John and Nancy Colina, the grand marshals for the 2016 Alma College homecoming parade, first became acquainted with the college when their daughters picked Alma to further their education.
“When we brought JoMarie and Lori to campus, we caught the excitement,” says Nancy Colina. “We saw something at Alma that John and I had not experienced in our own college experience. We thought, ‘this is amazing.’ Alma provides phenomenal opportunities for young people to live and learn at a small-college setting. We want to further this kind of experience for all students.”
Soon after their daughters enrolled, John and Nancy joined the Parent Board. John later was appointed to the Board of Trustees, serving from 1989 to 2007, including three years as board chair.
They also have supported the college’s mission and building priorities. The Colina Library Wing, opened in 1996 and remodeled in 2006, provides dedicated study areas in the Kerhl Library, while the Colina Human Performance Laboratory in the McIntyre Center for Health Science is named for their daughters, JoMarie Colina Goerge ’89 and Lori Colina Lee ’90.
Following the sale of the family business, John and Nancy founded The Colina Foundation in 1992 to help at-risk children in southern Wayne County. The foundation has given thousands of dollars in grants to community and educational organizations over the past 24 years.
“Our foundation focuses on the first eight years of life, recognizing that kids need to have a good foundation,” says John Colina. “Alma College also reaches out to young people, many of whom are the first from their families to go to college, and to give them a foundation for life. They will be the leaders of tomorrow.”
The Colinas’ trip to Alma to serve as grand marshals provides a convenient excuse for them to visit their grandchildren. Tyler Goerge is a senior at Alma majoring in biology, while Cassandra Goerge is a first-year student anticipating her first Alma College homecoming as a student.
Alma’s homecoming celebration takes place Oct. 7-9, with the parade scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8.