GCC hosts 18th annual Celebration of Achievements Banquet


Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

GOGEBIC COMMUNITY College honors four alumni at the GCC Foundation’s 18th Annual Celebration of Achievements Banquet on Thursday evening. From left are Ken Bowman, GCC Foundation President Charlene Newhouse, Mary Paoli, Marsha Lucas, David Lucas and GCC President James Lorenson.

IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — Gogebic Community College Foundation celebrated its 18th annual Celebration of Achievements Banquet Thursday evening at the David Lindquist Student Center on the GCC campus. Four were honored.

David J. Lucas, PhD., and Marsha (Erickson) Lucas, Class of 1973, were named Distinguished Alumni. A husband and wife team, they “strive to create opportunities for others personally and professionally,” said GCC President James Lorenson.

David Lucas quoted Isaac Newton in acceptance of his award: “I’ve seen farther because I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants.” Lucas added that everybody that finds success in life does so because “someone helps you get there. GCC was the foundation of our education, and it was easily as good as the first and second year at any four-year university.”

Mary Lucas quoted Plato: “A work well begun is half ended,” adding that GCC gave both she and her husband that. The Lucases went on to Michigan State University and Michigan Technological University. David Lucas was the first student at MTU to earn a Ph.D in physics. Since 1986, the husband and wife team has been educators at Northern Michigan University.

Ken Bowman was honored as Distinguished Faculty Member.

“When I travel to other schools, I see that our team is every bit as good as those at any other college in the United States,” Lorenson said. “Ken Bowman epitomizes all that is good about learning at GCC. Following his globe-trotting military career, he took up a second career teaching, and was known for his rapport with students and being willing to go the extra mile.”

Bowman followed the Lucases precedent while accepting his award, quoting his wif, Barbara, who had told him to “get up, speak up, hurry up, then shut up.” Bowman said that his years teaching at GCC were the favorite part of his career, with some of his children and grandchildren attending GCC.

Mary (Gentile) Paoli was honored as Outstanding Foundation Board Member. An alumnus of Gogebic Junior College, Paoli served on the board since 1983. Of her experience on the board, Paoli said she enjoyed the foresight of other board members, as well as their positivity.

“With the support of alumni and friends we will meet future challenges,” Paoli said.


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