LMC to present awards to outstanding alumni

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Lake Michigan College will honor two alumni with awards during the 69th annual commencement exercise being held at the LMC Mendel Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1.

The Alumni Service Award will be presented to Edward J. Todd of Muskegon. This award is given to alumni who have made important contributions, personally or professionally, to the community or Lake Michigan College.

The Clarence Beckwith Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Marilyn J. Stolberg, D.D.S. of Big Rapids. Named in honor of the first president of Lake Michigan College, the award is given to alumni who have accomplished significant personal and professional success.


Edward J. Todd

Edward J. Todd was born and spent his early childhood years in Muskegon, Michigan, moving to St. Joseph in 1947. He was a member of the 1953 St. Joseph High School state champion basketball team coached by Ray Haack, and he graduated in 1954. He attended Benton Harbor Community College (later Lake Michigan College) for two years, where he played basketball for Coach Gene Morgan. He completed his final two years of college at Western Michigan University, graduating with a degree in Business Administration. After graduation, Todd worked at his stepfather, Paul Suchovsky’s distribution business, West Michigan Wholesale and, later, at Paul’s nursery, the Hilltop Garden Center. When Suchovsky passed away in 2010, Todd became the Trustee of the Paul and Rose Suchovsky Charitable Trust.

Todd chose to attend LMC because it saved money to stay local for his first two years. He recognizes that today it is even more important to make educational decisions with value in mind, and Todd decided to give back to LMC for offering a smart choice. The Edward J. Todd Business Education and Resource Center will allow students, College faculty, and aspiring entrepreneurs to study, interact, and work to enhance their learning experience and maximize student exposure to leadership principles and practices.

As a former basketball player and a baseball fan, Todd is a historian of local sports and follower of the Detroit Lions and Tigers. He also collects classic cars and model cars, and is a sponsor of the Concours d’Elegance Car Show, where he will be the Grand Marshall in 2016.

Todd has been awarded the St. Joseph Public School Foundation’s first Distinguished Philanthropist Award for his generous support of scholarships and technology for the high school. He also supports the BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival, Mike Yore Memorial Car Show, The Heritage Museum, the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and scholarships for business students from Muskegon and Berrien counties to attend Western Michigan University. His passion for animal rescue leads him to support the Noah Project in Muskegon, a no-kill animal shelter, and he has taken in many rescue dogs, himself. He is currently living in Muskegon, but frequently visits his aunt, Christine Praskac, in St. Joseph, and will soon move to Stevensville.


Dr. Marilyn Stolberg

Dr. Marilyn Stolberg received her dental degree from Northwestern University Dental School and has devoted her professional career to dental education and public health service. She retired from Family Health Care in Baldwin, Michigan in 2013, where, as Chief Dental Officer, she was responsible for day-to-day management of three public health dental clinics. Much of her career has been guided by a deep compassion for the needs of those who have limited access to dental care. While at Family Health Care, she developed and managed mobile dental services in Lake and Newaygo counties’ elementary schools and Head Start/Early Head Start centers.

“Hopefully,” she says, “what we’ve done for these kids is establish that the most normal thing in the world is that they should go in and get a dental exam every six months and take care of themselves.”

Stolberg developed and managed Family Health Care’s portion of the University of Michigan Dental School’s fourth year dental and dental hygiene student internship experience. Prior to her time at Family Health Care, she taught and served as Dental Director and Program Director for two allied dental professions at Ferris State University.

Stolberg began her own education at Lake Michigan College, where Biology Professor Ralph Gies kindled her love for “the beauty and wonder of biology. I was intellectually challenged in both lectures and labs.”

Besides her Associate of Applied Science from LMC, she earned a Bachelor of Science from Olivet College, a Master of Arts from Western Michigan University, and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Northwestern University. She has received many accolades and awards for her work. She is a Fellow at the American College of Dentists and has been awarded the West Michigan District Dental Society “Silent Bell” Distinguished Service Award and the Michigan Primary Care Association Distinguished Service Award, among others.

Though retired from Family Health Care, she continues advocating for the dentally underserved through dental consulting and part-time clinical practice at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. She is a board member for the Mecosta-Osceola County American Red Cross Council, an Elder at the United Church of Big Rapids, and sings in the Big Rapids women’s choral group, Voca lyrica, She has two grown children, Andrew and Kajsa.