Lake Michigan Credit Union celebrates 2016 Hutt Scholarship essay contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (May 5, 2016) — Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship essay contest. Winners were awarded their scholarship checks at a celebratory luncheon held in their honor at Frederick Meijer Gardens on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

Established in 1990 by Lake Michigan Credit Union, the annual Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship essay contest provides local high school seniors with the opportunity to win one of ten $2,000 scholarships toward the advancement of their future academic goals. Now in its 26th year, this scholarship program honors the legacy of LMCU founder Lloyd F. Hutt and his lifelong commitment to community involvement. Since its inception, the Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship has provided $311,500 in scholarships to 197 high school seniors.

This year’s essay topic was, What should people remember that is too often forgotten?”

Applicants each wrote an original 750 – 1,500 word essay exploring the topic in its entirety. Essays were evaluated with greater emphasis placed on creativity, passion, clarity and originality than mechanical or grammatical proficiency.

After receiving 538 submission entries – one short of the record set in 2014 – ten winners were selected by a panel of independent local judges. Entries came from 16 states; Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Missouri, Minnesota, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia and Florida.


Julia Belke – Jenison High School

Caitlin Casapao – Rockford High School

Natalie Coaster – Byron Center High School

Tyler DeVos – Caledonia High School

Mason Humphrey – Byron Center High School

Kendra Kunst – Calvin Christian High School

Lillian Lemkuil – Holland Christian High School

Kelli LeSarge – Rockford High School

Allyson Marvel – Cedar Springs High School

Natalie Nye – Byron Center High School

LMCU’s Assistant Vice President of Community Relations, Matt Cook is always impressed with the quality of essays received – and not just from the winners. ”Each year, we are quite moved by the thoughts and ideas expressed by these young adults. From following the Golden Rule to remembering the sacrifice of our veterans, the compassion and drive of the authors truly shines through.

“The judging process has been carefully developed to eliminate any possible of bias. The identities of the authors, as well as their schools of origin remain secret until winning essays have been selected. Three rounds of blind scoring took place, narrowing the original field of 538 entries down to 150, and later to 28 finalists. At no time are judges privy to any personally identifying information or the scores of other essays. The first two rounds are evaluated internally. The final round of evaluation and selection is done by an independent external panel of judges. Choosing which essays go forward starts out as a challenging process and does nothing but get harder as it goes along. Picking the final ten is always very difficult, and testament to the thought and creativity that went into them.”

Cook concluded, “This program is but one piece of LMCU’s ongoing commitment to meaningful educational support in the communities we serve. Higher education is vital to the growth and future of our communities, and these grants support greater access to higher learning, creating tangible, long term benefits.”

Awards are paid to recipients to provide financial assistance in the pursuit of an undergraduate degree at an accredited trade school, college or university. The money may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment.

LMCU 2016 Hutt Scholarship Winners Press Release Photo

About Lake Michigan Credit Union

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) is the largest credit union in Michigan. Employing a staff of over 1,550 and serving over 520,000 members, LMCU's assets exceed $11.5 billion, with a mortgage servicing portfolio of over $13 billion. LMCU has 65 convenient branch locations overall, including 19 in southwest Florida. LMCU members have access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide. LMCU provides a full range of financial services, from high interest-bearing checking accounts to personal loans, mortgages, investments, and commercial banking. To find out more, visit


Don Bratt

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