As Commencement Approaches, GRCC Names Two Local Leaders as This Year’s Distinguished Alumni

Just as it does with its curricula, Grand Rapids Community College has blended academics and workforce development in choosing a team of well-known community leaders as this year’s Distinguished Alumni. Dr. James V. Buzzita, founder of Michigan Medical, P.C. (MMPC), and Janice L. Maggini, a former school administrator and GRCC Board of Trustee member since 1991, will be honored at GRCC’s Commencement on Friday, April 29.

Buzzitta, who went on to University of Michigan and then Wayne State University School of Medicine after GRCC, is the CEO of Hughes Management, a healthcare facility development company. He served as Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board, Chief Medical Officer and Managing Shareholder of MMPC. Dr. Buzzitta likes to take a hands-on approach to problem-solving as well as long-term strategic planning and his experience as both a manager and clinician gives him a unique perspective.  Buzzitta is also active with the GRCC Foundation. He currently serves on the GRCC Foundation Board of Directors, and is the Chairperson for the GRCC Works....Ask Anyone capital campaign.

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this award. Grand Rapids Community College means a lot to me,” said Buzzita. “It deeply impacted my life and allowed for a great education and set a solid foundation for me to succeed in life. My advice to future students is that I would highly recommend attending GRCC for a career, or to use it as a great stepping stone for other higher education opportunities."

Maggini earned her Associate of Arts degree at GRCC, her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees at Michigan State University and postgraduate work at Western Michigan University and Michigan State University. She was a teacher and Assistant Principal at Jackson Park Middle School in Wyoming Public Schools until she retired in June 1997 and still serves on her church’s Education Formation Committee.

Maggini has served on the GRCC Board of Trustees since 1991 when Grand Rapids Junior College separated from Grand Rapids Public Schools and became the community college it is today. During those same years, she was a Trustee Director to the Michigan Community College Association, was elected to serve as Chairperson of the MCCA Executive Council in 2003 and was elected GRCC Board Chairperson in July 2003.  Maggini has also served several terms as a member on the GRCC Foundation Board, and has been actively involved in college fundraising efforts.

About her Distinguished Alumni honor, she said: "I am deeply moved and honored by being named one of this year's recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.  This community's college is deeply ingrained in who I am. My passion for education began here in the fall of 1954.  GRCC has been a fortress in the face of adversity throughout its history, a haven of quality learning for me and countless students for generations.  My family GRJC/CC journey began in 1933 and continues today with the presence of my grandchild on campus. I hope our graduates will continue to use the college as a resource. One may leave the college, but the college never leaves you."

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes in downtown Grand Rapids as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.