The Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Board of Directors unveiled its newly installed Athletic Academic Recognition Wall on Thursday night in the lobby of the gym on the Glen Oaks campus. The wall features a display of panels listing Glen Oaks student-athletes who achieved academic recognition during their time on campus as designated by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). There are more than 100 names on the panels since the organizations began keeping records back in the 1990s.
The wall was made possible through the generosity of Anne and Jim Freiburger of Colon. The Freiburgers approached the Foundation in 2019 about creating a way to recognize student-athletes for their academic achievements; hence, the development of the wall.
The idea for the project came to the Freiburgers as they watched their grandson, Nicholas Keller, play baseball at Glen Oaks. When Nick achieved all state academic status, the Freiburgers realized nothing was in place to recognize students who achieve academic and athletic success.
They had seen this type of recognition wall at other community colleges and thought it was a great way to acknowledge student-athlete achievement off the playing field. They also believed that as students are being recruited, parents seeing academics was a priority at Glen Oaks would be an excellent recruiting tool for the athletic program.
During the two years the Freiburgers were part of the Glen Oaks athletics family, they gained first-hand knowledge of what the opportunity to attend Glen Oaks could provide for students. They established an endowed scholarship with the Glen Oaks Foundation. The Freiburger-Keller Families Scholarship pays for their tuition, fees, books and supplies. Since it began, the Freiburgers have helped numerous students pursue their educational goals.
Additionally, Jim joined the Foundation Board of Directors in 2017. He is in his second term and serves on the Scholarship and Nominating Committees.