SC4 alumni honor parents, support future generations with scholarships and grants

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) alumni Martha Foley and Dan Fredendall recently created the Therese A. Foley Student Assistance Fund and the Eileen M. and Lawrence D. Fredendall Scholarship Fund—as well as provided grants for the Challenger Learning Center at SC4 and other student support initiatives—to honor the lives and legacies of their parents.

“They were all such strong, selfless and caring role models,” said Martha, who met Dan at SC4 before they both transferred to Michigan State University. “They were committed to advancing the well-being of others within the Blue Water area. These scholarships and grants honor their work and ‘pay-it-forward’ commitment to others.”

Martha’s mother, Therese, was the youngest of 11 children from the east side of Detroit, who became a devoted mother of six, a registered nurse, and an environmental and public health activist, finishing her career as a clinical nursing instructor at SC4. Her father, Maurice was altruistic and driven, attended Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario after high school, served in the Navy during WWII, then finished his bachelor’s degree from Assumption after the war. After early jobs in the Fenton area, Maurice started working as a teacher. He taught middle school mathematics in Detroit and Port Huron schools for almost 35 years, served as supervisor of Fort Gratiot Township for eight years in the 1980s, and was active in the Society of St Vincent de Paul for decades.

Eileen Fredendall, born in Port Huron, was a committed mother of nine, a registered nurse and a community volunteer. Dan’s father, Lawrence, came to Port Huron from Iowa after high school. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and was the first in his family line to go to college. After marrying Eileen, he earned an associate degree from Port Huron Junior College (SC4) under the GI Bill while working full time. An entrepreneur, Lawrence owned or managed a variety of businesses and finished his career with Serve-All Appliance. He was most proud of his work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, including revitalizing the stores in the greater metro Detroit area, and was instrumental in launching the Blue Water Community Food Depot.

Their parents had similar backgrounds and experiences and, unbeknownst to Martha and Dan, they knew each other before Martha and Dan met. Both mothers attended three-year, hospital-based nursing degree programs as United States Cadet Nurse Corps, finishing just after WWII ended. Their fathers were both involved at their parish churches in community outreach and knew each other through their work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

“They all poured themselves out to others,” Dan said. “Whether that was in the hospital, the classroom, taking someone into their home, or in the community, they gave others the best of themselves, even when it may have been difficult. There was always someone else who needed more and they helped provide it.”

By creating these scholarships and grants through the SC4 Foundation held at the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, Martha and Dan are following in their parents’ footsteps and encouraging future generations to do the same. They both recognize that community college is an important bridge for many students to make the transition between high school graduation and success in a bachelor’s degree at the university level, particularly for a first-generation college student.

The Therese A. Foley Student Assistance Fund and the Eileen M. and Lawrence D. Fredendall Scholarship Fund will be awarded in perpetuity to SC4 students pursuing nursing or a STEM-related program. The grants will support access to missions at the Challenger Learning Center at SC4 as well as potential tuition assistance for disadvantaged students, Skip’s Corner Pantry support, ad hoc student assistance for one-time unanticipated events or housing support.

“We are beyond grateful to Martha and Dan for their generous support,” said Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, SC4 president. “It’s clear Martha and Dan’s parents were incredible individuals and role models for their families and communities. Thanks to their parents’ example, they are now doing the same for a whole new generation of students. The impact of their parents’ lives and work will continue to be felt for years to come.”

Community Foundation Vice President Jackie Hanton added, “Martha and Dan were thoughtful and impact-driven with their major gift. They were able to make a bigger impact on future students because they gifted stock. When appreciated stock is gifted, the donors do not have to pay capital gains tax. It is truly a win-win that will have lasting implications in the lives of so many future students.”

Dan and Martha recently visited SC4’s campus and reflected on their and Therese’s time there.

“That’s the first time we’ve been back to campus in a long time,” Martha said. “Back when Therese taught Nursing at the College, they learned by way of practicing on each other. She would be astonished and thrilled to see the technology and spaces in the Health Sciences Building. It’s an impressive facility.”

For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid@sc4.edu or (810) 989-5530.

Alumnus Robert G. Sargent, Ph.D., establishes scholarship fund to support students pursuing engineering

Robert G. Sargent, Ph.D.

Future St. Clair County Community College students will benefit from a new endowment fund held at the Community Foundation thanks to a gift from Robert G. Sargent, Ph.D., an SC4 alumnus and professor emeritus at Syracuse University, to provide two scholarships each year to students who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

“I attended SC4 in 1954 through 56 when it was Port Huron Junior College,” Sargent said. “I came from a working-class family and didn’t have any money to pursue an education at a university. I had decided to obtain a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering because I enjoyed math and science in high school and had received several awards for my electrical projects in 4-H. Port Huron Junior College provided the opportunity I needed to get an outstanding education for the first two years of pursuing my engineering degree.”

Sargent is now known as a world-renowned pioneer and authority in simulation work, receiving many career awards and presenting at lectures in the United States and around the world.

He, along with his 1950’s SC4-to-U-M engineering alumni peers, recently visited SC4 and took a campus tour with Bonnie DiNardo, SC4 executive director of community and public relations.

“We hadn’t been to the college in years and were very impressed by the size of the campus and the technology being used, especially in STEM-based facilities such as the Health Sciences Building, the Experience Center and the Challenger Learning Center,” Sargent said.

He added, “None of us probably would have gone to college without SC4. There are endless possibilities in STEM careers—especially in engineering fields—and a tremendous need. People can have a great life, income and support. Community colleges like SC4 can continue to play a huge role, and scholarships can help students pursue such fields for years to come.”

Sargent has established The Robert G. Sargent Scholarship Fund through the SC4 Foundation held at the Community Foundation that helps SC4 engineering students with financial need who plan to transfer on to a university to further pursue their engineering education.

“Helping such a distinguished alumni, like Dr. Sargent, plan a major gift to the college was a pleasure. He knew exactly what he wanted to do for the students and I was happy to help him finalize a qualified charitable distribution that meant his gift was not only very meaningful and impactful but provided a tax savings for him as well,” said Jackie Hanton, Vice President for the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Sargent graduated from St. Clair High School after attending a one-room schoolhouse located in St. Clair Township where he was the only pupil in some of his grades. He was the first in his family to attend college.

While a student at SC4, Sargent participated on the tennis team, in Circle K, bowling and with the Letterman’s club—and worked multiple jobs to pay his college tuition. He also connected with a large group of about 12 like-minded students with whom he’d stay in touch throughout his lifetime.

Sargent earned an Associate of Science degree from SC4 before transferring to the University of Michigan where he roomed with fellow SC4 alumni. “All of us who went on from SC4 to U-M together were well prepared,” said Sargent, who continued to juggle jobs while a full-time U-M student.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Sargent accepted a position at Hughes Aircraft where he received his first exposure to digital computers. He returned to school after two and a half years in the industry to pursue a Ph.D. in simulation.

After receiving his doctoral degree, Sargent joined Syracuse University to participate in their new Systems and Information Science graduate program. Shortly after his arrival, Sargent became involved in contractual research between the United States Air Force and Syracuse University. His work in simulation was sponsored by both institutions, creating an environment and relationship in which he could foster significant contributions to the field throughout his career.

“We thank Dr. Sargent for his generous gift to help SC4 students and for his continued advocacy of community college pathways for transfer students and degrees,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, SC4 president. “SC4 alumni such as Dr. Sargent are doing remarkable work. His distinguished career in simulation has impacted countless individuals, here in Michigan and around the world.”

SC4 students can apply for the Sargent scholarships for engineers beginning in 2023. Selection will be based on financial need with a preference for students transferring to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

The SC4 Foundation connects donors with opportunities to support St. Clair County Community College in whatever way fits their interests. Whether it’s supporting students, opportunities on campus or enhancements of learning spaces, the SC4 Foundation is proud to support our community’s college.

St. Clair County Community College and the Community Foundation bring to the area a combined 175 years of service to the community in education and philanthropy. Since 2018, the collaborative philanthropic partnership between the organizations allows donors to have an even greater impact on both SC4 students and the community.

SC4 to host virtual Financial Aid Night Oct. 12

St. Clair County Community College will host its annual Financial Aid Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, via a virtual Zoom meeting.

Open to students, families and all area residents, the event connects SC4’s financial aid experts with the community to share valuable information about financial aid processes, opportunities and tips to maximize the money students can receive.

The 2022-23 Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) opened Oct. 1, so students can now begin applying for next year. The event provides timely assistance for anyone who wants to learn more about paying for college. While Financial Aid Night is hosted by SC4, students and families interested in any college are welcome to attend.

The presentation will provide information on all type of financial aid, including loans, grants, and scholarships. SC4 representatives will explain how to apply for financial aid and give tips for obtaining maximum awards. A question-and-answer period will also be available.

“If you’re interested in earning a degree or certificate and want to learn more about federal, state and private funding sources as well as scholarships that might help you achieve your goals, this event is for you,” said Director of Financial Assistance and Services Josephine Cassar.

For those interested in attending, registration is required to receive the Zoom link by emailing financialaid@sc4.edu.

Learn more about making college affordable at sc4.edu/financial-aid.

New nursing scholarship created in memory of Marilynn Campbell

The St. Clair County Community College Foundation (SC4 Foundation) and the Community Foundation are honored to work with Herbert Campbell to honor his late wife, Marilynn Campbell, through a new nursing scholarship.

“I funded this nursing scholarship in loving memory of my wife of 70 years,” said Herbert Campbell. “She was a passionate believer in the value of nurses who cared for patients with compassion and professionalism.”

Marilynn was a graduate of Port Huron High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She also graduated from the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City before marrying Herbert. Marilynn raised three wonderful children with Herbert and lived up to her No. 1 goal of providing love and care for her family.

When her children grew up, Marilynn had a strong desire to become a registered nurse. She enrolled at Port Huron Junior College (now St. Clair County Community College), received her associate degree in nursing in 1973 and became a registered nurse.

Marilynn used her nursing degree to work at Port Huron Hospital and served the community for several years caring for mostly pediatric patients.

“She was soft spoken, but so caring and gracious,” Campbell said. “It would make Marilynn so happy to be part of helping students become nurses. I appreciate the SC4 Foundation and their partnership with the Community Foundation for making the process of opening this charitable fund so easy.”

The Marilynn S. Campbell Memorial Scholarship will help her legacy of being a devoted wife, mother and loving caregiver live on for future generations of nurses.

“We are grateful to Herb for creating the Marilynn S. Campbell Memorial Scholarship in honor of Marilynn,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, SC4 president. “It’s clear she had a profound impact in the lives of family members, friends and strangers alike. This scholarship will enable her legacy to live on through the life and work of SC4 nursing alumni for years to come.”

Marilynn Campbell in a nursing uniform

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Herbert and help customize the ideal way in which he wanted to give back to the college and honor his wife’s legacy of caring for others,” said William Oldford, president of the SC4 Foundation. “The fact that he trusts the SC4 Foundation with her legacy is a true honor.”

SC4 nursing students can apply for the Marilynn S. Campbell Memorial Nursing Scholarship beginning in 2022. Selection will be based on financial need with a preference for students who reside in St. Clair County.

The SC4 Foundation connects donors with opportunities to support St. Clair County Community College in whatever way fits their interests. Whether it’s supporting students, opportunities on campus or enhancements of learning spaces, the SC4 Foundation is proud to support our community’s college.

St. Clair County Community College and the Community Foundation bring to the area a combined 175 years of service to the community in education and philanthropy. Since 2018, the collaborative philanthropic partnership between the organizations allows donors to have an even greater impact on both SC4 students and the community.

More information about the SC4 Scholarship and Foundation.

Eligible SC4 students may qualify for Food and Nutrition Services

St. Clair County Community College recognizes that we are in different times.  Food insecurity and a family’s inability to access much needed nutrition seems to be a condition impacting many of us.  In an effort to keep you apprised of resources in and around our community that may assist with addressing some of these needs, here is some valuable information.

If you are enrolled half-time this winter (6 or more credit hours), you may qualify for Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps or SNAP) during this federal public health emergency.

Congress carved out new pathways to SNAP access for a large number of students in its December relief package. Under Section 702(e) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA), students who are eligible to participate in federal or state work-study programs (even if they don’t anticipate holding a job) or students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 can qualify for SNAP, a change that will last for the duration of the federal public health emergency.

You can apply in person, by paper application, or online at https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71547_5527—,00.html . The application will ask if you are “in college or trade/vocational/technical school at least half-time” and will ask you to list the name of your college.  Be sure to check this box.  The staff at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) may follow up with you to ask you to provide proof of your eligibility.  Students can go to https://portal.sc4.edu  and print a copy of their Registration Statement or Financial Aid Award Letter to give to the  MDHHS staff as proof of eligibility.

If you are interested in this program but haven’t completed the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it’s not too late to do so.  Go to FAFSA.GOV and complete the FAFSA for the 2020-21 year.  Be sure to list SC4 as one of your colleges on the form.

SC4 to host Futures for Frontliners Admissions Advising Day

St. Clair County Community College invites front line workers who have been approved for the State of Michigan Future for Frontliners Program but have not registered for classes yet to get assistance from the SC4 admissions team.

Students ready to take classes, but have not registered, or those who have questions about the application, acceptance and registration process at SC4 can get help during the Futures for Frontliners Admissions Advising Day.

Interested students can schedule a time to talk to an admissions advisor from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23. Appointments will be over the phone with an opportunity for a virtual visit if preferred.

Schedule an appointment by emailing recruitment@sc4.edu.

Scholarships available for SC4 students

St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron is accepting scholarship applications from students who plan to attend SC4 for the 2021-22 academic year.

SC4 has many scholarship opportunities available. Some are geared toward students who plan to study a specific subject, while others are intended for students from a particular town or high school. There are also a number of awards open to students based on academic performance and extracurricular activities. Whatever your background, there’s likely a scholarship that you are qualified to apply for!

Visit www.sc4.edu/money to apply for available scholarships, including SC4 scholarships and scholarships through external sources. You can apply for multiple scholarships by filling out just one online application. Many scholarships require that you have filed your FAFSA. If you haven’t already done so, you can visit fafsa.gov to get started today.

SC4, the SC4 Foundation, community groups and private donors offer numerous scholarships to fit nearly all student academic records, backgrounds and financial situations.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is Sunday, March 14.

For details, call the Financial Aid Office at (810) 989-5530 or email financialaid@sc4.edu.

Learn more about Future for Frontliners state scholarship program

SC4 invites the community to attend a presentation on the Future for Frontliners Program. The presentation is offered through SC4’s Admissions and Recruitment Office and will take place via Zoom at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Future for Frontliners is a state scholarship program for Michiganders without college degrees who worked in essential industries during the state COVID-19 shutdown in spring 2020, between April 1 and June 30.

This scholarship provides those frontline workers with tuition-free access to a local community college to pursue an associate degree or a certificate, either full-time or part-time while they work.

The event will provide information on the Future for Frontliners Program, an overview of the application qualifications and process and FAQs. SC4 admissions and financial aid staff will be available for questions.

To reserve your spot and receive Zoom login information, email recruitment@sc4.edu by Tuesday, Nov. 17.

SC4 to host virtual Financial Aid Night Oct. 13

St. Clair County Community College will host its annual Financial Aid Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, via a virtual Zoom meeting.

Open to students, families and all area residents, the event connects SC4’s financial aid experts with the community to share valuable information about financial aid processes, opportunities and tips to maximize the money students can receive.

With the 2021-22 Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) becoming available Oct. 1, the event provides timely assistance for anyone who wants to learn more about paying for college. While Financial Aid Night is hosted by SC4, students and families interested in any college are welcome to attend.

The presentation will provide information on all type of financial aid, including loans, grants, and scholarships. SC4 representatives will explain how to apply for financial aid and give tips for obtaining maximum awards. A question-and-answer period will also be available.

“If you’re interested in earning a degree or certificate and want to learn more about federal, state and private funding sources and scholarships that might help you achieve your goals, this event is for you,” said Director of Financial Assistance and Services Josephine Cassar.

For those interested in attending, registration is required by emailing njsemrow@sc4.edu.

Learn more about making college affordable at sc4.edu/financial-aid.

SC4 Foundation awards $186,233 in scholarships

The SC4 Foundation has a long history of helping area students from all walks of life succeed. This spring the Foundation continues that tradition by awarding $186,233 in scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Recipients are pursuing a variety of majors, from health sciences to business to communications.

“Education changes lives, and providing access is even more crucial in these uncertain economic times,” said SC4 President Dr. Deborah Snyder. “Our donors contribute to the future of individual students and to our community through their generosity.”

Two of this year’s recipients were awarded scholarships from newly established funds – the Marysville Police Explorers Scholarship Fund and the Janet S. Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Established by Dick Hillaker in memory of his late wife, Janet, the Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial provides scholarships to full-time SC4 students who are graduates of Port Huron High School or Port Huron Northern High School. Janet taught kindergarten for more than 30 years, so this scholarship has a preference for supporting education majors.

The first student to receive the Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial is Port Huron High School graduate Jenna Holzberger. She plans on attending SC4 for two years before transferring to a 4-year university to pursue her bachelor’s in elementary education.

“My desire is to return to St. Clair County and start my career as a kindergarten teacher and coach,” Holzberger said. “I had the incredible opportunity of having a kindergarten teacher at Michigamme Elementary who inspired me to become a teacher.”

The Marysville Police Explorers Scholarship Fund was created by Officer Dan LeVey of the Marysville Police Department for criminal justice majors at SC4 who are current or former participants of an Explorers or Cadet Program in St. Clair County.

Natalie Stroh is a recent graduate of the Marysville Explorers program who has had a life-long passion for law enforcement. She will continue her criminal justice studies this fall at SC4 and is the first student to receive the Marysville Police Explorers Scholarship.

Natalie Stroh
Natalie Stroh

“One of the noteworthy improvements to the scholarship process for the SC4 Foundation is application cycles that are open year-round. Any remaining scholarship dollars at the end of a cycle are made available to eligible applicants,” said William Oldford, President of SC4 Foundation. Check the SC4 website for more information.

Scholarships are a big part of what the SC4 Foundation does, but it’s not the only way it helps students pursue their educational goals. The Foundation also supports other projects and programs that provide students with better learning experiences.

Unrestricted giving to the SC4 Foundation allows greater flexibility to how dollars are used to better meet current college priorities. In recent years, the Foundation has helped expand the SC4 Experience Center programming, provided funding for local students to visit the Experience Center, as well as grants towards the Tarbosauras skeleton cast added to the Nasr Natural Science Museum.

“The greatest gift a donor can leave is an unrestricted gift the SC4 Foundation can use for greater impact on campus,” Oldford said. “SC4 Foundation is proud to offer donors the opportunity to support the college’s priority areas, including their long-term vision for student success and enhancements on campus.”

The St. Clair County Community College Foundation started in 1963 to raise friends and funds to benefit SC4 and the students it serves.