Leaving a Legacy: Dr. Theresa Palaszek-Mancewicz

Dr. Theresa Palaszek-Mancewicz sitting at a Scholarfest table with students.

Three scholarship funds help students make their way on pre-med, pre-dental career paths

Dr. Theresa Palaszek-Mancewicz has seen — and experienced — how Grand Rapids Community College helps students from all different life circumstances reach their goals. She's extending that support to current and future students through the scholarships she's created with the GRCC Foundation.

Palaszek-Mancewicz attended what was then Grand Rapids Junior College from 1945 to 1947 before receiving her degrees in obstetrics and gynecology from the University of Michigan Medical School. She served an internship at St. Mary's Hospital and a residency at Grace Hospital in Detroit during her 41-year Grand Rapids medical career. She was named GRCC's Distinguished Alumna in 1975 and was a Salute to Women honoree in 2000. 

One of the scholarships she supports is named for her. The other scholarship funds she supports commemorate her husband -- the Jerome Frederick Mancewicz Memorial Fund -- and her brother -- the Casimir F. Palaszek DDS Memorial Scholarship Fund. 

Her brother, a GRJC and U of M alumnus, was a dentist for more than 40 years. Her husband, GRCC's Distinguished Alumnus in 19775, also transferred to U of M, where he received a medical degree.

Palaszek-Mancewicz said the scholarships are a gift to the college that supported her -- and so many people she loved -- and their dreams.

"Marie McCabe and Wilma Marlowe were inspirations to Jerome and myself," she said of the GRJC zoology and anatomy instructors. "If it wasn't for McCabe, Jerome probably would not have gone on to U of M to study medicine.

"She pushed, encouraged and helped him get into U of M Medical School. We both have fond memories of dinners and study time with McCabe and Marlowe."

Palaszek-Mancewicz is pleased to be able to carry that encouragement through to a new generation of students.

"I personally can affirm how important a scholarship can be to support a student’s dream,"she said. "Even a small contribution can go a long way to support our students and their future."