The Aspen Institute Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 150 2017
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Past Distinguished Alumni Recipients - 2002

 2002 Recipients

Philip J. Braun

Philip J. Braun attended Flint Junior College in 1938 after graduating from Flint Northern High School. At that time, the college campus was located in the vicinity of where the Flint Institute of Arts is today.

Phil graduated from Flint JC in 1940 and went on to earn his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Commerce. He joined the military and served in Italy, France and Germany from June 1, 1944 until March 16, 1946. Phil returned to Flint where he took over the family business, Braun and Braun Insurance, until he retired in 1982.

Phil and his wife, Sally, had three children: Steve, Laurel and Mark. Life changed after Sally’s death in 2001. Phil and his high school sweetheart, Connie Sayers(whose spouse had also died), were married and are shining examples of “young love”.


Frank DeLorenzo

When Frank DeLorenzo graduated from St. Agnes in 1962, he and many of his friends made the logical choice to attend Flint Junior College.

Originally, he thought about becoming a teacher, but after attending Flint JC, he went into the United States Air Force. Frank returned to Flint four years later and, having become a licensed cosmetologist, he continued working in the field. As a successful entrepreneur, Frank has owned don Franco Salons for over 30 years. Today, his business has grown to include don Franco West on Linden Road and the soon-to-open don Franco Salon on Hill Road.

Currently, he provides employment opportunities for 60 people. Anyone who knows Frank knows how incredibly generous he is with his time, talents and resources. Frank received his degree from MCC in May 2003.


Dr. Raymond Gist

When Ray Gist graduated from Northern H.S. in 1960, he had a dream. He wanted to be a dentist. Even though he was accepted at U of M in Ann Arbor, he chose Flint Junior College. He knew he’d get more for his money at JC. After graduating from Flint JC in 1962 with an Associates in Science Degree, Ray transferred to U of M in Ann Arbor. He received his DDS in 1966 and then entered the United States Air Force.

Dr. Gist was on staff at Mott Children’s Health Center before going into private practice in 1969. He has been deeply involved in the Michigan Dental Association as well at the Genesee District Dental Society. In May 2003 Dr. Gist became the first African American President of the Michigan Dental Association in the organization’s 150-year history. Dr. Gist and his wife, Jill, have one daughter, Holly, and two grandchildren, Micah and Noah.


The Honorable Judge Ramona Roberts

Judge Ramona M. Roberts is a product of the Flint School system. After graduating from Flint Northern High School, it was only natural for her to continue her education right at home – at Flint JC. Judge Roberts wen on to Michigan State where she received her B.A. Degree with high honors. She was a C.L.E.O. Fellow at Notre Dame University and received her Doctorate of Jurisprudence (JD) Degree from the University of Toledo – College of Law.

Judge Roberts has more than 20 years of legal professional experience spanning the gamut from private practice to her most recent accomplishment: Judge of the 68th District Court. It is noteworthy to add that she is the only female on this bench. On the state level, Judge Roberts is the 2002 President of the Michigan District Judges Association and serves on several state committees. Nationally, she serves as Financial Secretary of the Judicial Council National Bar Association.

Judge Roberts is the proud mother of one daughter, LaVeda (Dean) Moore of California, and two grandsons, Brian Johnson and Evan Moore.

August 17, 2015