Twenty-two high-achieving graduates of Southwestern Michigan College have been inducted into Alpha Beta Gamma, the international community college business honor society. They represent the latest group of SMC's growing population of honors students.
Gamma Nu chapter of ABG is SMC’s fourth opportunity for students to earn honors distinction, along with Sigma Psi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges; Psi Beta, the national community college psychology honor society; and SMC’s homegrown Honors Program.
Using color-coded candles symbolizing the ideals of Alpha Beta Gamma, initiates Victoria Knight, Ileona Geroux and Sandy Hernandez spoke on the qualities of scholarship (gold), leadership (red) and cooperation (white) during the ceremony April 18 in Mathews Conference Center West on SMC’s Dowagiac campus.
“Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet,” Knight said. “Alpha also means the beginning. As initiates, we are beginning a new phase of our educational and professional careers. In astronomy, Alpha represented the brightest star in the heavens. You, as prospective Alpha Beta Gamma members, are the brightest stars of your respective programs at this college. Like the brightest stars, you are expected to radiate and share your knowledge and brilliance with others, just as the brightest star is used to navigate on the high seas.”
President Dr. David Mathews presented honor stoles, and Vice President of Instruction Dr. David Fleming awarded membership diplomas as Dr. Stacy Young, Dean of the School of Business and Advanced Technology, introduced initiates. Each initiate lit a green candle from the gold, red or white candles, designating the color representing their principal ideal.
Initiates include: Lauren Cook, accounting; Andrea Dienes, medical assisting; Brooke Essig, accounting; Jeremy Freed, business; Ileona Geroux, construction trades-green technology; Zachary Goodman, graphic design technology; Lauren-Kate Harner, business; Sandy Hernandez, medical assisting; Katie Jones, business; Hakeem King, business; Mikayla King, graphic design technology; Victoria Knight, construction trades-green technology; Michaella Lei-Sam, communications; Allison Lillo, business; Ryan Papai, communications; Megan Plasterer, graphic design technology; Cali Rank, business; Seth Rosendall, information technology-networking; Kelsey Weaver, graphic design technology; Hannah Wilson, business; Keondia Woodley, medical assisting; and Sarah Wright, graphic design technology.
“We thought this would honor good business students by allowing them to tap into transfer scholarships,” advisor Leon Letter said. More than $500,000 in scholarships for four-year degrees is reserved for ABG members. Members can also attend an annual conference to network and hone their presentation skills. ABG, established in 1970 in Manchester, Conn., has 35,000 members at 140 colleges, said Letter, an attorney who teaches business law.
On behalf of the chapter, Letter also gave special recognition to Dr. Young and Joanne Strebeck, retiring Business Department chair.