Chuck Wimberley, Keith McKenzie

Car dealer gives SMC $10,000

Published 11:45pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Monday night accepted a $10,000 donation from Chuck Wimberley. The money will be used for scholarship funds.
Wimberley, of Cassopolis, made the contribution based on the positive experience his daughter, Dakota had while attending SMC. Dakota Wimberley attended SMC for about two years and lived in the college’s on-campus student housing before transferring to Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Dakota received an academic scholarship from Ferris for this coming year.
“She is doing really, really well,” said Chuck of his daughter, who has a 3.86 GPA and is studying nursing at Ferris. “You nurtured her while she was here. She was even on the dean’s list.”
Wimberley said his daughter attended Western Michigan University after graduating from Paw Paw High School.
“But it just wasn’t the right fit for her,” said Wimberley, who owns C. Wimberley Auto Group in Dowagiac.
She came to SMC where she not only lived in the college’s student housing, but she also was employed at the college’s Student Activity Center as a student worker.
“The student worker program was a really positive experience for her,” Wimberley said. “We wanted her to learn responsibility. Now, she knows how to study and work hard academically.”
According to SMC President David Mathews, SMC’s student worker program prepares students for the real world of employment by requiring them to apply for a job online, including writing a resume and cover letter; participate in a full interview with the college’s staff, as well as being mentored by the college’s employees while working.
“She had such a great experience,” Wimberley said. “And I know so many people who can tell those stories as well. You made a great difference in her and I just wanted to give that back. I am so proud of SMC and proud to be associated with the college.”

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