FLINT — More than 500 graduating students from Mott Community College are expected to show up at Flint’s Perani Arena, May 4, to accept their degrees in person at the college’s 2013 commencement ceremony.
The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. Approximately 1,400 students at MCC are eligible to graduate this year. (Eligible means the students have completed or are within two classes of completing degree requirements).
This year’s commencement speaker will be Ira A. Rutherford III, educator and community leader. Rutherford hails from a family whose commitment to community involvement and social justice helped shape his public service through education. The oldest of four children born to Ira A. and Clara Rutherford of Detroit, his parents were very active in the community: his father serving as a school volunteer and coach while his mother served as a member of the Detroit Board of Education for 16 years.
After attending Highland Park Community College and earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Western Michigan University, he returned to Detroit, working as a Junior High School teacher, Play Leader for the City of Detroit and basketball coach, while earning a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. He was subsequently recruited by his alma mater (Western Michigan University) to teach and work with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program and attend graduate school. After eight years in Kalamazoo, Rutherford relocated to Flint, to become Assistant Superintendent of Beecher Community Schools. After three years he was promoted to Superintendent, and served as Superintendent of Beecher Community Schools for more than 20 years.
Upon retirement from Beecher Community Schools, he established The Rutherford Group, which specializes in working with boards of education, universities, and community organizations while advancing urban education and the study of African-American history and culture. In 2000, he led a Genesee County literacy Initiative developed by eight local organizations.
During this time he also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan-Flint. In 2005, he “unretired” to lead the Flint Community Schools as the Superintendent for a year.
Rutherford has served on many boards, both locally and nationally. He is also a member of several civic and fraternal organizations and has received several awards and many accolades.
Details: Call 810-762-0237. — G.G.