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Cindy Rourke named recipient of SC4 Alumni of the Year award

Cindy Rourke

Well-known community advocate and supporter Cindy Rourke has been named the recipient of the 2020 St. Clair County Community College Alumni of the Year award after a pause in award distribution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was so surprised to receive the 2020 Alumni of the Year Award,” Rourke said. “It is an honor just to be considered let alone to receive the award.”

Rourke enrolled as a student at SC4 in 1968, as did her husband of 38 years, Jim Rourke, and many of her friends and family members.

“For most of us, we were the first in our family to attend college,” Cindy said. “None of our families had much money and we all knew that SC4 would be our stepping stone to the future.  My education at SC4 prepared me for going on to Western Michigan University. I also had great fun there playing euchre in the union and as a work study student in the library. That’s how and why I chose library science as my career path.”

Fortunately for the College and community, Cindy and Jim made their way back from WMU and the University of Michigan to the Port Huron area after receiving their bachelor’s degrees and began work at SC4 and Mueller Brass, respectively.

Cindy served in a variety of library, technology and support-based roles in her 28-year career at SC4, including dean of the Library and the Achievement Center. Among many other notable achievements, Cindy played a key role in the library design when the library was moved from the Clara E. Mackenzie Building to the College Center.

Throughout their professional careers and beyond, both Cindy and Jim believed greatly in SC4’s mission of maximizing student success through an accessible, high-quality education at an affordable price.

Cindy and Jim, who passed in November 2015, created the James Rourke Family Education Fund with a $100,000 donation to the SC4 Foundation to provide scholarship support to graduating seniors from St. Clair and Port Huron high schools to attend SC4.

“SC4 is still the best thing going for this area as demonstrated by its longevity in the community,” Cindy said. “It is the same stepping stone for many as it was for me. My husband was always very supportive of SC4 and encouraged his employees at Mueller Brass to attend as well. We decided that it was important to fund scholarships that would enable students to attend SC4.”

Cindy retired from SC4 in 2010 but remains actively involved in the College’s retirement group and within the campus community, as well as with the United Way. Community residents also can see Cindy and Jim’s generous support at McLaren Port Huron, where many SC4 graduates thrive working as healthcare professionals.

“We are thrilled to provide this award to Cindy,” said Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, president of St. Clair County Community College. “Her legacy as an alumna, professional, supporter, advocate and friend of SC4 is remarkable. She and Jim will continue to impact the lives of area residents for years to come and, for that, we are forever grateful.”