Port Huron resident Betty M. (Large) Raetzel was named the recipient of the 2023 St. Clair County Community College (SC4) Distinguished Alumni of the Year award.
Raetzel earned an Associate of Arts from the College—then known as Port Huron Junior College—in 1945. While a student, she participated in the College’s Assembly Board, the International Relations Club and as a Triton yearbook staff member.
“I fondly remember studying in the Maccabees building with primarily female classmates, as the majority of male students were proudly serving our country in World War II,” Raetzel said. “I feel very fortunate to have attended the College and credit it and its educators for my professional success in life.”
Upon graduating, she went on to own and operate a successful family retail shoe business with her husband in downtown Port Huron for 50 years. Throughout the years, Raetzel has demonstrated positive, unwavering support and advocacy for the College in the community.
“The College is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023 and honoring an alumna who graduated 78 years ago,” said Dr. Karen Niver, chair of the SC4 Board of Trustees. “That’s pretty remarkable and speaks to our rich history of successful alumni and our mission of providing access to quality higher education. Betty has given back to this College and its students in many ways over the years and we are thrilled to honor her legacy.”
SC4 has recognized a Distinguished Alumni of the Year since 1986. Former recipient Randy Fernandez (2018) was present at a reception honoring Raetzel on Thursday and offered his congratulations.
“I’m very happy to be here to honor Betty Raetzel as the 2023 SC4 Distinguished Alumni of the Year,” said Fernandez. “I’ve known the family for many years with Raetzel’s Shoe Store in downtown Port Huron. It’s just an honor and privilege to be here to honor such a special alumna who was in one of our beloved College’s earliest graduating classes.”
Pictured at top in back row from left to right: Acting President/Chief Operating Officer Kirk Kramer, SC4 Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Karen Niver, Dennis Raetzel. Betty M. (Large) Raetzel pictured with award.