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HFCC presents Distinguished Service and Alumni awards at 2009 commencement ceremony

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Henry Ford Community College will hold two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9 at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, located at 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. HFCC President Gail Mee will confer the degrees on the graduates.

The morning ceremony at 10 a.m. will be for HFCC’s associate degree nursing program graduates. The afternoon ceremony at 1:30 p.m. will be for those graduating with associate degrees in arts, science, applied science and business.

State Representative Gino Polidori of Dearborn will receive the 2009 Distinguished Service Award at the afternoon ceremony. In addition, HFCC’s men’s basketball coach Abe Mashhour of Dearborn will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award during the afternoon ceremony.

Instituted in 1978, the Distinguished Service Award honors those who have made significant contributions toward excellence in education, and particularly, to HFCC. Polidori has been chosen for his outstanding contributions to the college and the community.

Polidori attended Fordson High School in Dearborn and received his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University. He was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and represents House District 15, which includes the City of Dearborn. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Military and Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Committee in the House and is a member of the Education Committee, the Government Operations Committee and the Insurance Committee.

He was appointed chief of the Dearborn Fire Department at 34, the youngest chief in the city’s history, and served from 1974 to 1996. He also also helped implement Dearborn’s Early-Warning System and oversaw the city’s first Hazardous Materials program. In addition, Polidori served on the Dearborn City Council from 1996-2004.

Dearborn resident Mashhour graduated from HFCC in 1993 with an associate in arts degree. He is the youngest of nine children, six of whom are HFCC graduates. As a student at HFCC, Mashhour was a member of the HFCC men’s basketball team in the 1992-93 season. He has been head coach of the HFCC men’s basketball team for the past 10 years.

In the 2008-2009 season, Mashhour helped lead the HFCC men’s basketball team to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in the team’s 51-year history. In addition, Mashhour was named the 2009 Michigan Community College Association (MCCAA) Coach of the Year.

Mashhour graduated from Fordson High School and, after graduating from HFCC, he went on to attend Wayne State University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in education with a double major of social studies and science in 1999. In 2005, he received a master’s degree in administrative leadership from WSU.

Mashhour began working at Stout Middle School as an eighth-grade science teacher in 1999, the same year he began as head coach of HFCC’s men’s basketball team. After four years, he was named interim assistant principal at Stout and then was assigned the position permanently. In October 2008, Mashhour was promoted to assistant principal at Dearborn High School.

'I loved my years as a student at Henry Ford Community College,' says Mashhour. ' I have a strong connection to HFCC. The college has given me so much and has given me this great opportunity to coach the men’s basketball team. It is exciting for me to see the team do so well and represent such a fine college.'

HFCC offers more than 100 associate degree university transfer and career programs. The college serves more than 17,000 students each semester. For more information about HFCC, go to