales and corporate development when he retired after 35 years. He is a past Exalted Ruler of the Three Rivers Elks; he served in the Lions Club and was a life-long member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. Maurer passed away in 1999.


Patrick Haas (1999-2012), of Mendon, served for 13 years as trustee including vice-chairperson from 2003 to 2007, and chairperson from 2007 to 2012. Haas is CEO of TH Plastics in Mendon, where he has worked since 1976. Keeping the tradition of serving Glen Oaks in the family, Patrick is the nephew of Norman Haas, the first Board chair — known as the “Father of Glen Oaks.”


Norman H. Haas (1965-1977) originally from Mendon, served 12 years on the board. Haas was president of Haas Corporation in Mendon, a plastic processing firm.

Haas served on the local Citizens Advisory Council when he was asked to chair a community college feasibility study for St. Joseph County in 1964. The report of the study was positive, followed by a request and favorable reply from the state. An election was held on June 14, 1965 where voters endorsed the establishment and funding of a community college. Following the election, Haas was elected the first chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1965. He served as chair until 1977. Haas received the Glen Oaks Fellows award earlier this year.

Dr. David Devier
Trustee Emeriti: The Meaning of Service

By Dr. David H. Devier, Glen Oaks President

This Friday, December 13, Glen Oaks Community College will recognize eight former Trustees by granting them Trustee Emeriti status.  These individuals combined service on the Board totals 115 years.

This range from service is fifty years from 1965 to 2015.  Beginning with Mr. Norm Haas, 1965-1977, the first Board Chair to Mr. Jim Moshier, 1997-2015.  In between these two gentlemen are six outstanding servants including Mr. Richard Maurer, 1983-1997; Mr. Barry Mumby, 1985-2003, serving as Chair, 1995-2003; Mrs. Gretchen Dresser, 1987-2005; Mr. Taylor Snow, 1991-2007, serving as Vice-Chair, 1997-2003 and Chair 2003-07; Mr. Dave Locey, 1998-2011; and Mr. Pat Haas, 1999-2012, serving as Vice Chair 2003-07 and Chair 2007-2012.

As one reviews the breath and depth of efforts of these eight outstanding servants, you can only praise their commitment to the educational opportunities for the students of the St. Joseph County region.  Beginning with Norm Haas’ vision even before 1965 for the need of such an institution onward, each one was dedicated to helping Glen Oaks become the best institution possible.

During this fifty-year range, all eight of the Glen Oaks presidents were selected, the original campus was built and five additions were added, enrollment grew to as high as 1,650, more than 5,000 students graduated, thousands of community events were hosted, specialized training for dozens of local employers was provided and innumerous cultural events were hosted. It is hard to imagine what these fifty-years would have been like for St. Joseph County and its citizens without the work of these eight. Thankfully, we do not have to because of their vision and service.

If you would like to attend the celebration for these eight former trustees as they are granted emeritus status, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, RSVP by either calling the President’s Office (269) 294-4233 or via e-mail to  Everyone is welcome.

Leading Ladies promotional flyer
GOCC and SCP present — “Leading Ladies,” — Nov. 15 – 17

The Sturgis Civic Players, in partnership with Glen Oaks Community College, will present “Leading Ladies” in three performances on Fri., Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., Sat., Nov. 16 at 7 p.m., and Sun., Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. The performance will be held at the Nora Hagen Theatre on the Glen Oaks campus.

Written by Ken Ludwig, “Leading Ladies is a comedy that finds two Shakespearean actors, Leo and Jack, in a rut in the Amish country of York, Pennsylvania. When they learn about an old lady in town who is about to die and leave her hefty inheritance to her two long lost English nephews, the duo decides to pass themselves off as relatives to receive the cash. However, it turns out that the nephews are actually nieces which now means that Leo and Jack have to pass themselves off as women. It gets even more complicated when Leo falls for the old lady’s niece, Meg, who is engaged to the local minister.

Leo is played by Colin Eastman of Colon; Jack is played by Jared King, of Burr Oak; and Meg is played by Anna Foster of Centreville. The play is being co-directed by Mary Sutter, of White Pigeon, and assisted by Eric Connelly, president of the Sturgis Civic Players, of Sturgis.

“This is the second show for the partnership of Glen Oaks Community College and the Sturgis Civic Players,” said Connelly. “We are excited about performing our first comedy and have discovered some terrific talent in this community for the show.

Tickets are $10 each and can be reserved in advanced by calling Eric Connelly at (269) 535-3231 or Mary Sutter at (269) 760-1572; emailing:; or you can also message the Sturgis Civic Players on Facebook. Tickets can be purchased at the door while supplies last.

Seating is limited to 260 for each show, so get your tickets early. Glen Oaks Community College is located at 62249 Shimmel Rd., in Centreville, Mi. Parking is free.

GOCC Reid Leaverton, center, receives MACET award for Ag Equipment Tech program
Glen Oaks receives MACET award for Ag Equipment Technology program

Glen Oaks Community College is the recipient of a Special Project Award for its Agricultural Equipment Technology program. Presented by the Michigan Association of Continuing Education & Training, the award recognizes an outstanding educational service project which significantly advances the continuing development of the profession.

Reid Leaverton, instructor for the Ag Equipment Tech program, accepted the award at this year’s TRENDS Conference in Grand Rapids on October 24.

“We were pleased to receive this award,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president. “It’s been exciting watching this program come to fruition and grow.  It is the only such program in the state of Michigan.”

“Initial discussions about bringing the program to campus began in 2016,” said Devier. “West Michigan and Northern Indiana are the center of an immense agricultural economy. There’s a need for highly trained workers to service agricultural equipment.”

The program began in 2017 and many of the area farm equipment dealers and agriculture-related businesses were quick to jump on board with support, both in funding and through in-kind donations.

Students in agriculture studies programs on campus are now farming over 70 tillable acres of land. Glen Oaks is one of the very few colleges in the US with an on-campus farm operation carried out by students.

As the program completes its third year of operation, enrollment continues to grow. The development of this unique program, along with the construction of the new on-campus residence hall, has provided the college the opportunity attract students from a much wider region.

2018 Holiday Card and YouTube thumbnail of Norm Haas
Glen Oaks is recipient of two gold marketing awards

The Glen Oaks Community College Communications and Marketing Department is the recipient of two recent Gold awards.

For the second year in a row, Glen Oaks received a “Gold” award in the 34th Annual Educational Advertising Awards for the 2018 Glen Oaks Holiday Card titled “Winter Watercolor.” The cover of card depicted a snowy evening scene on the main campus entrance.

A national panel of education industry specialists reviewed all entered pieces, presenting gold, silver, bronze and merit awards based on creativity, marketing execution and message impact.

The college also received a Gold award in the College Promotional Brand Category from the District 3 Region – National Council of Marketing & Public Relations Association for the 2019 video: “Creating a Blueprint for the Future: Let’s Get Moving,” a video which debuted at the 2019 graduation. The video featured Norm Haas, the first chairman of the board of Glen Oaks Community College and addresses changes being made at the college.

The video was produced by Hype Brand Management, a Sturgis based marketing firm. It can be found on the Glen Oaks Youtube channel at: “Creating a Blueprint for the Future: Let’s Get Moving.”

The college’s Communications and Marketing team consists of Valorie Juergens, executive director of communications and marketing, and Lauren Weiderman, assistant director.

Phil Ward recognized by Phyllis Youga and Vonda Marrow
GOCC Foundation recognizes Dr. Phil Ward for 40 years of service

The Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Board recognized board member Dr. Phil Ward, left, for 40 years of service to the Foundation during its October meeting. He is pictured with Phyllis Youga, board president, and Vonda Marrow, executive director of the board. Phil, former president of Glen Oaks, and his wife, Isabella, have spearheaded and financially contributed to countless initiatives at the college.

Glen Oaks Foundation logo
Foundation accepting scholarship applications for 2020-21

The Glen Oaks Community College Foundation is accepting scholarship applications from new and returning Glen Oaks students for the 2020-21 academic year.

Through efforts of the Foundation, endowed scholarships and charitable cash gifts provide many students with financial assistance to pursue their education helping to change their lives in a positive way.

The Glen Oaks Community College Foundation reported that for the 2019-20 academic year, 53 students received over $69,713 in scholarships.

A link to the GOCC Foundation Scholarship application is on the Glen Oaks website at: Scholarship applications with all required materials must be submitted by 4 p.m., March 1, 2020.

To browse descriptions of the available scholarships, visit the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Scholarship link at:  Persons wishing to learn more about establishing a scholarship fund or contributing to an existing fund, should contact Vonda Marrow, executive director, Glen Oaks Community College Foundation, by calling (269) 294-4384, or email

Contact the GOCC Financial Aid Office with questions about financial assistance by calling (269) 294-4260. Office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Thursday and Friday, and 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nicole Noll-Williams from US Senator Gary Peters' office poses with GOCC Ag students for a photo
Representative from US Senator Peters’ office visits GOCC

Glen Oaks’ agricultural students posed for a photo during the soybean harvest with Nicole Noll-Williams, Mid-Michigan regional director for US Senator Gary Peters’ office. Noll-Williams also hopped on the combine, which was donated by GreenMark Equipment for the day, and rode in the cab for a loop around the field. Glen Oaks Community College is the only community college in the state of Michigan the offers the Agricultural Equipment Technology program. It is also the only community college in the state where students can obtain hands-on experience in farming right on the campus

Morgan Olson representatives recently visited Glen Oaks to learn how welding students are using donated scrap metal. From left: Alyse Bannister, GOCC welding instructor; Dr. David Devier, GOCC president; Eugene Yoder, Morgan Olson director of operations; Glen Oaks CTE welding students, Nick Solcum, of Mendon; Dwight Summey, of Centreville; and Noah Knontz, of Stugis; and Brent Butler, Morgan Olson director of human resources.
Glen Oaks receives metal donation from Morgan Olson for Welding program

Students in the welding program at Glen Oaks Community College are working with over 3,000 pounds of metal and aluminum recently donated by Morgan Olson.

“As you can imagine, the cost of metals for student projects is a large expense for the welding program. Our cost for the metal would have easily been over $2,000,” said Alyse Bannister, GOCC welding instructor.  “We are grateful for Morgan Olson for the donation as our students are able to practice more freely on cuts and welds on different types of metals throughout the semester.”

Morgan Olson, an aluminum vehicle company located in Sturgis, benefits as well in that the donated metal is considered scrap and would have otherwise been recycled.

“We are pleased we are able to help the welding program at the college,” said Eugene Yoder, director of operations at Morgan Olsen. “We frequently seek welders in our business and saw this donation as an opportunity for us to help to produce skilled welders in the county.”

Glen Oaks is one of the hosts for the St. Joseph County CTE Welding program of which 37 students are currently enrolled. In addition, there are 26 students enrolled in the Open-Entry/Open Exit welding program at the college.

The Glen Oaks program recently adopted the American welding society (AWS) SENSE Program, a comprehensive set of minimum standards and guidelines for Welding Education programs Students may earn up to 4 SENSE level certifications in Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Gas Medal Arc Welding, Flux Cored Arc Welding and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.