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Past Recipients


2014 Alumni Award Recipients

Read about the 2014 Grand Awards recipients.

Alumni Service Award

Mr. Bruce Ransom Leech

Bruce Leech is known as a driving force and influential mentor for innumerable future entrepreneurs and business leaders through generously investing time and support to students and college initiatives. After earning his B.A. in Finance from Michigan State University in 1978, he earned an M.B.A. in Finance from DePaul University in 1981 and finished his education at Harvard Business School by completing the Owner/President Management Program in 2004. Leech founded CrossCom National in 1981, a voice and data services company that supports Fortune 500 retailers including WalMart, Blockbuster, Ann Taylor, ToysRUs, Cosco and TJ Maxx. He also foundedevolveusa.org, a non-profit membership organization that assists executives with succession and transition planning. He is a generous supporter of t he Eli Broad College of Business, and has played a significant role in guiding the entrepreneurship programs at Michigan State University and mentoring students through the Broad Career Coach Program. He is also active in alumni efforts in his home community of Chicago, serving as a member of the Founders' Council of the Broad Business Alumni Network of Chicago. Additionally, Leech is a leading member on the World Vision Council of Chicago, a faith-based organization committed to lifting children around the world from a life of poverty. He is also a board Member of Solidarity Bridge, Mission Program to Bolivia and an Advisory Board member of Living Water International. Following in the footsteps of his father, also a past recipient of the Broad College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, Leech demonstrates the Spartan value of hardworking excellence daily to his two children, both current MSU students.

Mr. James C Williams

James C. Williams received his B.A. in Social Science from Michigan State University in 1971 and currently serves as the president of Williams Distributing, a Michigan-based company that provides kitchen and bath, heating, ventilation and air conditioning products to businesses and home owners in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Williams has a long and distinguished record of service to the West Michigan community. He has served as board chairman of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, board chair of Celebration on the Grand, president of the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a board member on the Cascade Community Foundation Board, as chairman of the Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation, board member for the Grand Rapids Rotary Charities Foundation and as a member of the Porter Hills Board of Directors. He created the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Sue and Jim Williams Donor Advised Fund, and has made a significant investment in MSU. He is a Grand Rapids Community Foundation Lifetime Partner in Philanthropy and has received the 2013 North Star Distinguished Citizen on the Year. In 2014, the MSU Club of West Michigan named him the MSU Business Person of the Year. Williams consistently represents Michigan State University with honor and integrity through his business dealings and prominent community involvement, setting an impressive example for all with whom he comes in contact.


Distinguished Alumni Award

LtGen. Judith Ann Fedder

Dr. Patricia M LoRusso D.O.

Ms. Micheline Ann Maynard


Philanthropist Award

Dr. Donald F Koch Ph.D.

Donald Koch and Barbara Sawyer-Koch have given of themselves tirelessly to Michigan State University for many years. Donald is a professor emeritus of philosophy and Barbara a 1990 M.P.A. graduate of the College of Social Science who spent 16 years as a member of the MSU Board of Trustees. In addition to their volunteer work on behalf of the university, the Kochs have made significant investments to help further MSU's research, collaborative strengths and global reach in identifying and implementing solutions to increase environmental sustainability. The Kochs have established 'The Fate of the Earth Endowment' at MSU, crafted to take advantage of interdisciplinary efforts to harness knowledge among MSU faculty and students with insights from worldclass environmental scholars sharing technological, ethical and policy perspectives. Their endowment will bring noted world scholars to MSU to speak to students and faculty about sustainability, with programs recorded for sharing worldwide. The endowment will also identify cross disciplinary faculty experts who will be called upon to provide an environmental perspective for a diverse selection of campus courses and will support the Donald Koch Distinguished Lectureships held annually. In alignment with their endowment, the Kochs established the Koch Environmental Studies Spartan Scholarship Challenge award in 2010 as a needs-based scholarship for freshman and sophomore students. Through their estate plans, they will establish a special endowment fund for the MSU Library, a scholarship fund in the College of Osteopathic Medicine for students committed to serving rural Michigan and a supplemental discretionary fund to the Office of the Provost. In 2010, the Kochs funded the Ruth Jameyson Above and Beyond Award that supports non-academic staff members who are pursuing a postbaccalaureate degree. Additionally, they have made gifts to fund glass displays in the main MSU Library, an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award, the Jazz Studies program and WKAR.

Mrs. Barbara J Sawyer-Koch

Donald Koch and Barbara Sawyer-Koch have given of themselves tirelessly to Michigan State University for many years. Donald is a professor emeritus of philosophy and Barbara a 1990 M.P.A. graduate of the College of Social Science who spent 16 years as a member of the MSU Board of Trustees. In addition to their volunteer work on behalf of the university, the Kochs have made significant investments to help further MSU's research, collaborative strengths and global reach in identifying and implementing solutions to increase environmental sustainability. The Kochs have established 'The Fate of the Earth Endowment' at MSU, crafted to take advantage of interdisciplinary efforts to harness knowledge among MSU faculty and students with insights from worldclass environmental scholars sharing technological, ethical and policy perspectives. Their endowment will bring noted world scholars to MSU to speak to students and faculty about sustainability, with programs recorded for sharing worldwide. The endowment will also identify cross disciplinary faculty experts who will be called upon to provide an environmental perspective for a diverse selection of campus courses and will support the Donald Koch Distinguished Lectureships held annually. In alignment with their endowment, the Kochs established the Koch Environmental Studies Spartan Scholarship Challenge award in 2010 as a needs-based scholarship for freshman and sophomore students. Through their estate plans, they will establish a special endowment fund for the MSU Library, a scholarship fund in the College of Osteopathic Medicine for students committed to serving rural Michigan and a supplemental discretionary fund to the Office of the Provost. In 2010, the Kochs funded the Ruth Jameyson Above and Beyond Award that supports non-academic staff members who are pursuing a postbaccalaureate degree. Additionally, they have made gifts to fund glass displays in the main MSU Library, an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award, the Jazz Studies program and WKAR.


Young Alumni Award

Mr. Travis Bernard Key

Mr. Kurt Charles Rothhaar

Mr. Nathan Andrew Triplett