Nearly three dozen Morenci graduates have been honored in the past decade through the Morenci Education Association’s Distinguish Alumni Award program. Many stellar careers and life stories have been told when honoring these graduates.
Many more successful grads will be honored in the future. Some of them have not yet been been nominated for the honor; others have moved away and lost contact with their home town.
In one specific case, a potential and deserving nominee refuses the honor. That will come to an end this year when Bill Van Valkenburg takes the stage—not as the emcee of the annual award ceremony—but as a distinguished graduate.
Without Bill, the Distinguished Alumni award would not exist. Without Bill, the Morenci Education Foundation would not exist. The scholarships totaling more than $100,000 would never have been awarded to graduating seniors. Tens of thousands of dollars in mini-grants would never have aided Morenci teachers.
This isn’t the first year that Bill Van Valkenburg was suggested as the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award, but finally, it is the first year that he allowed the nomination to go through.
Bill’s efforts at creating the foundation and helping it grow—not to mention his long-time role as a local pastor and the other roles he’s filled over the years—make him a well-deserved recipient of the foundation’s award.
Along with three other graduates, Bill will be honored at the annual dinner April 14. Buy a ticket and help thank Bill for his efforts.