DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI HONORED
Durand Educational Foundation Recognizes Fuja, Watkins
DURAND AREA SCHOOLS "A BETTER PLACE TO LEARN"
Dr. Tom Fuja, left; Capt. Michael Watkins, right/Courtesy photos
Durand Educational Foundation selected two distinguished graduates of Durand High School to honor this year. The recipients were selected from a pool of nominees that included artists, actors, military personnel, community servants and numerous individuals with impressive career accomplishments.
Dr. Tom Fuja is a Professor and the Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where he teaches classes and conducts research into ways to make digital communication systems more reliable – ways to improve the sound and image quality in cell phones, military communication systems, and TV broadcasts. Prof. Fuja has also served as the Program Director for Communications Research at the U.S. National Science Foundation and as a consultant to companies such as Apple, AT&T, and Vizio in patent infringement cases, testifying in U.S. District Court and at the International Trade Commission in Washington DC. Prof. Fuja graduated from DAHS in 1977 and from the University of Michigan in 1981. He received his PhD from Cornell University in 1987.
We are also recognizing Captain Michael Watkins who was nominated for his dedicated service to the country as a member of United States Marine Corps. Watkins enlisted in the Marines upon graduation from high school. He was commissioned as an officer in 2005 after earning a Bachelor’s degree. As a pilot, he accrued over 1200 flight hours, including 1000 hours in the EA6B Prowler. Watkins served as an IMEF Special Operations Instructor as well as completing tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He earned a Master’s degree and has received numerous awards and commendations that rounded out his honorable and distinguished career. Watkins retired in 2015 with a rank of Captain.
Durand Educational Foundation honored the alums at a reception at Durand Union Station on Sunday, August 13th.
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800 SHOW UP FOR SATURDAY NIGHT PARTY WITH VETERAN LOCAL ROCKERS
See Photos and Videos from Local Rock & Roll Reunion Benefiting Vets Park
Durand Now photo
Music and Memories -- that's what Saturday night, August 26th, at Optimist Park was all about. That, and, raising money for Durand's Veterans Memorial Park.
An estimated eight to nine hundred fans, young and old, new and "old school," danced the night away to the sounds of 60s and 70s hits performed by friends and former classmates, all who were part of the garage band hey-day.
OTHER LOCAL SITES TO SEE: