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Current Recipients


2017 Alumni Award Recipients

Alumni Service Award

Dr. Donald Winston Maine

Dr. Donald Maine received a BA from MSU's College of Education in 1965 and his MA in 1972. He served as chancellor of Davenport College (now University) for nearly a quarter of a century. During this time, Maine spearheaded the growth of Davenport as it transitioned from a two-year college to a graduate level university, becoming one of the first universities in the country to offer online undergraduate and graduate degree completion programs, plus several MBA programs. Maine has been an important voice and contributor to West Michigan's rapidly emerging health and medical community. In addition, he's served on boards for the Van Andel Institute, the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, Opera Grand Rapids, the Van Andel Public Museum, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Rapids Economic Club, the Van Andel Institute, and Grand Action. In 1999, Maine received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the MSU Alumni Association. In 2016, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Maine and his wife, Kathleen, also served as leaders for the development of the Secchia Center in Grand Rapids, helping to secure over $40 million in funding. His commitment to academics and student growth represent Maine's strong feeling that it is important to give back to MSU, as it started him on a lifelong successful career path. They have made numerous generous contributions to the university because they believe in the outstanding future of MSU as a global leader. Additionally, the Maines currently serve as volunteers for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.

Mrs. Margaret A Morrow

Margaret (Midge) Morrow received her BA from the College of Education in 1972 and served the Detroit community as an educator for many years, in addition to working for a number of years as a corporate treasurer. Over time, Midge has also championed educational development in her community through volunteer work with Orchard Lake Our Lady of Refuge Parish, Walled Lake Schools, Commerce Township Schools, and the Michigan Metro Girl Scout Council. She is also very active in support of Michigan State University, working with the 4-H Children's Garden and Horticultural Gardens, the Office of International Students and Scholars, and as an instructor for MSU Grandparents University. Together, Midge and her husband, Mike, have donated and pledged over $300,000 in support of various campus initiatives, such as the Social Science Scholars Charlie Waller Endowed Scholarship Fund, the 4-H Children's Gardens, and the Michael and Margaret Morrow Student Enrichment Fund in the College of Music. They currently serve as volunteers for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.

Mr. Michael R Morrow

Michael Morrow received a BS from the College of Social Science in 1972 and is currently the owner of MBG Associates, LLC, a business development consulting firm in the rubber industry. Michael has a long history of volunteer service to his community, including work through the Sports Car Club of America, the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, Orchard Lake Our Lady of Refuge Parish, East Lansing St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, and the Whitehills Lakes Homeowners Association. He has also served on many MSU alumni boards, including the College of Social Science Alumni Board of Directors and Board of Visitors, and the MSU Alumni Association International Advisory Board. Additionally, he was appointed by the MSU Foundation as one of the charter members of the Southeast Michigan Regional Development Authority, subsequently renamed the Detroit Area Development Council. Together, Mike and his wife, Midge, have donated and pledged over $300,000 in support of various campus initiatives, such as the Social Science Scholars Charlie Waller Endowed Scholarship Fund, the 4-H Children's Gardens, and the Michael and Margaret Morrow Student Enrichment Fund in the College of Music. They currently serve as volunteers for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.


Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha M.D., M.P.H.

Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, obtained her MD from the MSU College of Human Medicine in 2002 and a general university Honorary Degree in 2016. She is currently the director of Hurley Children's Hospital's Pediatric Residency Program and an acting MSU Assistant Professor at the College of Human Medicine Flint. A Michigan native, Hanna-Attisha grew up in Royal Oak and first fell in love with pediatrics during her clinical years as a medical student at MSU. After completing her residency and chief residency at Children's Hospital of Michigan, she earned a master's degree in public health, concentrating in health management and policy, at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. Hanna-Attisha was an assistant professor for Wayne State University's Department of Pediatrics and an associate director of the Children's Hospital of Michigan Pediatric Residency Program prior to returning to Hurley. In addition to educating the next generation of physicians, Hanna-Attisha now directs the MSU and Hurley Children's Hospital Public Health Initiative, an innovative public health program dedicated to researching, monitoring, and mitigating solutions. Through her work, Hanna-Attisha spearheaded the discovery of lead in Flint's drinking water in 2014. Since then, she has worked tirelessly alongside her colleagues to minimize and abolish the impact of lead as a result of the ongoing Flint water crisis.

Mrs. Earleatha Johnson

Earleatha Johnson received her BS from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 1981. Since her tenure at MSU, Earleatha, better known as Cookie, has become a New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur. Her best-selling novel Believing in Magic chronicles the pivotal moments of her marriage, motherhood, and growth in the wake of her husband's HIV announcement. In 2009, Johnson launched her own fashion line, CJ by Cookie Johnson; a sophisticated, premium denim brand featuring innovative styles that celebrate femininity while filling a void in the denim marketplace. In addition to her personal venture and success, Johnson's work extends heavily into philanthropy as she spreads the word about HIV/AIDS. She works to help reduce new HIV infections in underserved communities, educating minority women about the disease and providing helpful tools for prevention and testing. She is currently positioned as the Magic Johnson Foundation's secretary of the board of directors. Johnson and her husband, Earvin, recently provided financial support for the development of Spartan Stadium's North End Zone addition and serve as volunteers for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.

Mr. Earvin Johnson

Having left the basketball court for the boardroom, Earvin 'Magic' Johnson has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity from the court into the business world as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). MJE provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities. With his continued love of basketball, Johnson is utilizing those same skills and bringing his winning spirit in his recent role as the President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, working closely with ownership throughout all areas of the franchise.Still a commanding presence in popular culture, Johnson made history in 2012 when he became co-owner of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers. He also co-owns the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA and Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Football Club. He continues to expand his influence through his many businesses that include: EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, ASPiRE, an African-American television network and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company.The Lansing native is constantly evolving and remaining relevant in a dynamic digital age by broadening his scope into infrastructure and technology. Through a newly formed fund, Johnson is investing more than $1 billion dollars on infrastructure improvement in the United States. He is also one of the leading investors in a number of minority-owned tech companies that include Unchartered Play, a company dedicated to producing clean power energy-generating play products; ShotTracker, a company that makes wearable technology for basketball players that helps track player and ball movement; Jopwell, a diversity and hiring recruiting platform; Walker & Co Brands, a company that develops health and beauty products for people of color; and MiT, the Latino-fueled media brand and digital network that connects thousands of Latin content creators with viewers around the world. Johnson, who serves as Chairman and Founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, also continues his commitment to transform Urban America through HIV/AIDS Awareness and educational programs. Remaining true to his humble Lansing beginnings, he is unwaveringly dedicated to working with major corporations and partners to bring jobs and high quality products and services to underserved communities.

Mr. Craig Albert Menear

Craig Menear earned a BA from MSU's Eli Broad College of Business in 1979 and is currently chairman, CEO, and president of The Home Depot, the world's largest home-improvement retailer. Menear brings decades of product, supply chain, online, and marketing expertise to his role during a time when the retail landscape is rapidly changing. He champions The Home Depot's unique culture by reinforcing the company's servant leadership style of management where the CEO works to support and empower associates and customers, not the other way around. Under his leadership, The Home Depot Foundation has committed $250 million by 2020 to veteran-related causes. Before joining The Home Depot in 1997, Menear served in various roles with retailers such as IKEA, Builders Emporium, Grace Home Centers, and Montgomery Ward in addition to previously operating his own independent retail business. He currently serves on the board of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, a group of CEOs and leaders from Atlanta's private sector, universities, and nonprofits who work with the Atlanta mayor to foster economic investment and community engagement in the city. Menear also serves as a volunteer for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.


Honorary Alumni Award

Mr. Thomas Nelson Luccock C.P.A.

After degrees from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, Thomas Luccock began his career as an auditor for Arthur Andersen in 1973. In 1976 he began a 23-year career with Occidental Petroleum, advancing to corporate manager of Internal Audit. Along the way, he obtained Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designations. In 2000, Luccock joined the Spartan family when he was hired to serve as director of Internal Audit and subsequently senior advisor to the president. In 2015, Luccock retired from his position, during which he mentored more than 25 student interns and established scholarships in accounting, music, and swimming. Luccock also co-founded Campus Colleagues, a multi-cultural business program. His legacy continues to grow as he displays leadership through means of volunteerism, mentoring, philanthropy, and general support for higher education at MSU. In addition to his accomplishments at MSU, Luccock is a driving force in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he's chaired the American Heart Association Board and the University of Oklahoma's Accounting Board of Visitors. His involvement earned him the Paragon Award from Leadership Tulsa in 2002 and the Association of College and University Auditors National Outstanding Professional Contributions Award in 2013. Currently, Luccock is on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Internal Auditor magazine, the Library Board at the University of Oklahoma, the MSU Faculty, Staff and Retiree Giving Advisory Cabinet, and serves as a volunteer for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.


Philanthropist Award

Dr. Thomas Patrick Yunck Ph.D.

Dr. Thomas Yunck holds a BSEE from Princeton University and a PhD from Yale University, and is the founder of GeoOptics, Inc. where he currently serves as its chairman and chief technical officer. Previously, he served as its chief executive officer and president. Prior to GeoOptics, Inc., Yunck served as the chairman of the Foundation for Earth Science and as a research manager for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is an inductee into the Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame. In 1988, Yunck wrote the first proposal for exploiting GPS signals to sound the Earth's atmosphere for weather and climate applications. His research has helped pioneer the domestic and consumer usage of GPS technology. Since his initial proposal, he's been involved in every aspect of the development and validation of GPS for atmospheric sounding. In addition, Yunck holds the basic patent on the 'state space' approach to Wide Area Differential GPS positioning, which has grown into a $100 million per year industry. Yunck has a lifelong bond with mid-Michigan and MSU. Raised in Okemos, his parents, John and Ruth, both attended the university as undergraduates. In honor of his late parents, Yunck created endowment scholarships to support English students. In 2016, he granted MSU a $10.5 million bequest, which will be used toward his family's endowments, such as: The John and Ruth Yunck Family Endowed Professorship in Comparative Literature, the Yunck Family Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies, the Yunck Family Endowed Postdoctoral Research Fund, and the Yunck Family Endowment for Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. Through this gift, Yunck has committed his intentions to direct a large portion of his estate to MSU through a charitable bequest. Yunck has also served as a volunteer for MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.


Young Alumni Award

Mr. Joel Gregory Clum

Joel Clum received a BA in Finance from MSU's Eli Broad College of Business in 2008, graduating with honors. In 2016, he was named the chief operations officer of Worldwide Express, a third-party logistics firm that provides services to small to medium-sized businesses. His core areas of focus include operations, acquisition integrations, and strategic infrastructure initiatives for the company's more than 60 locations across the country. Previously, Clum had served the company as senior vice president of Operations, where he led initiatives to begin the firm's acquisition integration efforts.Since graduating from MSU, Clum has built a strong suite of experiences through his work with multiple Fortune 500 clients, start-ups and private equity-backed companies. He previously held executive roles with CarrierDirect, where he was a core part of its growth to become a leading advisory firm to companies in the transportation industry. Clum began his career as a consultant with Accenture Strategy in the U.S., Europe, and China.Community-based initiatives continue to be a major focus for Clum in the Dallas area with Worldwide, where he and the company have been involved in numerous programs to improve the community. At MSU, he led a non-profit consulting group, Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations (SCNO), and as an alumnus supported its expansion to universities across the country. In addition, Clum was one of 15 finance alumni classmates to provide funding to endow MSU's Financial Markets Institute, and has also provided support to the Broad College Pavilion.

Mr. Jonathan David Kirkland

Jonathan Kirkland, who received a BA from the College of Music at MSU in 2010, is stepping onto stages nationwide as a performing artist; recently performing with the Chicago Company of 'Hamilton.' The worldwide phenomenon created by award-winning playwright, Lin-Manuel Miranda, uses a diverse cast to creatively shed light on American history. During his time at MSU, Kirkland devoted his full attention to the study of music under the guidance of Professor of Voice Richard Fracker, chair of the MSU Vocal Arts area. His dedication has led him to great success, having since performed in Houston's The Ensemble Theatre's production of the African American Shakespeare Festival's rendition of 'Cinderella,' 'Show Boat' with the Houston Grand Opera, and as a national tour member of Wynton Marsalis' 'Abyssinian.' In 2014, Kirkland made his television debut on NBC's hit show, 'Shades of Blue.' Prior to performing with the Chicago Company of 'Hamilton,' he performed onstage in regional and off-Broadway productions of 'Sister Act,' 'Generations,' and 'Cabin in the Sky.'

Mr. Kaleb I. Thornhill

After receiving a BA from MSU's Eli Broad College of Business in 2007, Kaleb Thornhill continued his education at MSU by obtaining an MS in kinesiology, sports administration in 2009. Thornhill was a member of the MSU Football team, playing middle linebacker. The four-year letterman was named a four-time All-Academic Big Ten selection and elected team captain in 2007. He also earned MSU's Potsy Ross Scholar/Athlete Award. Thornhill currently serves as the director of Player Engagement for the NFL's Miami Dolphins, where he aims to foster improvements for player relations in the areas of social interaction, family dynamics, personal growth, and more. Thornhill challenges NFL players to become lifelong learners and obtain skills that extend beyond their time on the playing field. Thornhill extends his focus of education to APEX Academy, located in East Lansing, of which he is the co-founder and executive director. APEX focuses on helping under-resourced student athletes by leveraging characteristics acquired through sports to accomplish their personal goals. Primarily oriented for football players, the company provides students with access to education, mentorship, and leadership development tools.