2017 Commencement guest speaker

Tim Montbriand

 Intellect, music and humor.  Dr. Tim Montbriand is the type of person blessed with the ability to be just as comfortable discussing the prose of Shakespeare with fellow intellects as he is discussing music with band members at a local gig, or taking the stage with his own guitar.

 He was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, but his family moved to the suburbs of Detroit, and he spent his childhood and young adult life in Michigan.

 When he graduated high school he started in college, but then dropped out.  “In part, because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do,” he said.

 He went to work for Pepsi and after several years realized it really wasn’t something he wanted to do the rest of his life, so he made the decision to go back to school. “I got tired of working at Pepsi, it was real back-breaking work,” he said.  “Plus, I knew I enjoyed reading and history and I thought, ‘maybe there’s something I can do with that.’”

 During that same time, he and his brothers had also formed a band called, appropriately enough, The Montbriand Brothers.  “We performed all over Michigan, playing country and old rock and roll.”

 With no sign of a big record contract coming The Montbriand Brothers’ way, Dr. Montbriand’s choice to go back to school proved wise. He attended Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “I really wanted to go into Computer Science, but then when I saw you need to take calculus I thought ‘I really do like English’” he said with a smile.

 He earned his bachelor’s from Oakland University, and his Masters and Doctorate from Wayne State University. 

 While searching for a permanent faculty position, it was Dr. Montbriand’s father, who had moved to Lake Havasu City, who told him about a job opening at MCC.  

 “My wife and I flew out of a freezing rainstorm in Michigan and right into a beautiful 90 degree day here,” he said.  The weather, the job, and being closer to his parents made the move much easier.

 During his 20 years with MCC Dr. Montbriand’s worn several hats, including Dean of MCC’s Lake Havasu City Campus.  He’s been active in the community, serving on the boards of the Havasu Museum and the Cultural Center.  He’s also been a musician on the train from Williams to the Grand Canyon.

 Teaching, though, was always in his heart.  He’s been able to take a lifetime of experiences and blend them together to bring a little bit of entertainment and humor into the classroom.   “You have to take education seriously, but if you can entertain them a little, it really seems to help them learn.” 

 As Dr. Montbriand now moves into retirement, he says he’ll never forget the great people and times he’s had at MCC.  “And now I get to look forward to the great list of work my wife has for me.”