SMC student athletes come from 62 high schoool

Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Southwestern Michigan College’s Board of Trustees Oct. 12 heard a report on the academic impact of restoring National Junior College Athletic Association sports after a 25-year absence.

With 109 student athletes, including 10 bass anglers and six Ladybird dancers, the 68 men and 41 women come from 62 different high schools, including 78 in Michigan, 16 in Illinois, 13 in Indiana and one each from Kentucky and Texas.

Their academic majors are concentrated in general studies (23, or 21.2 percent), business (19, 17.5 percent), sports management (14, 12.8 percent) and construction trades (nine, 8.3 percent).

Seven are majoring in criminal justice and health services, with six pursuing industrial technology and five studying automotive technology.

Student athletes are also majoring in biology/medical pre-professional, elementary education, early childhood education, communications, entrepreneurship, graphic design, creative writing, engineering technology, environmental sciences, nursing and robotics as of Sept. 26, according to the report given by Vice President for Institutional Advancement Mike O’Brien.

Provost Dr. David Fleming, in a companion report, said SMC’s 56 programs show 611 students enrolled in general studies as a transition to something else. Another cluster would be 320 in health, related to nursing and other specialties. There are 176 business students and 65 in welding. Two-thirds of band and choir members major in something other than music.

“Of 383 June graduates, 310 are in 12 majors,” said President Dr. Joe Odenwald. “Ninety-two percent — 353 — are in 18 majors,” including general studies, health, business, education, criminal justice, sports management and automotive technology.

In other business, trustees reviewed projected health care insurance costs for the coming year. Trustees also accepted 18 gifts to the college totaling $6,875 and acknowledged $12,325 from 17 donations to the SMC Foundation.

“Music concerts are happening in the next couple of weeks,” Odenwald reminded the board as part of his president’s report.

The fall band concert, “Home,” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. Eric Oliphant and Michael Davis, SMC applied percussion and guitar instructors, will be featured.

The fall choir concert, “In Remembrance: Songs of Reflection and Nostalgia,” features the SMC Concert Choir, Select Voices, Men’s Ensemble and Chorllennium at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28, culminating in a collaboration with the St. Joseph High School choirs and chamber orchestra and Lake Michigan College choirs.

Performances are free, though donations benefiting visual and performing arts student groups are appreciated.

“Saturday,” Odenwald said, “our student athletes volunteered downtown, hosting games and giveaways for children at the Under the Harvest Moon festival. It’s imperative that our students, particularly our student athletes, be seen as people of high character and role models for young people, and we continue to see that.”

The board’s next regular meeting at 8 a.m. Nov. 9 takes place on the Niles campus.