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Montgomery College Commencement

Honorary Degree Recipients 2017


MR. KENNETH H. BECKER Mr. KENNETH H. BECKER
Co-owner, Rakusin & Becker Management, Inc.

MR. KENNETH H. BECKER has been actively involved in real estate finance, development, marketing, and management in the Washington area for more than 45 years. He is co-owner of Rakusin & Becker Management, Inc., a property management firm in Bethesda, and a partner and principal in various multifamily and commercial properties in Bethesda, Rockville, and Northern Virginia.

Mr. Becker was formerly associated with the National Corporation for Housing Partnership (NCHP), which, prior to its merger with another firm, was the nation’s largest owner and developer of low- and moderate-income housing units, with a portfolio in excess of 90,000 units. He served in various development positions with NCHP over a 12-year period, holding the position of vice president of retirement housing prior to leaving in 1987. Prior to the NCHP, Mr. Becker was a commercial loan officer with the Carey Winston Company, now Transwestern, a national real estate finance, leasing, management, and brokerage firm.

He volunteers on a number of boards and committees. For the past 34 years, he has been an officer, board member, and architectural review committee chair of his homeowners’ association. He is on the Charles E. Smith Life Center Board of Directors. In 2005, he was appointed to the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors, enabling him to complete the term of his late father, Arthur. He has played an active role on the real estate committee throughout his tenure. He graciously accepted the role of board chair in June 2016, having previously served as vice chair. He previously served for 17 years on the Housing Loan Review Committee, the Housing Assistance Advisory Committee, and the Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee of Montgomery County.

Mr. Becker received an associate’s degree in business administration from Rochester Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the George Washington University.

He lives in Potomac with his wife of 40 years, Arlene. They have two adult daughters, Michelle and Allison, both area residents, and three granddaughters.


MS. AUDREY T. HILL MR. KEVIN J. SEXTON
Professor Emerita, Montgomery College

MS. AUDREY T. HILL is a professor emerita and college transfer counselor who retired in 2014 after 11 years at Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus. During her tenure, Ms. Hill helped thousands of students seamlessly transfer to colleges and universities in Maryland—and throughout the United States.

She was a founding member of the College’s Transfer Scholarship Committee; she was the first community college counselor appointed to the Board of Directors of the Common Application, Inc.; she joined the advisory board guiding the College Board’s efforts to develop a website that transformed the college planning process for students and parents nationwide; and she coordinated the annual Student Parent Information Night for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) seniors.

Prior to her tenure at Montgomery College, Ms. Hill enjoyed a 34-year career as a teacher and secondary school counselor at MCPS, where she earned Counselor of the Year recognition.

She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the American Counseling Association, past president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and past president of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC), where she is still a member. She served as a College Board Middle States Regional Council member, and in 2003, won a national election to the Guidance and Admission Assembly Council of the College Board. She is also a lay servant for the United Methodist Church.

Ms. Hill received the Richard Apperson Award from PCACAC, the Margaret Addis Excellence in Education Award from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the Gayle C. Wilson Award from NACAC, and the Bernard P. Ireland Award from the Middle States Region of the College Board. At Montgomery College, she received an Outstanding Faculty Award and a Silver Medallion recognizing her distinguished service.

She received a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation from Morgan State University and a master’s degree in counselor education from George Washington University.

Ms. Hill lives in Woodbine, Maryland, with her husband, Willie. Her son, Jamie, and daughter-in-law, Amanda, made her the proud grandmother of Sawyer, a four-year-old boy.


MR. JAMES G. MUIR III MR. JAMES G. MUIR III
Vice President, Hughes Network Systems

MR. JAMES G. MUIR III is vice president at Hughes Network Systems, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation. Mr. Muir is responsible for the Corporate Real Estate and Facilities for EchoStar.  He has 40 years of progressively more responsible experience in the areas of real estate, facilities management, maintenance, security, safety, and administration. 

He has worked at Hughes Network Systems, LLC for the past 39 years in a variety of administrative management positions supporting the missions, goals, and objectives of the corporation for all domestic and international locations. Early in his career, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency Office of Security and completed the special agents course; however, after a brief time with the agency, he returned to Hughes.

Mr. Muir has been active in the Montgomery County community and currently serves on a number of local boards, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. He has been past chair and chair emeritus of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, vice chair of the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology at Montgomery College (PIC MC), and past board member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. He also is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery Class of 2001.

He was instrumental in starting the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Montgomery College Scholarship Committee and the creation of an endowment.  Jim was inducted into the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Hall of Fame in 2009.

Mr. Muir earned a bachelor of science degree from Florida State University in criminology, as well as an associate of arts degree from Montgomery College in criminal justice. Jim lives in Montgomery Village with his wife, Julie, and two children, Patrick and Taylor, who are currently attending University of Maryland University College and the University of Maryland, respectively.


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