Most Interesting and Influencial 2005: Paula D. Cunningham


  Paula D. Cunningham, President of Lansing Community College, holds a B. S. in Journalism and a M. S. in Labor/Industrial Relations from Michigan State University. Paula and her spouse, Darius, have a son, Darius II, and a daughter, Dana.
    She has a long history with LCC and an extensive administrative background.  During her career with LCC, Ms. Cunningham served as Vice President of the Planning and College Relations Division at Lansing Community College.  She has also served the College as Executive Director of Marketing, Community and Board Relations, Director of Professional Development, Assistant Personnel Director, and as a faculty member in the Careers Division. As President of Lansing Community College, she successfully led a community millage campaign to generate an additional $9 million for the institution.
     She is also responsible for implementation of an aggressive facilities master plan with the building of three new instructional facilities and a new administration building by 2005.
     Throughout her career, President Cunningham has been actively involved with various community organizations.  She was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Council on Technical Excellence.  President Cunningham was also appointed by our current Governor, Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Education Trust Board of Directors, and the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Higher Education & Economic Growth.  She currently serves on the Economic Development Corporation, MBI Corporation, MI Works Career Connection, Capitol National Bank and Ingham Regional Medical Center Boards, Tax Increment Finance Authority, Michigan Workforce Policy Reinvention Project and United Negro College Fund.
     Ms. Cunningham’s dedication to education and community has been recognized by several organizations.The Commission on Spanish Speaking Affairs presented the Outstanding Citizen Award to her in 1996.   In 1999, President Cunningham was voted by the Lansing State Journal as one of Lansing’s Outstanding Women.  In 2000 Ms. Cunningham received the Honorary Achiever of the Year Award by the YMCA.
   She served as the 2002 Campaign Chair of the Capital Area United Way leading an effort to raise close to $7 million dollars for local charities. In 2002 she received the Vocational Excellence Award by the Rotary Club of East Lansing. In 2003 she received the Excellence in Education Award by SBC Ameritech, and is currently serving as the 2004 Capital Area United Way Board Chair.