A Butler County commissioner and the executive director of the Butler YMCA will be recognized as this year’s distinguished alumni by Butler County Community College.
Kim Geyer of Mars will become the second county commissioner in two years to be honored. She received an associate degree in liberal arts from BC3 in 1984, and was also a three-sport athlete during her time at the college.
Sandra Ihlenfeld of Butler enrolled at BC3 in her mid-40s and received an associate degree in physical education. She will become the third non-traditional graduate to be recognized in the past two years.
The distinguished alumni awards honor graduates who have utilized their education and experience from BC3 to achieve significant levels of success and who have a commitment to community service.
The awards will be presented during a dinner on Saturday.
“I am so humbled and honored,” said Geyer, who as a student traveled to the college’s main campus in Butler Township at least three days a week and often had to manipulate the carburetor to start a family vehicle that had already been driven 200,000 miles. “It would stall out constantly.”
Ihlenfeld was a married mother of three working as the full-time health and well-being director at the Butler YMCA when she decided to enroll at BC3 because, she said, of the college’s affordability, accessibility and quality of education.
“BC3 was convenient, and the cost was good,” Ihlenfeld said. “When I was considering whether attending college was even a possibility, the first thing I had to think about was ‘Can I clear my schedule enough to do it?’ And I realized I was going to have to fight that every day. And then, ‘Can you afford to do it?’ I did not take out any loans. I just paid for every course as I went. And I got a very good education.”
Geyer and Ihlenfeld are among at least 23,000 former students in 50 states and in Ecuador who have earned at least 45 credits at BC3 since its first class assembled in 1966, according to Michelle Jamieson, associate director of the BC3 Education Foundation.
They will join 49 other BC3 graduates recognized as distinguished alumni since the awards were first presented in 2004 by the BC3 Alumni Council.
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