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.
YOUNG ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Matthew Moll ’99
For his passion for teaching, mentoring and coaching students by example to establish and reach toward goals, build relationships, and serve others.
Matthew Moll earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English from Adrian College in 1999. While at Adrian, he played football freshman year, joined Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, was vice president of the Intra-Fraternity Council, worked in the writing center and was a summer RD.
He started teaching high school English in a Detroit public school and served other schools in the Washington, D.C., and Indianapolis areas. He earned a master’s in educational administration and supervision from Ball State University in 2010 which opened doors for his career back in Michigan as an assistant principal and coach in Taylor, Livonia, and now Gilbraltar, Michigan, for Carlson High School.
During his career, Matt has served on several committees for literacy, curriculum, assessment and athletic excellence, keeping at the forefront the needs of young students and the positive modeling and values essential for their growth and development. As assistant principal, he serves as District 504 coordinator and the co-chair of the District Diversity, Poverty and Equity Committee for the Carlson School District. Matt was also named a 2014/2015 Michigan Educator Voice Fellow, and is a member of NASSP and MASSP educational organizations.
Matt has continued to be a mentor to Adrian College teacher education students. He has stayed in contact with the faculty and volunteered for the TED Bootcamp. He was recognized by the department with the Distinguished Alumni Educator Award and emphasized to students the importance of staying connected with your alma mater, your college mentors and friends established as an undergraduate.
Matt enjoys spending time with his family, wife Jennifer LaPalm Moll ’02, and their three sons, Grayson, Connor and Brennan, The Moll family resides in Trenton, Michigan. Matt is also a member of Phi Kappa Sigma (Beta Nu) fraternity.
“Adrian College has had an amazing impact on my life…I met my wife here and made amazing friends but the largest impact was the great professors who taught me more through their actions than the content they delivered. That showed me that the greatest building block of education is not a lecture, project or test, but the relationships you develop and interest you take in your students.”
ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD
Jennifer Kay-Rivera ’03
For her ongoing commitment and enthusiastic service to Adrian College alumni and Chi Omega fraternity to maintain and promote lifelong connections.
Jennifer Kay-Rivera graduated from Adrian College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in education in 2003, then she went on to earn master’s degrees in educational administration from University of Detroit Mercy, and in art therapy from Wayne State University, as well as an Educational Specialist degree from Oakland University. Currently, Jennifer, is pursuing her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Wayne State University.
At Adrian, Jennifer participated across the board, from dance team and Greek life, to serving as the president of Student Government Association her senior year. She was a member of SGA for four years, was a charter member of Rho Lambda, and participated in GAMMA, Theta Alpha Phi and Kappa Delta Pi. She held leadership roles in Chi Omega, serving as the president and vice president.
Jennifer has served the College with commitment and enthusiasm. She has been the chapter advisor for Chi Omega since 2008 serving as a mentor, personnel and financial advisor, and attended and shared in planning activities for recruitment events, national conventions and leadership training workshops. She helped coordinate the move from the residence hall to the house in 2014 enlisting volunteers to paint, clean, pack and move the organization.
In addition, Jennifer served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for 10 years, including as president from 2013-2015. She helped co-author the Board’s scholarship fund project, a children’s book “Bruiser Goes College” and was responsible for committee work and representing the Board at Homecoming, Commencement and other activities. With a strong interest and background in art and theatre, she also served on the College’s Art Alumni Advisory Board, as an art juror, and has assisted with costuming for the Theatre Department’s productions.
Jennifer is a visual arts and French educator for Warren Consolidated Schools and been very involved in the arts in her district and beyond as an instructor and volunteer.
When Jennifer is not attending theatre performances or concerts, she enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, some of which include children of her extended Bulldog family. Jennifer and her husband, Jorge, live in Warren, Michigan, and also enjoy traveling in their spare time.
“Adrian College has never been about the campus or the buildings, although, they are all quite lovely now. It has always been about the amazing people that have led and continue to lead in various roles throughout the college to achieve the greatest glory. From day one on this campus, I felt that I was valued for my intrinsic worth.”
ALUMNI HUMANITARIAN AWARD
John Fountain ’57
For his ongoing enthusiasm for life and encouraging others, no matter their age, to stay engaged and participate in activities that provide enjoyment and friendship.
John Fountain graduated from Adrian College in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in science, then went on to a very active and rewarding career and life. From an electronic technician in the U.S. Navy to broadcasting, university administration, communications and author, John has been a life-long learner discovering his skills and talents and applying them with passion.
John spent much of his career with Eastern Michigan University and retired with distinction as Emeritus Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Regents. While serving in administration, he was also the voice of Eagle athletics for 44 years including play by play for 1,150 basketball games. A sports enthusiast, he authored two books, “A View from the Booth to the Board Room,” and “Those 1940 Detroit Tigers: The Story of a Trio of Hall of Famers plus Birdie, Barney, Bobo, Schoolboy and Pinky Higgins.” He has been inducted into the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame, EMU Sports Hall of Fame, The Mid-American Conference Media Hall of Fame, and was honored with the Ernie Harwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
For many years, John was a devoted volunteer and chairman for the Washtenaw Education Work Consortium, with leaders in government, business, labor and education, to improve the employability of K-12 graduates.
In more recent years, as a resident of Fox Run Village, an independent living community of 1,300 residents, John has reached out through broadcasting on the local cable TV network with the sports report and a panel discussion. He also is very active in the Center for Continuous Learning, the Political Awareness Committee, the Genealogy Club, the Veterans Club and his favorite, the Hot Stove League, a group of about 50 Detroit Tiger fans. He encourages others to participate in the many philanthropic endeavors at Fox Run that assist with scholarship funds for student workers and for special funds that help residents in need.
John and his wife Marjorie are very active residents at Fox Run in Novi, Michigan, and have four grown daughters Kim, Lynne, Julanne, and Jacqueline.
“The liberal arts education I received at Adrian College has paved the way for a successful life-long journey through the world of work; a life better than I could have ever expected as a young college lad. It opened the door to more than three careers packed into 87 years of living.”
HONORARY ALUMNI AWARD
G. Curtiss Shaffer and Margaret Shaffer
For their ongoing legacy relationship with Adrian College, and sharing their support, encouragement and commitment to the liberal arts and our students.
The connection to Adrian College for the Shaffers goes back to the 1930s when Curt’s parents met as undergraduates. His father, Glenn Shaffer graduated in 1936 and his mother, Frances Heckert in 1938. Glenn and Frances married and instilled the importance of education in their family. In the early 1990s, because of their fondness for Adrian College, Glenn introduced Curt and Margaret to then president, Dr. Stanley Caine. This was the beginning of a new relationship with the College.
Since that time the Shaffers have been donors to the College, including honoring their parents with a special door in Jones Hall and more recently the Shaffer Family Scholarship. Over the years they have developed a closer relationship and sponsor the Pathways to Excellence annual award, along with Rich Florka ’00, given to the athletic team with the greatest improvement in team GPA from one year to the next. The Shaffers personally present this award at a Bulldog football game each fall.
Curt grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He spent 46 years in business-sales, concluding his career in finance. Curt’s last 25 years were spent with Planned Realty Group as an investor/owner of “for rent” apartments in Chicago. Margaret grew up in Chicago and graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and earned her J.D. from Loyola University. She practiced law for 38 years before retiring in 2015.
The Shaffers have hosted AC presidents Dr. Stanley Caine and Dr. Jeffrey Docking as well as other members of the AC senior team and local alumni and friends at their home.
Curt and Margaret reside in Chicago and enjoy music, travel and playing golf. Curt has been an active member of the Adrian College Board of Trustees since 2017 serving the Development and the Finance & Investment committees.
“I consider myself as being born an Adrian College alumnus because my parents are graduates, Glenn Shaffer 1936 and Frances Heckert 1938. My mom’s class included a future Adrian president, Dr. John Dawson. Margaret and I are strong supporters and value the liberal arts and are proud to be a part of this college and receive the Honorary Alumni Award.”
OUTSTANDING ALUMNI EMPLOYEE AWARD
Craig Rainey ’89
For his extraordinary career in Bulldog athletics, his devotion to student-athletes and as a mentor and leader to the coaching staff and the College.
Craig came to Adrian from Owosso, Michigan, and graduated from Adrian College in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education & recreation. He was an outstanding Bulldog athlete for baseball serving as starting catcher for three years and won the MIAA batting crown as a senior, hitting .467 in league games.
Craig had a strong desire and passion for a career in athletics and went on to earn his master’s degree in sports administration from the United States Sports Academy. He served as assistant baseball coach from 1991-1993 at AC under former coach and athletic director, Henry Mensing.
In 1993, Craig was named head coach and has given above and beyond to build a strong program. He is the winningest coach in MIAA history and during his tenure has led the Bulldogs to several MIAA championships and NCAA tournament appearances, with most of the team records established under his leadership. Craig has coached many players who earned All-America citations, All-Region and All-MIAA player accolades as well as conference players of the year and most valuable pitchers. In more recent years, a handful of players have been invited to play in the minor league and are earning their place in the larger organizations.
Craig is a leader and mentor in the Athletic Department serving also as assistant athletic director and mentoring new coaches. His shares his experience and path to success by example, by hard work, follow through, and a strong commitment to continuous improvement. Craig also worked closely with the Office of Development in the plans for Nicolay Field and the recent expansion of the baseball facilities. Locally, he stays active with the Lookouts baseball and softball organization, helping the AC Special Olympics Team and Wound Warrior projects.
Craig lives in Adrian, and has two children, Gunner and Kia. Gunner will enter his senior season on the Bulldog baseball team and daughter Kia, a sophomore at Bluffton University and on the women’s volleyball team.
“Adrian College has given me the opportunity to live out a dream, I don’t look at what I get to do as work, but as a chance to continue my passion. I also understand that none of this would have be possible without the great mentors and people, I have had along the way. They have all helped shape me into the coach and administrator, I am today.”