Siena Heights University recently announced its 2023 Alumni Award winners. This year’s recipients will be honored on Friday, October 13 during Homecoming Weekend. The Awards given out this year were the Outstanding Alumni Award, the Sister Ann Joachim Award, the Recent Graduate Award, and the Honorary Alumni Award.
The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes outstanding professional achievements and/or volunteer contributions to promote Siena positively to the community, demonstrate strong leadership characteristics, and serve as significant role models for others. This year’s Outstanding Alumni Award recipient is Douglas (Doug) Small (class of 1982) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Small serves as the President and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids, an organization that brings tourism and conventions into Grand Rapids to find new ways to attract people to the city. Amongst many impressive accolades, one of the most notable includes his appearance in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, where he was listed as one of “200 Most Powerful Business Leaders in West Michigan.” He has received state and national acclaim for the work he has done and is continuing to do in a way that directly reflects the mission of Siena Heights.
The Sister Ann Joachim Award winner for 2023 is Jeremy J. Romer (class of 2008) of Canton, Michigan. After graduating from Siena Heights, Romer attended Thomas. M. Cooley Law School and was hired as a law clerk in 2013. From there, Romer has rapidly risen among the ranks, which ultimately led him toward his current position as the Corporation Counsel for the City of Dearborn, and concurrently serves as the City’s Chief Labor Negotiator. In April 2023, Romer was recognized as an “Up & Coming Lawyer” by Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly. At the time of this recognition, he was the only City attorney and municipal attorney selected. The Sister Ann Joachim Award is presented in memory of faculty member Sister Ann Joachim, O.P., and recognizes significant contributions to the University and/or community through activities that demonstrate strong leadership, the ability to get things done, and the capacity to confront issues head on while maintaining the image and spirit of the University.
The Recent Graduate Award was given to Tammy R. McCrory (class of 2012) of Farmington Hills, Michigan. McCrory is a Public Health Project Leader and Entrepreneur, a venture that allowed her to open the McCrory Center, a case management clinic, while managing a team of social workers and clinical professionals to help mothers and infants in Oakland and Wayne counties. As the current CEO, McCrory supports families and children with psychological conditions. As a result of her terrific accomplishments within her community, McCrory was acknowledged as a 2023 Crain’s Notable Leader in Behavioral Health and one of the “Oakland Together 40 under 40” members for 2023. The Recent Graduate Award is given to alumni who have graduated within the past ten years and whose professional achievement, community involvement and/or civic commitment demonstrate dedication to Christian values and the spirit of Siena Heights University.
The Honorary Alumni Award recognizes non-alumni of Siena Heights who demonstrate exceptional commitment to and support for the mission and spirit of the University. This year’s Honorary Alumni Award winner is Sister Beth Butler, O.P., who served as a professor and advisor for Siena Heights University from 1978-1983. Her involvement in the criminal justice program has inspired many students and was known to see promise in people when they couldn’t see it in themselves—and, more than just seeing that promise, Butler brought it out of people. She still maintains relationships with her former students, always rooting for their success, and embodies the spirit of Siena Heights in doing so.