Grand Awards honors college alumni

October 20, 2016

Several College of Education alumni were among those honored at the annual Michigan State University Grand Awards on Oct. 13.

Of the 16 university alumni who were honored, four were from the MSU College of Education.

Kathryn and Michael BoscoKathryn, B. ’58 (Elementary Education), and Michael Bosco, B.  ’57 (Social Science), received an Alumni Service Award. They were among four recipients of the award, which celebrates the continuing and outstanding volunteer service to MSU and/or other meritorious public service on a local, state, national or local level. Recipients must possess the highest standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of MSU.

Michael serves as an attorney and founding partner at Tiffany & Bosco, a private law firm. Kathryn is a retired elementary school teacher.

The Boscos, who reside in Phoenix, Ariz., have a long history of work with and contributions to MSU.

They have helped their local MSU Alumni Club raise $75,000 for the Arizona Spartan Endowed Scholarship Fund.

After their grandson was diagnosed with autism, the couple started a support group for a local autism research and support enter. They later combined their passion for autism research and confidence in MSU’s impact with a $100,000 donation to forward efforts with the Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND) initiative. RAIND is an international collective of scholars dedicated to autism research that is co-directed by Professor Michael Leahy of the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education.

The gift went to support the Early Learning Institute, co-created with and led by faculty in the College of Education, to support renovations and sustain researchers and staff. The Early Learning Institute, which recently opened its second branch, now employs a full staff of behavioral technicians thanks to their investment.

Ingrid Saunders JonesIngrid Saunders Jones, B.A. ’69 (Elementary Education), also received an Alumni Service Award.

Saunders Jones spent the early years of her career teaching in public schools in Detroit and Atlanta before joining the Coca-Cola company in 1982, later becoming the head of the Coca-Cola Foundation in 1991. During her years of service to the company, she was committed to education and educational outreach and was instrumental in awarding more than $500 million to thousands of community organizations worldwide before retiring in 2013.

She created the Ingrid Saunders Jones Endowed Scholarship Fund within the Eli Broad College of Business at MSU, which helps to support financially needy students.

She also has led the First Generation Scholarship Program, which to date has helped enable more than 1,200 students to become the first member of their families to attend college.

In addition to this award, Saunders Jones has also received a number of humanitarian awards and holds an honorary doctorate in the humanities from MSU.

Saunders Jones currently serves as the chair of the National Council of Negro Women and as a cabinet member for the Empower Extraordinary campaign for Michigan State University.

Richard L. BryceDr. Richard L. Bryce, who received his teaching certificate in 2003 from the MSU College of Education, was one of four to receive a Young Alumni Award. This award is presented to graduates 40 years and younger who have distinguished themselves through high levels of professional achievement early in their careers. They also demonstrate a high level of commitment to MSU through volunteer service, and/or participate in volunteer service or in leadership positions at the local, state, national or international level.

In addition to his ties with the College of Education, Bryce holds several degrees from and memories with Michigan State University. While a student, Bryce was a member of the Spartan football team. He graduated in 2002 from the College of Arts and Letters with a bachelor’s in Spanish, and simultaneously graduated from the Honors College. In 2008, he earned his medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Bryce is currently an assistant professor of family and community medicine at Wayne State University. He also works for the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit.

Vicki and Craig BrownCraig, ’73 Broad College of Business, and Vicki (Huber) Brown, B.A. ’75 (Special Education), were one of two recipients for the Philanthropist of the Year Award. This award is presented to those who have proven results of providing major, ongoing financial support to MSU.

The Browns have a history at MSU—including a proposal of marriage on the banks of the Red Cedar in April 1973.

Their connection to the university continues today, with a new expansion to Spartan Stadium, the Craig and Vicki Brown Plaza. They have also been steadfast in their support for Spartan Athletics and the Eli Broad College of Business.

Craig spent much of his career in advertising, and now co-owns (along with Vicki) several sports-related properties. Craig is currently the president and owner of the Greenville Drive, a baseball team and class-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Craig serves on the MSU athletic director’s advisory council, and is the current chair of Spartan Innovations, the entity charged with the commercialization of MSU’s intellectual properties. Vicki is president of the Brown Family Foundation, based in Naples, Fla.

In addition, the Browns, who reside in Greenville, S.C., are also cabinet members for the Empower Extraordinary campaign for MSU.

The college alumni were selected by the MSU Alumni Association Awards Committee, and were recognized for their accomplishments during the celebrations of MSU’s Homecoming week.

On the web

Learn more about each of the recipients through short videos describing their contributions to the MSU community.

Read about all of the MSU Grand Award winners on MSU Today.