Kalamazoo Valley Community College

KVCC Foundation News Editor, MPI Exec Join Foundation Board

Editor, MPI Exec Join Foundation Board

The editor of the Kalamazoo Gazette and the chief operating officer of MPI Research in Mattawan have been appointed to the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation Board of Trustees.

Rebecca Pierce and Bill Harrison will join the 17-member board Oct. 29, replacing Bill Hoenes and Richard Olivanti who have both served the maximum of three three-year terms.

            Harrison, who joined MPI Research in 1993, is responsible for  the daily operations at the business that focuses on the pre-clinical and early-clinical research needs of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical-device, animal-health and agri-chemical industries. Prior to that, he was director of regulatory affairs and operations at what is now Pharmaco LSR.  

A graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology where he majored in biomedical engineering, Harrison, who also serves on the governing board of MRC Industries, has more than 25 years of experience in contract laboratories.

Pierce, an alumna of the University of Michigan who was raised in the Detroit area, was named the Gazette’s first female editor in its 172-year history in August of 2000 and only its fourth editor since 1912.

She first came to Kalamazoo as a reporter in 1984, covering education, the courts, and local government.  After a short stint at the Bay City Times to gain managerial experience, she returned to Kalamazoo as the daily’s metro editor responsible for local coverage.

            Other members of the board are Ed Bernard, David Jarl, Albert Little, Michele Marquardt, Catherine Metzler, Jerry Miller, John Saunders, David Tomko, James Weber, T. Kenneth Young, and Carolyn Williams with Dawnanne Corbit serving as chairwoman, Jeff Gardner as vice chairman, Charles Wattles as treasurer and Larry Leuth as secretary.

The foundation was established in 1980 to enhance educational opportunities and the learning environment for KVCC students, faculty, staff and affiliated entities. With nearly $8 million in assets, it supports and promotes academic, literary and scientific activities.

The KVCC Foundation annually provides more than $300,000 in grants and scholarships.

In recent years, it has provided financial assistance to restore, expand and technically upgrade a building in downtown Kalamazoo to become the home of KVCC’s Center for New Media, support the college’s Honors Program that involves an average of 30 to 35 students each academic year, support educational programs at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, upgrade laboratories and the use of technology in the teaching of physics and  chemistry, and providing special assistance to minority and non-traditional students who face unique problems when focusing on their educational goals.

For more information about the KVCC Foundation and its funding opportunities, contact executive director Steve Doherty at 488-4442.

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