Archived Story

Letter to the editor: SMC chairman on Briegel building

Published 12:55pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In the news release two weeks ago announcing the naming of a building after Southwestern Michigan College’s fifth president, David C. Briegel, I inadvertently made an omission when discussing supervision of the extensive construction projects over the past 15 years.

I want to correct that omission.

Following President Briegel’s 1998 retirement, and after 31 years as chief business officer and president, Mr. Briegel returned and became a part-time special projects administrator involved in numerous projects assigned by the presidents.

The 15 years Mr. Briegel served in that part-time position, from 1998 to 2013, was a time of extensive construction at SMC.

This required staff persons to oversee these projects.

I neglected to state that in addition to Mr. Briegel, Terry Harris was also a very key person in those projects.

Mr. Harris, during that period, was the college’s construction supervisor on residence halls one and two and the expansion and remodeling of the Zollar, Kairis and Wood buildings.

I apologize to Mr. Harris for that omission.

Mr. Harris did a great job as construction supervisor on projects he oversaw.

Some of the activities former President Briegel was engaged in during those 15 years of part-time service were construction supervision on residence hall three, the new college bookstore in the former museum building, the one-stop Student Service Center, The Alumni Plaza and new entrances on Cherry Grove and Dailey roads.

Also during that period, Mr. Briegel did fundraising, lobbying and numerous other high-level projects.

We appreciate everyone, named and not named, who played a part in this transformational, high-quality construction on campus, which made Southwestern Michigan College one of the most attractive, functional and efficient college campuses in the nation.

The facilities are matched only by the college’s superior academic programs and service to students.

Thanks to the many, many SMC people and others whose hard work and dedication made all this happen.

Dr. Fred L. Mathews

Chairman, Board of Trustees

Southwestern Michigan College

Dowagiac

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