Couple donates $48,000 to SMC

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Southwestern Michigan College Board Vice Chairman Keith McKenzie (right) is shown with Cliff and Mary Poehlman of Cassopolis. (Photo submitted)

Cliff and Mary Poehlman, life-long Cass County residents, have donated $48,000 to Southwestern Michigan College to establish an endowed scholarship fund for the college’s Student Worker Program. The college will match up to $25,000 of the scholarship, creating a $73,000 fund for the program.

“The college is right here in Cass County,” said Cliff, who a member of the Cass County Road Commission and chairman of the Howard Township Planning and Zoning boards. “It is better to have the money go back into the community.”

Cliff is a member of the Cass County and Michigan Farm Bureau organizations and served as president of the county Farm Bureau for four years as well as on various committees with the Michigan Farm Bureau. He also served the organization at the federal level and was chairman of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Services, now called the Farm Services Agency, for nine years.

In addition to farming, the couple operates a marl mining service. Mary retired from Midwest Energy in Cassopolis after 30 years of employment. The couple has two sons and two daughters.

“Over the past year, Southwestern Michigan College has expanded and professionalized the college’s student worker program,” said SMC President David Mathews. “Last semester, a total of 211 students were employed in 28 different departments on campus.”