Each spring, the Alumni Association Board of Directors reviews nominees and selects recipients for the Alumni Awards presented at Homecoming.
Individuals are nominated by alumni, faculty, family, friends, trustees, and staff. If you know someone you believe meets the criteria or should be considered, please submit his or her name and supporting information to the Office of Alumni Relations using the nomination form in the files & links section below.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD
Dr. Peter E. Nims ’60, Troy, Ohio
Retired Psychiatrist, Private Practice
For an exceptional career in medicine and psychiatry, lifelong dedication to patients’ well-being, service and support of Adrian College, and to his community at large.
“It is an honor to be selected as the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award. I graduated from Adrian
College 55 years ago and left the campus with the tools, motivation and experience to begin a career that has
been very rewarding over the years. Many hundreds of graduates have gone into the world with ‘The Adrian
Experience’ as preparation and I am but one of them. I thank the Alumni Board of Directors for their
consideration and for selecting me to receive this honor.”
Dr. Nims and his wife Nancy also helped open a nature center in a village near Nairobi, Kenya, that teaches
environmental health, basic animal science and respect for nature, to children and adults. He is the son of the
late Delbert Nims ’32. Despite his many accomplishments, Peter believes successfully raising three daughters,
Lori, Julia and Annalee with his wife Nancy, has been the most rewarding of all.
YOUNG ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Jay Overmyer ’95, Stokesdale, N.C.
Technical Lead for the Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment Team, Syngenta Crop Protection
For his significant work in the field of environmental toxicology and astute collaborative research and study toward identifying solutions for the plight of the honey bee.
“It is a great honor to receive this award from an institution that has given me so much. The personal attention
received inside the classroom and guidance to pursue a graduate degree was instrumental in my career path.
Not only did I receive a quality education from Adrian, but I also met my wife, Amanda, which without her
support, I would not be where I am today. Adrian has a dynamic future and will continue to graduate quality
people that will positively impact our society.”
Jay was featured in the 8th edition of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, a publication that contains
biographies of men and women leading today’s scientific revolution. He also finds time to positively impact his
community by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and Greensboro Urban Ministries. Jay and his wife,
Amanda Robinson Overmyer ’94 reside in Stokesdale, N. C., and have two daughters, Gretta and Ava.
ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD
David Van Geison ’83, Battle Creek, Mich.
Retired Educator, Harper Creek Community School System
For ongoing support, dedication, and extraordinary service to Adrian College athletics, as well as admirable embodiment of lifelong Bulldog spirit.
“I am truly honored to be receiving the 2015 Alumni Service Award. I am grateful to have been a part of Adrian
College athletics for as long as I have, having come here in the fall of 1979 as a student-athlete and a
broadcaster at old WVAC, and to see and be part of the growth of the athletic program has been truly
remarkable. It has been the relationships with all the great Adrian coaches and players over the years that I
cherish the most. I have been fortunate to embrace the motto ‘Bulldog for Life’ and look forward to many more
great moments in Bulldog Athletics.”
David is currently the Arrington Ice Arena’s public address announcer, helps with stats and scorekeeping for
the team and serves on the original board of the Gold Puck Club as webmaster. He lives in Battle Creek, Mich.,
with his wife Wendy. They have two adult children, Peter and Joe Van Geison ’12 who works for the Adrian
College Admissions Department.
ALUMNI HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Jeanine Mick Yard ’79, Jackson, Mich.
Americorps Senior Program Officer, Michigan Community Service Commission
For extraordinary dedication to counseling at-risk youth and adults, raising support for special causes, inspiring a love of volunteerism/service in communities, and for her personal commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters and other helping organizations.
“My years at Adrian College were some of the very best in my life. My professors, as well as administrative
staff, inspired me to become engaged in my community. My experience at Adrian was the catalyst to live a life
where my work and personal life include service and volunteering. This unexpected recognition from my
cherished alma mater fuels my desire to continue to help make a difference. I hope that my future efforts will
continue to reflect my commitment to Adrian’s founding spirit of service to others. It is nothing less than a
profound honor to be listed among the 2015 Adrian Alumni Award recipients.”
Beyond her employment with the Michigan Community Service Commission, Jeanine has raised funds for
breast cancer research, served meals at the Interfaith Shelter in Jackson, helped build houses and bike paths,
participated in a Hospice Home beautification project, and assisted with disaster response efforts when floods
ravaged Detroit. She has an adult son, Ryan C. King and she and husband, Clifford Yard ‘ 69 live in Jackson,
HONORARY ALUMNI AWARD
Patrick Farver, Adrian, Mich.
President and CEO, Blissfield Manufacturing
For his enthusiasm for the campus community as a mentor, friend, and ambassador of Adrian College and for furthering its mission in his role as chairman of the Board of Trustees.
“I was surprised and extremely pleased to be selected for this award. I have fond memories as a child growing
up in Adrian, riding bikes and skateboarding around campus. For the last 10 years I have had the honor and
privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees and participate in many of the wonderful improvements to the
campus and programs. The opportunity to work with the staff, students, faculty and trustees is very special and
has truly been a high point in my life. Thank you very much for this wonderful honor; I am very proud to be a
Bulldog and part of the Adrian College family.”
In addition to his career and service to Adrian College, Pat serves the greater Lenawee County community on
several boards including United Way, Junior Achievement, Bixby Foundation, United Bank and Trust, Lenawee
Now, Promedica, Lenawee Education Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Lenawee. He and his wife,
Debbie, live in Adrian and have two sons, Brett and Brandon, both of whom work alongside their dad at the
AC STEWARDSHIP AWARD
Danielle Massanari Ward ’96, Tecumseh, Mich.
Assistant Director of Academic Services and Disabilities Specialist , Adrian College
For her ceaseless efforts to make campus a more welcoming, accessible place for persons with disabilities, for her outstanding work in helping students from all circumstances succeed at Adrian College, and for real-life preparation for their futures.
“I am beyond honored to be given this award. Being at Adrian College is just like being home to me. I am lucky
enough to get to be part of these students journey while they are here. My hope is to assist them in making this
Danielle also volunteers with Friends of the Tecumseh Community Pool, HOPE Community Center and the
Lenawee Humane Society. She often links Adrian College students to community organizations in the area so
they too can experience personal fulfillment through volunteering. Danielle and husband Jeff reside in
Tecumseh, Mich., have two children, Veda and Soren, and a cherished English bulldog.
OUTSTANDING ALUMNI EMPLOYEE AWARD
Michael Duffy ’82, Hudson, Mich.
Director of Athletics, Adrian College
For steadfast dedication to Adrian College, integrity, professionalism and talent in leading colleagues, students and athletic programs for over 30 years, and exemplifying a true Bulldog every day.
“Adrian College has truly been my family’s life for over 30 years. To be honored as the Outstanding Alumni
Employee is very humbling to say the least. To be selected for an honor for working with outstanding athletic
staff, excellent faculty and overwhelmingly supportive administration, all for the growth of the youth of today,
is gratifying. What we strive to accomplish in athletics every day is working. It is amazing how much influence
we have in the growth of these students. It has truly been a rewarding career thus far!”
Mike is a member of several professional associations including the American Football Coaches Association,
the American Baseball Coaches Association and the National Association of Athletic Directors. He was
inducted into the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach for both championship football and baseball
teams. Mike lives in Hudson, Mich., with his wife, Rachelle Zink Duffy ’84, the College’s director of auxiliary
services. Their son, Nicholas Duffy ’14, is currently in the sport administration and leadership graduate
program at the College.