Alumni Profile • Henry Dungey '98
'Layaway plan' brings alum full circle

The Dungeys with Entrada scholar Anabell Mejia and director Rhae-Ann Booker
Henry and Shereice Dungey with Anabell Mejia and Entrada director Rhae-Ann Booker

Henry Dungey ’98 is not the type of person to leave a job undone.
That’s why completing his degree at Calvin was a high priority for him. He started at Calvin in the mid-1980s but wasn’t well-prepared for the rigors of college, he said.

“I was expecting four pristine years,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting some of the things that came my way that knocked me off my game plan. I was struggling with issues; there were a few deaths in my family, and I had some maturity issues.”

Eleven years later, Dungey returned to Calvin — this time, determined to earn a degree. He refers to it as “the layaway plan.”

“I could have gone to some other places, but I had an unfinished journey here,” he said. “I wanted to complete what I had started. I knew that I would have felt a void if I had gone anywhere else.”

Dungey completed Calvin’s adult degree completion program in organizational management and went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy from Grand Valley State University.

Currently, he works as a director of Uniserv, a division of the Michigan Education Association.

But his affiliation with Calvin is far from over.

“I wasn’t ‘in love’ with Calvin early on,” he said, “but I have followed Calvin’s efforts in minority recruitment. I started seeing an investment by Calvin in minority students, and it wasn’t just rhetoric. It wasn’t just in a cookie-cutter kind of way; it was in some real innovative efforts.”

Dungey was particularly interested in the Entrada Scholars Program, the opportunity for minority high school students to experience college learning and living while earning college credit.

This summer the program graduated 56 students, one of which was Anabell Mejia, who will attend Calvin this fall.

Thanks to Dungey and his wife, Shereice, Mejia will receive the Henry and Juanita Dungey Entrada Victory Award, presented to the outstanding Entrada student of the summer program.

The scholarship honors Dungey’s parents.

“My parents invested a lot in me, and it was important to me to show them how that affected me,” he said. “If we can make a minor contribution that might be helpful to one of these students, that’s truly a great investment.”