Dr. Gunder Myran

Dr. Gunder Myran

Dr. Gunder Myran, Washtenaw Community College’s President from 1975 to 1998, has received the prestigious 2014 Leadership Award granted by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

To earn the award, a candidate must be nominated by the AACC CEO, and be an individual whose accomplishments and professional contributions to the community college field have been “outstanding and continuous”.

Myran certainly meets this criteria and much more. Widely regarded as a leader in the evolution of the community college movement, Myran has been a national leader for the past 48 years in the community college field in general, and the adult and continuing education fields in particular. During the 1960s and 1970s, he was a professor at the distinguished Kellogg Community College Leadership Program at Michigan State University where he developed a revolutionary model that ultimately became the framework for the shift from campus-based to community-based community colleges.

Widely known as the ‘father of adult and continuing education’, Myran’s vision was exemplified during his time as president of WCC. He helped the College grow beyond its early beginnings into an institution known for its exceptional community ties and innovative programs. He also continued to refine his models of community engagement, including curriculum development for career education and community-based continuing education. He involved the college in initiatives such as economic and work-force development, customized job training for area employers and labor unions, and was instrumental in establishing the first high school academy sponsored by a community college in Michigan.

Myran has also influenced the expansion of the community college mission by founding the National Council of Continuing Education and Training (NCCET); the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQUIN); and the national COMBASE consortium. Through his writings, including his soon to be published book Reinventing the Open Door: Transformational Strategies for Community Colleges which will be published by the AACC, he continues to deliver tremendous insights to leaders in the industry across the nation and around the world.

“We extend our sincere congratulations to Dr. Myran for this well-served Leadership Award, and are very gratified to see him honored in this way,” said Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, president of WCC. “His contributions to WCC and influence on the entire world of community college education and community service will continue to be felt, and deeply appreciated, long into the future.”