President’s Message

Alumni Association Board

Lori Thomas and members of the Alumni Association’s governing board meet in the Board of Trustees room. The modern version of Donald Coupard’s College seal appears at left. Photo by Pete Vidal.

Dear fellow alumni and friends,

Seven decades ago, Montgomery Junior College began teaching night classes at B-CC High School. While it would take four years for the College to get its own campus, some things had to be done right away: picking colors for its athletic teams (burgundy and gold, a local favorite), and creating an institutional seal (the design by the late Donald Coupard ’48 endures today, without “Junior” in the name).

But an official seal doesn’t work everywhere. For much of our history, an informal brand has promoted our College. An “MJC” monogram in a gold box gave way to a colonnaded “MC” when the name shortened, followed by an abstract, hole-punch collage in 1980. Now, for its 70th anniversary, the College debuts a new logo with a hint of a Raptor claw along the top. You’ll find that image on new College materials, and we’ll work it into our own items when we welcome upcoming classes of Raptors as Alumni Association members.

If you read the Washington Post five to ten years ago, you may remember a delightful comic about life in the Washington suburbs. Richard Thompson ’78 took his “Cul de Sac” strip from the Post Magazine to national syndication, and eventually won cartooning’s highest award, the Ruben. Richard, who received our Milton F. Clogg Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award in 2004, passed away this summer. He was active in Rockville’s student life, including The Spur—where his first comic strip ran—and the Medieval Militia, where he hung out with Gail Rubin ’78. Gail’s blog about Richard is a fitting remembrance to share in this edition.

Richard was one of two honorees we lost this year: Hall of Fame coach Jim Davis passed away last spring. Coach Davis was a beloved regular at our awards dinners, and a generation of MC athletes will miss him.

Another honoree, Ed Riggs ’69, is still going strong as a communication arts professor. We followed him beyond his day job to find out more about his other life on the ski slopes. Other alums we feature here are Lyudmyla Panashchenko ’05, who troubleshoots satellite parts for NASA, and Sarah Lasko ’10, who wrapped up a national tour as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Every September, your Board of Governors welcomes students who receive Alumni Association scholarships. Our photo from that meeting is already out of date, as Debbie Dwyer ’80 has left the board to serve as a Maryland Circuit Court judge. We’re thrilled for her success, and I’m happy that Jane Smith ’76 has agreed to fill Debbie’s term as vice president.

Finally, I congratulate the Alumni Association’s longtime staff assistant, Bernice Grossman, who in 2007 became the only College staffer to receive an honorary MC degree, and who is retiring in January.

Her friendly support and encyclopedic knowledge of the local business and government community have been a great asset to our Association, and she has been a consistent supporter of MC’s students through a scholarship fund. To see more about our plans for giving her a big send-off, visit us at

Lori A. Thomas ’99
Montgomery College
Alumni Association President