Army Col. Scott Haraburda named GRCC’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 19, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An Army veteran, engineer and inventor is Grand Rapids Community College's 2017 Distinguished Alumnus.

Retired Col. Scott Haraburda received an associate degree in 1981 from what was then Grand Rapids Junior College. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Central Michigan University, a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.

He served in the Army from 1981 through 2010, including a 2007 deployment to Kuwait to correct logistics problems in the war zone. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and three Meritorious Service Medals. 

In addition to his military service, Haraburda is an inventor, making key contributions to the development of heat exchangers and spacecraft propulsion. He holds two U.S. patents and has seven patent requests pending. In 2013, the National Society of Professional Engineers named Haraburda a Fellow, and he served as president of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers from 2014-15.

"Col. Haraburda has represented GRCC on the world stage, through both his military service and the contributions he has made to engineering," said President Dr. Steven C. Ender. "We are proud to honor him as our Distinguished Alumnus!"

Haraburda has fond memories of his time at GRJC and notes that his wife, Marie, is an alumna.

"Grand Rapids Community College provided me an excellent foundation that helped me to grow as a student and continue my quest for learning throughout my life,” he said. “I am honored to be recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus for 2017."

Haraburda will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award as part of GRCC's commencement, which will take place at 7 p.m. April 28 in Ford Fieldhouse, 226 Lyon St. NE. The award honors those who have earned at least 30 credit hours at the college, have made substantial contributions to the good of their fellow beings and have served as a positive motivational force for others. 

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.