Alumni Spotlight: Eric McClure, Communications Specialist for the City of Battle Creek

Eric McClure poses outside with City Hall behind him.

Eric McClure, 28, of Athens, is a 2013 graduate of Athens Jr./Sr. High School and graduated from KCC in 2015 with an Associate in General Studies degree before continuing his education at Western Michigan University, where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and American Public Policy.

A recipient of KCC’s prestigious Board of Trustees and Robert F. Hites Transfer scholarships, McClure was an active member of the KCC community, participating in the KCC Concert Band; the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; registered KCC student organizations including the College Democrats, Campus Republicans and Healthy Choices Leadership Organization; and multiple service-learning projects, among other activities.

Below, McClure answers some questions about his experience at KCC.

Why did you choose your major/area of study?

I first developed a passion for reporting as a high school student working on our high school/community newspaper, The Echo. My experience on the newspaper staff helped me realize that helping share our school’s and town’s stories with our community was something that both utilized my skills in writing and learning, as well as furthered my interest in engaging/informing our community. During my time on the newspaper staff, I covered our district’s Board of Education meetings, including our brief time as a deficit district, which led to teacher and staff cuts. Experiencing local government in action, firsthand, through our school board helped me find my voice and courage to run for elected office as a high school student. Campaigning for and winning a seat on our town’s school board solidified a second passion for me: public service and local government.

Why did you choose to study your major specifically at KCC?

Choosing KCC was an easy decision for me. Coming from the small town of Athens, I was hoping to find the next step in my educational journey to be close to home, more personable and flexible. KCC was literally a 20-minute drive for me (in a city I was familiar and comfortable with). It also was a campus with a size that allowed you to experience a wide variety of classes and activities/groups, while still feeling like you weren’t just a number or stat (and that everyone, from professors to advisors to support staff, cared about you and your journey). KCC also gave me the opportunity to explore areas of study that I didn’t necessarily want to major in, but had a burning desire to learn more about. For me, that was biology, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to explore that desire and widen my worldview because of KCC’s ability to let its students explore what they’re interested in.

What are you doing now, and how did KCC help you on your path?

Today, I am serving the City of Battle Creek community as a Communications Specialist in the City Manager’s office! My time at KCC helped me get to this spot on my life journey in two important ways. First, my community college experience helped me define what I was passionate about, which led me to this unique opportunity to combine my journalistic skill set with my desire to serve my community. Second, attending KCC helped me realize that you don’t need to move far away to find a career that fulfills your dreams. Being able to come back to a community that I grew up in and that gave me so much support in my own educational journey, and to serve it and give back to it, is truly one of the best gifts I’ve received.

Was your favorite part of your time at KCC, and why?

I think my favorite part of KCC was being able to develop professional and personal connections with some of our outstanding professors and teaching staff. From the flexibility to experience different areas of study to seeing the same faces, from your first college lecture to cheering you on at graduation at Kellogg Arena, I truly feel that a community college can give you an authentic college experience that still makes you feel like you’re part of a community that’s close to home.

What’s the most interesting thing you learned at KCC?

I think one of the most interesting experiences I had at KCC was being able to interview both our then-KCC President Dr. Dennis Bona and some of our KCC Board of Trustees members for the KCC Bruin newspaper. Going into these interviews, I was nervous to be sitting down/talking with the highest-ranking officials in our community college. However, unlike some university settings, each of these men and women were down-to-earth, invested in our KCC and surrounding community, and truly related to the community college experience. I think that that really helped to solidify my feeling that a community college was more personable to each student’s educational experience.

What advice do you have for current or future KCC students?

Explore what interests you! Starting your postsecondary education journey at a community college gives you the opportunity (both due to lower costs and a wide variety of available classes) to explore areas of study, and to find out what truly drives and inspires you. I feel like today, some of us are so stuck in the box of I need to figure out my major on day one and work towards that degree. Luckily, a community college experience truly helps to give you the freedom to break out of that box and try different paths along the way. There’s room at a community college for trial and error through exploration.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Don’t ever forget about your community college experience at KCC. There’s always a next phase of life to look forward to, but it’s important to remember the support and opportunities that made your own journey possible. Give back when you can; whether it’s by donating to a scholarship for future KCC students, volunteering at events for the greater KCC/area community, or just encouraging others in your life to not be hesitant to explore a community college as a step in their own journey.

This article first appeared in the March 2023 edition of BruIN magazine. To read the issue online visit