LETTER: McKenzie, Obren deserve continued support

Published 9:07 am Monday, October 15, 2018

Everything changes…except for principles. Principles remain the same. The people of southwestern Michigan are fortunate that Southwestern Michigan College was founded on strong principles and a solid belief. The idea from the very beginning was that SMC would exist to provide local affordable access to high-quality post-secondary career preparation and college education.

Over the years, the performance and results of the students at SMC have been truly outstanding. The combined graduation and transfer rates are higher than state and national averages compared to other community colleges, and yet the annual tuition is less than half the cost of most four-year universities. With the addition of on-campus housing, students have the “total college life experience” available to them at less than half the cost of a state university. In addition to these stats, something that is very impressive to me, are the programs of the theater, choir and music.

I know that the current leadership keeps the founding principles in mind as they work to prepare for the future. They are working hard to upgrade all buildings and construction has already begun on a $9.6 million Nursing and Health Education Building renovation and expansion. In 2014, the Niles Campus received a complete renovation.

Overall, I believe the remarkable success of Southwestern Michigan College has been a result of true and consistent leadership, a “continuity of leadership.” I am very proud of all the opportunities available at Southwestern Michigan College — and the success provided by the past and present leadership of SMC.

Everyone at SMC is doing a great job, and as such, they have earned our respect and deserve our support. Therefore, I hope all your readers will join me in supporting Trustee incumbents Keith McKenzie and Todd Obren for re-election.

Karen Judd