The 2019 Lakeland Community College Alumni Hall of Fame Induction

The 2019 Lakeland Community College Alumni Hall of Fame Induction


[MUSIC PLAYING] Good evening. Welcome to the Lakeland
Community College Alumni Hall of Fame Class of
2019 Induction Ceremony. My name is Ka-Pi
Hoh, and I’m honored to serve as the chair of
the Lakeland Foundation Board of Directors. Thank you for
being here tonight. And congratulations to
this year’s inductees– Mike Miller, Donna Skufca,
Michael Thomas, Beth Knezevich, Lee Quignano, and
Bob Zonneville. [APPLAUSE] To start our ceremony,
I’d like to call on Morris Beverage, Jr.,
president of Lakeland Community College. Thank you. No. Please stay seated. Greetings and welcome. And congratulations
to our inductees. Do you know what all of these
people, both the front row and the back row have in common? They’re nervous
as heck right now. So please try to make
them feel comfortable. I do want to point out
the second row here. You ladies have to stand
up and show everybody your Hawaiian shirts. Bravo. Yeah. Yeah. [APPLAUSE] Amy’s fashioning mine. She had to borrow it. There you go. I know. I’m already off script. OK. Congratulations. No. I already did that. So let me remind you why
the Alumni Hall of Fame was first created. We wanted to honor
Lakeland graduates who’ve made a difference through their
careers, in their communities, and at Lakeland. Secondly, we wanted
the community at large to know about the
remarkable people who come through Lakeland and move
on to achieve amazing things. And finally, we want
our current students to see what they
can achieve, how they can excel in
their own careers, and in enhancing the quality
of life in our community and giving back to Lakeland. Prior to gathering here in
the Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center,
the current members of the Hall of Fame and
the 2019 inductees met. One of the topics
that was discussed was the Alumni Hall
of Fame scholarship, which was initiated by
our hall of fame members. Since its inception, we
have raised about $15,000 for scholarships given
to deserving students. The Olga Freitag
Scholarship also provides deserving students
with financial support. This scholarship was established
to recognize Olga’s role in helping to establish
an alumni association. We of course, welcome
your donations, so we can continue to make a
difference in our students’ lives. Carly Berg and
Austin [? Stose ?] were awarded the Olga
Freitag scholarship, and I believe are in
the audience tonight. Carly and Austin,
would you please stand? [APPLAUSE] Finally, before we get into why
we’re all here this evening, I want to share with you the
criteria for the selection of our Hall of Fame inductees. Number one, they have to
graduate from Lakeland. I don’t think that’s
asking too much, right? Number two, they have
to have graduated at least 10 years prior
to the year in which they are nominated. Number three, they have
to have a strong record of career success. And finally, they have to
demonstrate a strong record of community involvement
and leadership in community programs, and/or
a significant interest in and contribution to
Lakeland and its programs. You’ll notice in your
program that we’ve previously inducted 67 people, and
that we’ll be adding six more this evening. Each inductee will be
introduced by a current Hall of Fame member. So let’s get started. Paul. Hello. I’m Paul Hach. And it’s my pleasure
to induct Mike Miller into Lakeland Hall of Fame. Michael Miller graduate
from Lakeland in 1978 with an associate’s
degree, applied business. He graduated from St.
Joseph High School in 1972, and went to earn
his bachelor degree in marketing and
industrial management from Lake Erie College in 1982. Miller is the president of
M&T Enterprise, d/b/a Handy Rents, Aladdin Rents. The equipment rental
companies have grown from one
location in 1983 to 12 throughout Northeast Ohio. He is well-known in
the business community, and has been a longtime member
of the Western Willoughby and Eastern Lake County
Chamber of Commerce. He met his wife 42 years– or his wife of 42 years,
Terry, in their Introduction to Business class at
Lakeland in the Fall of 1974. They have three children– Christopher,
Patrick, and Amanda. Mike, congratulations on your
induction to the Lakeland Community College Hall of Fame. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] Good evening, and hello there. Congratulations to all
past members, and all the 2019 Lakeland Community
College Hall of Fame recipients here tonight. I would also like to
thank Mr. Paul Hach, Jr., who said something
nice about me, and Mr. Greg Sanders,
the executive director of the Lakeland
Foundation, who shared some of his amazing story with me. My name is Mike Miller. Perhaps you know a Mike
Miller, a different one. It’s a pretty common name. I once had to change
my name to George when I was a member of the
Quail Hollow Country Club, because another Mike Miller kept
putting his many, many orders of SKYY vodka on my tab. But tonight, I’m
back to Mike Miller. Just Mike. I was born in Seattle in
an army base hospital. Of course, Seattle is home
to grunge music, Microsoft, Starbucks, and a world
famous fish market. I grew up in Wickliffe,
one of five children. I am one of the recent graduates
of Lakeland Community College– The Lakeland Community College. T L C C. Whoops. Let’s try that again. T L C C. And by
recent graduate, I mean within the
last 40-some years. Whoo. These pages are falling around. I began my college career
here at the Lakeland Community College in the fall in
1972, after graduating from St. Joseph High
School in Cleveland. I was anxious to get
out of that place. There were 2,000 guys in that
school, not a female in sight. It was like a
testosterone prison. People would challenge you. I’ll bet you can’t
spit as far as this. Or watch me. I can swallow a lit cigarette. You know, kids used to smoke
back then, real cigarettes. I finally graduated in 1978,
six years after starting. I was so proud to
attend this college. Newly begun just a
few years earlier, I felt then, and even
more now, that it put– that this institution put
Lake County on the map. Fast forward to 1972. This, the Lakeland
Community College was the perfect place for me. I had big dreams. I would work hard and often,
balancing 60 hours a week at work, and going to college as
I could at night, or in the day if I could do it, eventually
graduating a second time from Lake Erie college. In 1974, something magical
happened right here in this building, something I
could never predict or expect. And that was to meet my
fantastic, beautiful, and wonderful wife, Terrie, in
Introduction to Business class. Terry. [APPLAUSE] Sharing coffee and
conversation down the hall in the school cafeteria,
I knew my life was about to change,
and for the better. We married, and we
started our family. And we have three
wonderful children– Christopher,
Patrick, and Amanda. Together, Terry and I put
our educations together. We purchased the original
Handy Rents Rental Center in Euclid, Ohio, where I
had worked for 11 years. Now, 36 years later, we have,
along with our son Patrick, 12 locations in Northeast Ohio
under the trade names of Handy Rents, Aladdin Rents for
Special Events, Parties-To-Go, Brunswick True Value and
Rental, and our newest venture, Equipment Repair
Center, back in Euclid where it all started for us. I’m not an expert in
advice, but my rules for a successful life– work hard. If that doesn’t work, then work
harder again, and then more harder. Don’t give up. You will face many
obstacles in life. If you knew about them in
advance, you would say, uncle. Set goals. Reach high. You just might hit them all. Find yourself a great college
to attend, like The Lakeland Community College,
you just might learn something that will
help you along the way. Have a sense of humor. You will need it. And finally, this is it,
the granddaddy of them all. Find somebody to love you
who loves you back and is in it for the long
haul, even if you have to find them
in the classroom, just like I did with Terry. So once again, T L C C. [APPLAUSE] One final little line here. Now, for all of you Hall
of Famer voters out there, I am interested in the
following other Hall of Fames. The husband hall of fame,
the father hall of fame, and the Christian hall of fame. I’m working hard to get there. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] Hello, all. My name is Robin Baum,
and I have the pleasure of inducting Donna Skufca
into the Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame. Donna J. Skufca graduated from
Perry High School in 1977. While working full time,
she earned her associate of applied science degree
from Lakeland in 1983, and then a bachelor
of science in finance from Lake Erie College in 1987. She is now the controller
at Gilmour Academy. Donna has devoted her adult
life to making a difference in the community. For 20 years, she has
volunteered for the American Cancer Society, serving as
the Lake County Relay for Life accounting chair for
more than 15 years, and as a Relay for
Life team captain. She also has participated
in the Hospice of the Western Reserve
Walk to Remember, and as a member of the
Leadership Lake County Class of 2011. Donna has also been a member
of the Western Reserve Junior Service League
since 2001, helping to raise funds and support
nonprofit organizations in the region. She served as Service League’s
president from 2011 to 2013, and has also served as
treasurer, endowment fund chair, co-chair of the
candlelight charity ball, and finance committee member. But Donna also
cares about people far beyond our local area. In 2017, she began a project
called Hawaiian Shirts for deployed soldiers
to brighten the days of our active military forces. To date, and I just got this
from Facebook yesterday, more than 15,861 Hawaiian
shirts have been sent overseas because of her dedication. And she continues to
receive notes and photos showing how much this effort
is appreciated by our troops. Donna is– [APPLAUSE] Donna is passionate
about this mission, because it is her way of
honoring her late husband, Ron, who was an avid Hawaiian
shirt collector and a Vietnam veteran. Her Service League friends
who are here tonight are honoring her induction
with their own Hawaiian shirt donation, as you saw earlier. Donna, thank you for your
huge community-serving heart, and your thoughtful leadership. I am so honored to help induct
you into the Lakeland Community College Alumni Hall of Fame. [APPLAUSE] Pretty much what she said. I am honored and
humbled to be included in this group of Alumni
Hall of Fame this year. My sincere thanks to
Lakeland, the Lakeland Board, and the Lakeland Foundation. First, thanks to
Lakeland, where I started my educational journey. They gave me affordable,
quality education. In the beginning, I wasn’t
sure what I wanted to do. I could try different
classes without a commitment to a certain major. I worked full-time during
my entire college career. Lakeland was accommodating
with night classes and great teachers that
understood busy working schedules. I transferred to
Lake Erie College, and everything transferred
without a catch. And it was seamless. Thank you to my mom and dad. They instilled my
drive and love of life. They raised me with
morals and ethics that still drive me today. And if you haven’t seen
them, they’re in the back. [APPLAUSE] All these things in my life
brought me to where I am today. My giving back to
people, my community, for having the blessed life that
I’ve been lucky enough to lead. My work with WRJSL, my
sisters of Service League, revolving around fundraising and
volunteering in the community. Everything we do, we do as
a group of dedicated women. Leadership Lake County,
gave me another piece of the puzzle, another
connection of the community that I live and love, working
with the American Cancer Society for more than 20 years,
where we fight, remember, and celebrate those who have
had this terrible disease. And as you’ve heard, my newest
passion, Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers. It makes me happy. This project is my therapy
in honor of my husband by putting a smile on
the face of soldiers, letting them know that
we’re praying for them, and letting them laugh
for just a moment. All of these projects have
been so very important to me and a part of my life. And it all started
with my beginnings as a young adult at
Lakeland Community College. Again, my sincere
gratitude for this honor. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Good evening. My name is Dale
Fellows, and I am honored to induct Michael
Thomas into the Lakeland Alumni Hall of Fame. Michael D. Thomas earned
an associate of arts degree from Lakeland in 1985, and is a
1982 graduate of Mayfield High School, also my alumni. He is a graduate of the MOR
Associates Advanced Leaders Program, and holds
certificates in excellence in leadership and
developing leadership through emotional intelligence. He is an EDUCAUSE Leading
Change Institute Fellow, and an alumnus of the EDUCAUSE
Institute Leadership Program. Mike has worked for Case Western
Reserve University for 34 years, and currently
serves as the director of media vision, where he is
responsible for the delivery of outstanding
support and services to the university community
in the areas of multimedia, video production,
streaming media, classroom technology, and much more. He is also a
dedicated volunteer. He is active with the Case
Western Reserve University’s Case for Community that connects
the campus to the Greater Cleveland community through
community improvement and revitalization projects. Mike is also actively involved
with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and The Ohio
State University Parent Fund. He is an avid photographer,
and has had his work published throughout the US and abroad. Mike has three daughters,
who are all teachers in Ohio. Michael, congratulations
on your induction into the Lakeland Community
College Alumni Hall of Fame. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much. First of all, I’d
like to say what a tremendous honor
it is to be part of this hall of fame class. I’d like to congratulate my
fellow inductees one more time, and extend a
few special thank yous, first to Lakeland
Community College, the Lakeland Foundation. Second, Linda Daly. Linda nominated me for
this tremendous honor. Thank you so much. Thank you to Dee [? Hansen. ?]
She’s out somewhere. Yeah. There you are. Dee helped Linda
organize my nomination, and more importantly, thank
you, Dee, for being there, and for providing encouragement
and your loving support. As you heard, we have
three teachers, almost. Thank you to my daughters– Kristin, Kelly, and
Kimberly, for your support and encouragement. Kristin and Kimberly
are teachers. Kelly’s not quite a teacher. She’s a speech
language pathologist. All three are making a
difference in our world, and that makes me an
extremely proud dad. And certainly,
last but not least, thank you to my
son-in-laws, Eric and Bob, for all your support and
all you do, especially for challenging me during
our annual family putt-putt outings. However, as the
guys will tell you, I’m still the reigning champ. You know, part of
an old saying reads, if you’re traveling
down a country road, and you come across a fence
post with a turtle on top, you know one thing for sure. He didn’t get up
there by himself. He had help. Well, I’ve advanced in
my career because I’ve had help along the way, too. My leadership journey
began as a child, when my parents
Ralph and Virginia, who are here this
evening, provided me with exceptional core values. And for that I’d like to
say, thank you, mom and dad. Lakeland later
became the catalyst that propelled a then
21-year-old into a career that spanned over 34 years, all at
the world-renowned Case Western Reserve University. My path to Lakeland and
Case Western Reserve, and ultimately to this
evening, was made possible by a string of events which
began about the summer of 1980. You see, it was during that time
my dad gave me a 35 millimeter film camera. And that simple gift
ignited my lifelong passion with photography. After I graduated from
Mayfield High School, I enrolled at Lakeland
to study photography. And while I was in a
medical photography course here at Lakeland, I
served a mini internship in the photography department at
Case Western Reserve’s Medical School. Well, long story
short, I guess I made a pretty good impression. And shortly after, I
received a job offer to work as a photographic
lab technician, which launched my career at
Case Western Reserve. The cool part about this
was I graduated in May, and day one at Case was
in June, 34 years ago. But this moment is really
much bigger than me. This induction is for my family. It’s for Lakeland
Community College. It’s for the dozens
and dozens of people I’ve had the
privilege of working with over the years at
Case Western Reserve. And it’s for those
who have provided me with the opportunity
to lead, and for those who follow my leadership. While at CWRU, I’ve worked
on so many projects, totaling hundreds and hundreds
of millions of dollars. It’s been estimated that
during my 34-year career, my work has impacted
over 100,000 students. I’ve had my photographic
work, as you heard, published all over the world. And I’ve been privileged
to represent Case Western Reserve on the national
stage, which has allowed me to travel from coast to coast. Again, if it were
not for Lakeland, it’s likely none of this
would have been possible. I think that’s not too bad for
a guy with an associate degree. In closing, I hope that
the success of my career may serve as an example to
current and future Lakeland students. I think I’m living proof it’s
a tremendous value this college represents, not only
to Northeast Ohio, but the entire region. Let me again say what an
absolute honor is to be part of this Hall of Fame. This induction is something
that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Good evening. I’m Susan McGuinness,
and I have the honor of inducting my friend,
Beth Ann Knezevich into the Lakeland Hall of Fame. Beth earned an associate
degree from Lakeland in 1996, a bachelor’s degree in
urban studies in 1998 from Cleveland State. She is a 1981 graduate
of Riverside High School. She served in the US Army
as a legal specialist in the JAG corps. While in the army, she won
several commendations, awards, and certificates of achievement,
including an armed service– and armed forces
reserve medal in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Beth is employed as
a legal assistant with McDonald Hopkins. She has served on the
Lake County Land Bank Board of Directors, Vice Chair
of the Painesville Township Zoning Committee, and
the Painesville Township Comprehensive Plan Committee. Her extensive and
diverse volunteer experience includes the Lake
County Board of Elections as an elections official,
Legal Aid Society of Cleveland Veterans Clinic, Painesville
Township Family Fun Day Classic Car Cruise In, she
organized that; the Riverside local school
district Alumni Association; co-captain at McDonald Hopkins
for the VeloSano Bike to Cure; and participates in the
Wreaths Across America. In addition, Beth was
instrumental in getting the Vial of Life
Project initiated in Painesville Township. And this Vial of Life Project
is a nationally recognized lifesaving program. Well done, Beth. Beth, congratulations on your
induction into the Lakeland Community College Hall of Fame. [APPLAUSE] Sorry about that. Thank you. First of all, I’d like to
thank my good friend, Susan McGuinness for the
wonderful introduction, and for all of her
support throughout this. Susan called me
one day to tell me that she had some
good news for me. I couldn’t guess what it
was for the life of me. And I’m still in
shock to be selected to the Alumni Hall of Fame. I would like to thank
the selection committee for their time and
effort in making tonight possible for all the inductees. My path here certainly
is a different one, and I’m honored to be
recognized for that. There were a lot of stops
and starts along the way, but I did it. I was pretty lucky just
to get out of high school. And I thought I would just
get a job after graduation, and college was never discussed. And we didn’t have the money. But one day I just decided
I was going to college. Lakeland was the obvious
choice because of its location, and because of
its affordability, since I had to work
my way through school. I enjoyed my time here. I played on the volleyball
team and have great memories of Coach Barb
[? Krankowski, ?] Frank [? Krankowski, ?] my teammates
Leslie, Carol, Tracy, just to name a few. Have great memories of just
hanging out down at the gym. The gym was like my family then. So I took courses in
the paralegal program, because I wanted a career
in the legal field. That’s where I thought
I could make the biggest difference in people’s lives. Research, writing,
attention to detail– all the skills I learned
in the paralegal program have been invaluable to me. I couldn’t have had the success
I’ve had without those skills. In 1996, I enlisted in
the United States Army. And because I furthered
my education at Lakeland, I was able to enter as
a Private First Class. And I was able to choose
my job, a legal specialist. Serving my country and
helping my fellow soldiers with their legal issues was
one of the most rewarding times in my life. Those skills were
also utilized when I served on the
Painesville Township Zoning Commission and the Comprehensive
Planning Committee, and currently in my job of
19 years as a legal assistant at the firm of McDonald Hopkins. I would like to thank all
of my instructors here– excuse me– instructors,
especially Laura Barnard in the paralegal program. It’s an excellent program. In closing, congratulations
to my fellow inductees, and thank you
to everyone in attendance, to the selection committee,
and to the Lakeland community, for making tonight so special. Thank you, [APPLAUSE] Good evening, everyone. My name is Greg Sanders. Before I read the
introduction for Lee, I want to tell a
real quick story. So a tradition of the Hall
of Fame induction ceremony is that there is a premeeting
where everybody has a chance to talk to President Beverage
and ask questions and be welcomed to the family. And it’s also a way
for people to say, for example, my name
is Bob Zonneville, and I have the
distinct privilege of being inducted by Nancy
Sanden, which is very nice. Well, Lee, when it was his
turn he said, my name is Lee. And the first person that
I wanted to induct me wasn’t available, so
I got Greg Sanders. [LAUGHTER] So just so you know, Lee, the
first person I wanted to induct was Mike Miller. Just so you know. [LAUGHTER] But I digress. I could go on, but this is
his Hall of Fame moment. So I will– I’ll behave. Good evening. I have the privilege of
inducting Lee Quignano into the Lakeland Alumni
Hall of Fame this evening. Lee graduated from
Lakeland in 1999 with an associate of art
degree, after completing his GED diploma. He earned a bachelor
of science– bachelor of arts degree from Myers
University with honors in 2005. Lee holds a number of securities
and insurance licenses in multiple states. He’s been a notary
public since 1999, and is a registered
financial consultant. While in the Marine Corps,
Lee received recognition from the Secretary of the
Navy on two separate occasions Lee began working in
the financial services industry in 1998
while at Lakeland, and has worked at the Johnnycake
Financial since that time. He is now one of the two owners. Johnnycake Financial
Services is ranked in the top 5% within the
Raymond James network of 4,165 financial advisors, and
is the eighth highest in the state of Ohio as
measured by production. Lee is highly involved
in our community. He is a past president
of the Mentor Rotary, and three-time recipient
of its Paul Harris Award. During his tenure
with Mentor Rotary, his efforts have helped support
Deepwood Center MRDD, Project Hope, Lake County
Council on Aging, YMCA, high school
drama scholarship awards, and community
service scholarships. Lee’s a Meals on Wheels driver. He’s organized a special events
Olympics in Okinawa, Japan, and assisted in rebuilding an
orphanage at Mount Fuji, Japan. Lee, sincerely, congratulations
on your induction into the Lakeland Community
College Alumni Hall of Fame. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, number two. So I see I am the first
inductee to use a cell phone for my speech. So good evening, everyone. Thank you, Greg, for
that introduction. You were my number
one, really, but– I received a strange email
or a message on Facebook from Lori Caszatt, who is
the woman who nominated me. And she was someone I knew
just from random events that I was at. And it started kind of
like a telemarketing thing. And I thought, someone’s
asking me for something, and I’m not sure what. It took a few emails,
but eventually, she let me know what was going on. So thank you, Greg. Thank you for Lakeland. Really tonight, that’s
really all I want to say. For those who know me, I
can be very long-winded. Thank you for the woman who went
before me, because you gave me a lot of extra time. But my thank you
tonight will, sincerely, it will be my brevity. So I just have a
few things to say. Before we came out tonight, Dr.
Beverage had us in the back. And one of the things
he was talking about was how proud Lakeland is for
its inclusivity, rather than its exclusivity. And I’m certainly
one of those people. Now, this is where
it gets hard to talk, but I’m going to
get through this. I had a hard time
in high school. Eventually dropped out. Didn’t finish. Got my GED. And through a temporary
program in the Marine Corps, served four years. Man, I didn’t expect this. Anyway. When I came to
Lakeland afterwards, I had no transcripts. I had no official copies. I had no FAFSA data. I didn’t even know
what a FAFSA was. I thought no, I didn’t get that. I got inoculated in Japan. I’m fine. So they found a way to accept me
for who I was, for where I was. And eventually, they even
created extra classwork. We had a group of students
in the Spanish department who were just gobbling up classes. And with the help of the dean
I believe at the time, Dr. [INAUDIBLE],, he
created coursework specifically for
economics, specifically for conversation, things
that you don’t really get in your first
two years of Spanish. So I ended up with three
or four years of Spanish, because it took me
a while to finish. They had a willingness
to support my desire to further my career. I’d already had my job. I kept seeing a guy come in
and help with the computers. And every time he came
in he made more money than I did all week. And so I thought, maybe there’s
something to these computers. And thus, my speech. And so they found a way to
allow me to double and triple up on computer courses. And even though I’m
one of the two owners, I’m still the IT guy. So anyway, no words that
I can give, no more words that I can give, can
fully describe how honored I am as a high
school dropout to be recognized by an institution
of higher education. So thank you. Thank you for all you
have enabled me to do. [APPLAUSE] I get an escort. All right. Last, but not least. Come here, Bob. Good evening. I’m Nancy Brunner Sanden. And I have the distinct
privilege and honor of introducing this fine
gentleman, Bob Zonneville, into the Lakeland Hall of Fame. On January 23, 1925, the
world welcomed a baby boy named Robert Earl Zonneville. Bob’s life has taken him
from a journey of poverty to fulfillment of the
promise of America– a quote from the novel Z, which
was authored by his son, who’s in the audience, Kim. This is on sale on Amazon
and at the book store. [APPLAUSE] Bravo! You will read all about
his life in this book. Let’s fast forward. Bob served 31 months in the
US Army during World War II, attaining the rank
of Staff Sergeant. He was a combat trooper in
the 8th Infantry Division, serving across France,
Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and Germany. He is the recipient of
numerous decorations, including two Purple Hearts, the
European Theater of Operations Medal with four
bronze stars for each of the four major campaigns. You might recognize Bob
from around the community, as he was referred to
as the historian who hosts special programs
where they discuss life as it was like for veterans when
they returned from World War II. If you love World
War II history, you’ll want to catch
up on his presentation. After the war, Bob worked
for three trucking companies for more than 60 years. He retired as president and
CEO of Landstar Inway, Inc., a 48-state trucking carrier. In 1994, Landstar established
the Robert E. Zonneville Lifetime Achievement Award,
which is given out annually. How am I doing so far? Good? I’m embarrassed. Good? Oh, don’t be. It gets better. The New York State native was
married in 1947 to his late wife Carol, a former
schoolteacher with whom he had four children, and they’re
seated in–1, 2, 3– the fourth row there. So there they are. Welcome. He now shares his life with
his second wife, Elvira. And she can’t be here,
though, because she’s traveling in Lithuania. Yeah. OK. Moving even faster
forward, Bob Zonneville graduated from Lakeland in
2012 at the young age of 88 with an associate
of arts degree, giving him the
distinction of being the college oldest graduate. While he might be
the oldest student to walk across the stage
at Lakeland Community College for his diploma,
he’s known as the one– as one of the youngest at heart. At Lakeland, he was known
for slapping high fives in the hallway with
fellow students, and encouraging them to
do their best in school. He was an active member in the
Lakeland chapter of the Student Veterans of America, and
he served as a mentor to the next generation of
military veteran college students at Lakeland. Today Bob volunteers his time
to numerous organizations, such as the Mentor VFW,
the Mentor American Legion, and has been the recipient
of a number of recognitions for his service to
others in the region. Most recently, he was recognized
with a Veteran of the Year award by the American Legion
Lake County Council of Posts. Bob, you are one
outstanding role model for the young and
aging populations. Thank you for your service,
for your belief in America, for your belief in
the younger generation and in mankind, for
your gift of sharing, and the list goes on and on. You are blessed. We are blessed to
call you friend. Ladies and gentlemen,
help me congratulate Bob on his induction into the
Lakeland Community College Hall of Fame. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Oh. Too much. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. I’m a little embarrassed. I’m sure my comments
will be just a little different
than my predecessors, because the situation
was different. First of all, I’m the
very proud father of four and their spouses, five
grandchildren and spouses, and eight great-grandchildren,
a stepfather to two other sons
and a daughter. Two of the sons are married,
and four more grandchildren. You put that crowd together,
there’s about 37 of us. And tonight I’m a very
proud concerned father. I have a 42-year-old
granddaughter, Adrian, who is 42 years old. Had cancer twice. And because of– she made it. She’s been raising money
for cancer all these years. And at this very moment,
she and several other girls are in the process of climbing
Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in Africa. And at the top of– [APPLAUSE] At the top of that mountain
there’s actually blizzards. So obviously, I’m
a little concerned. I was very surprised
and very honored to be nominated to the Lakeland
College Hall of Fame. I just hope the Russians
had nothing to do with it. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] I owe a lot to a lot of
people for this achievement, starting with my
late wife, Carol, who suggested after
I retired, she said, Bob, you’ve come so
far from so little, I’d like to see you
go back to school. And after you’ve done
that, write a book. Well, I– unfortunately, she
passed away before I went. But then I decided to
come over to Lakeland. They told me about
a senior program. And I said, well, I don’t take
tests and I don’t get credit, my family will think
what’s the matter with him? He’s not going to
do a whole job? So I registered as a
student, paid tuition like everybody else. Because I wanted to do it. Along the way, every morning
I used to walk with a lady down the street. She’s here this evening– Cathy Coleman. And sometimes when I was
getting a little discouraged, she pumped up my spirits. And she also helped
me with the computer. I had to realize I had graduated
from high school in 1942. I had started school in a
one-room schoolhouse where there was no electricity, where
every row was a separate grade. Many of the subjects they have
here, it wasn’t even available. There wasn’t even
the word, computer. So I knew that I
was going to have– I was in for a big surprise. I also want to
thank VFW Post 9295. Several of them
are here tonight. Because shortly after
I started school here, they decided to
set up scholarships for veterans or members
of veteran’s families. To date, they’ve given 30. And for a post of our size,
it’s quite a remarkable thing. In my humble
opinion, Lakeland is one of the real big
assets of Lake County. I do not believe when it
started 1967 anyone believed that it would grow
to where it is today. So many have graduated
that could not have attended otherwise, without
having high student debt. And now with the
partnership they have, you can finish up
the whole works. And if you don’t
make it here, there’s something– you better
look in a mirror. The teachers offer
extra help when needed. And a guy like me did need it. I had a couple of courses that– there was– I’d
been just as easy studying Greek or something. And the teacher said if I
wanted to come in early, he would spend time with me. He wouldn’t do the work. But he would help me. I had another one where they
offered tutors at no charge. So if you don’t– they
want you to succeed here. They go out of their way to
make it that you graduate. If you don’t, there’s
only one place to look– in the mirror. A couple of funny things
happened to me on the way here. One of my early classes– I tell you these
couple of instances only because it shows how the
students accept everybody. One of my early classes
was modern history. And after we took
our first exam, the teacher came in and
said, everyone did very well. But Robert aced it. And this student
said, well, he should. He lived it. He didn’t have to study. [LAUGHTER] And then I later took
a computer class. And the young lady
came and told us what we’re going to be doing. And then she asked
some questions. And she said, how many of you
got Facebook, smartphones, and went through all this stuff. She looked over and
says, Robert, you never raised your hand once. I says, lady, I got
to tell you something. I started out in a
one-room schoolhouse. There wasn’t even
a word computer. I don’t even know how to
turn that darn thing on. The students all laughed and
said, Bob, you sound like fun. We’re going to help you. And boy, did they. The 2 and 1/2 years I
spent year at Lakeland– it took me a little over two,
because I wasn’t as bright as some of the others– were some of the most enjoyable
of my life because of all the wonderful people here. If you’re elderly and want
to bring back a little youth, I urge you to come to Lakeland. You’re never too old to learn. And I think you’d be surprised
how wonderful a place it is. I’d like to leave you
with a couple of comments. I know they’re not related
to Lakeland, necessarily. But now next week, I got to
speak to a couple of classes here. Again, I always like to leave
a comment with the students. When we veterans– VFW, if you don’t
know what it is, it’s Veterans of Foreign Wars. You had to serve in a foreign
country at a time of war, or a time of crisis. So obviously, it’s risky. When we serve there,
we’re also in a country where we’re not native to. So the only true friends we
really have are ourselves. When you get ready
to go into battle, you don’t care what political
parties the rest of them belong to, what
church they go to, or what country they came from. You’re just awful glad
they’re Americans. I believe if we all
started doing some of that, we’d have a far better country. And my final comment was I
do a lot of hospice work. Riding from one place to
the other the other day, I had my radio in the car. And I’m a country music fan. Mickey Gilley was singing the
song called, “I Overlooked an Orchid to find a Rose.” Well, I was sitting
there thinking, so often we look around trying
to find fault or find something wrong, failing to see all the
good things that are around us, all the wonderful people. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you
for listening to this old World War II veteran, and I
thank the Foundation for what they’ve done. Good evening. [APPLAUSE] Wow. Well, thanks so
much to all of you for being here this evening. I’m Greg Sanders. I introduced myself
a little earlier. One more thing. Oh. I’ll be right back. You can sit here. Oh. Sit here, Greg. I think she’s saying sit. Oh. I didn’t jump up soon enough. I didn’t jump up soon enough,
and he was already up here. But anyways, wanted to help us
honor our inductees tonight, we have County Commissioner
John Hamercheck. He’s also a 2017 Lakeland
Hall of Famer himself. So I ask you to come up and
join us to share a few remarks, and also present proclamations
to our Class of ’19. [APPLAUSE] Well, good evening, all. We’ve been treated to
some wonderful things, very ably stated, about and
even from our inductees tonight. So, well done. Come on. There we go. [APPLAUSE] At times like this,
though, I like to look out to the audience and
suggest, look around the room. Look at each other. Think about each other. Think about yourselves and how
you’ve influenced their lives, as they’ve influenced yours Lakeland Community College is
a college about more than just excellent education. It’s about fellowship. It’s about being a real
family environment. Take the time to walk through
the hallways around here. You’ll always be greeted
with a smile, a hearty hello, sometimes even a, can I
help you find something? The reason I say that is
there’s so many new things that you can experience
here at Lakeland. There’s always something that
just gets your attention. And it’s because
of people like this that this college has
continued to grow and adapt to our community’s needs. And that’s why Lakeland
Community College is such an asset
to our community, as well as our inductees. Thank you, all. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Commissioner
Hamercheck. So does everyone
know who I am by now? All right. I’ll skip the first paragraph. But one thing you
may not know about me is that I am a proud
member of the Lakeland Hall of Fame myself, Class of 2014. But on behalf of all
of us here at Lakeland, I want to congratulate
one more time our six inductees to the
Hall of Fame this evening. So please join me. [APPLAUSE] My sincere appreciation to the
Lakeland Alumni and Friends Network Advisory
Committee for their work, and to Dale Fellows, our
chair, for his leadership. Dale is a volunteer who spent
many, many years helping us with our alumni
relations program. So thank you, Dale,
for all that you do on behalf of the college. I’d also like to recognize
our Hall of Fame members for their commitment to the
success of our students. Over the past few months,
we’ve been asking them for the support of our
student-centered programs and scholarships. And to date, this year
our alumni Hall of Famers have donated $11,915 in total. These gifts make
a true difference to the success of
Lakeland students. So thank you for
your generosity. [APPLAUSE] Finally, I’d like to acknowledge
the Lakeland Foundation team who made this event happen– Laurie Principe, Tracy Morris
Noland, and Nancy Brooks, and a former
foundation team member who’s still here
at Lakeland doing something a little
different now, Jen Smyser. Thank you guys for all that you
did to make this night happen. [APPLAUSE] So thanks again, to
all of you for being part of this wonderful evening. We invite you to
stay for dessert, and to congratulate
our inductees. Enjoy the evening. This concludes the
2019 Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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