Brian Calley was sworn in as America’s youngest Lieutenant Governor in January 2011. He was just 34.
An Ionia native, he spent a decade working as a community banker before Michigan voters elected him as a state representative in 2007. He continued to serve two terms in the House of Representatives prior to being elected with Governor Rick Snyder in 2010.
Calley attended Montcalm Community College in 1995 and 1996, while he was still a student at Ionia High School. Through a partnership between the college and area high schools, dual enrolled students are simultaneously enrolled in high school and in one or more college classes. The classes are taken for both college and high school credit.
“I was fortunate that my high school had a dual enrollment program set up with MCC,” Calley says. “My guidance counselor explained how taking MCC general education courses would be a great start for my college education. I am very glad I listened. It was a great head start on my degree.”
Calley earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University in 1998 and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Grand Valley State University in 2000. He says his experience at MCC helped him make a smooth transition from high school to college.
“I often hear people reminisce about how intimidating their first college experience was. That wasn’t me,” Calley says. “MCC provided a caring learning environment that helped me set goals and pushed me to achieve them. It was a comfortable transition into higher education.”
Calley has often been recognized by his colleagues as a bold leader with a commitment to reaching across the aisle to bring together political parties.
He has been named one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” by the United States Junior Chamber and one of Crain’s Detroit Business’s “40 under 40.” Other honors include the Small Business Association of Michigan’s “Legislator of the Year” and Portland’s “Outstanding Citizen of the Year.”
“I learned at MCC the value of lifelong learning from people who genuinely cared about my future,” he says. “Looking back, I feel fortunate that my first college experience was at a place like MCC.”
As the parent of a child with autism, Calley is active in statewide autism advocacy.
“I understand the tremendous challenges families face and want to help others in any way I can,” he says.
In his spare time, Calley can be found cheering on the MSU Spartans, playing the piano or even playing keyboard in a band from time to time.
“Montcalm Community College cares about your success – they truly cared about mine,” he adds. “MCC is a place where the instructors come with real world experience in the subjects they teach, and they show you how to thrive in our complex economy. And at the end of the day, they still know their students by name.
“MCC made a positive impact in my own life and in the lives of countless people I meet across Michigan,” he adds. “It’s an important part of our higher education system so make the most of what they have to offer.”
Calley and his wife, Julie, live in Portland with their three young children.