GRCC mourns the loss of philanthropist Ted Frey Jr., an alumnus who supported students with his time and resources

Grand Rapids Community College is mourning the passing of alumnus Edward “Ted” Frey Jr., who supported the college’s life-changing mission with both his time and resources for many years.

 Frey, treasurer and secretary of his family’s Frey Foundation, passed away on Monday. He was 77.

The ties between GRCC, Ted Frey and the Frey Foundation go back decades. Frances Frey, who established the foundation with her husband, Edward, earned her associate degree from what was then Grand Rapids Junior College in 1932, and her sons Ted and John followed her path.

The Frey Foundation made its first donation to GRJC in 1974, the year the foundation was established. Since then, the foundation and GRCC have collaborated on early childhood education projects, capital campaigns and the renovation of the Albert P. Smith Music Center.

Dr. Kathryn Mullins, executive director of the GRCC Foundation and vice president of College Advancement, said the Frey Foundation was the first local foundation to support GRCC’s acclaimed early childhood learning laboratory.

“The goals of Ted Frey and the foundation – protecting natural resources, enhancing child development, promoting the arts, and building community – strongly align with what we do,” Mullins said.

“Ted was a proud GRJC alum and foundation board member who knew how a community college education can change lives and wanted to make sure others had opportunities to attend. We will greatly miss his kindness and support. He leaves a tremendous legacy here at GRCC and across the region, and will have an impact on students for generations to come.”

Frey served on the GRCC Foundation board of directors from 1992 to 2001, and the Frey Foundation was honored during the college’s SCHOLARfest fundraiser in 2015.

“One of the great things about the community college is that it covers the whole gamut,” Ted Frey said in an interview. “It’s not just for the young, it’s for the whole community.”

Workforce Wednesday: Winter Proper finds a career doing something he loves – working on cars

Recent Kenowa Hills graduate Winter Proper is well on his way to a successful career. Proper will complete the Job Training Automotive Technician program next month.

“It’s really fun,” he said. “I just really like working on cars. It’s something I have been around my whole life.”

GRCC Workforce Training programs provide in-demand skills leading to rewarding careers. We are introducing students who are heading down an educational pathway and changing their lives by earning occupational certificates

To become an Automotive Technician, people are required to be certified and licensed by the State of Michigan. Licensed technicians use precision diagnostic equipment, service manuals and hands-on power tools to diagnose and repair customer vehicles.

“I heard about the program from my high school counselor so as soon as I got out of high school, I started at GRCC,” Proper said.

Through the application process, Proper found out that he was eligible for the MTEC Champions program. The GRCC M-TEC Champions Program offers qualified applicants, ages 18-24, the resources to obtain job skills that can lead to a more secure future. Because of this, he will graduate with no debt!

The Automotive Technician program is taught by instructor Gayl Beals, who has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Beals holds an educational specialist degree, holds MOPAR Level One certification and is accredited by Snap-on Tools.

Students learn braking systems, suspension, electrical, heating and cooling, and computer operations. GRCC holds a partnership with Chrysler Fiat to provide MOPAR CAP Level One Certification – giving students the opportunity to acquire the value credential which includes 37 certifications.

“The best part of the program is that I am able to learn more about working on cars and I get to actually do the work,” Proper said.

 When Proper isn’t under the hood of a car, he’s still around cars.

“My step-dad has a racecar and races in Gridlife racing events all around the country. I get to go to those and help out if they need anything,” he said.

“Once I complete the program, I hope to get a job in a shop or dealership, then also work on my own car, too!”

The next section of Job Training programs begins May 2, 2022. For more information or 616-234-3800.

GRCC student veterans can gain help writing resumes and cover letters in Friday workshop

Student veterans at Grand Rapids Community College can gain career-building skills such as writing resumes and cover letters at a workshop planned for Friday, April 15.

The in-person, two-hour session will provide individualized assistance and coaching. The event is planned for 2:30 to 4:30 in the GRCC Veterans Center, located in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, Level G2.

Students will learn how to create a polished resume and cover letter that reflects their unique skills, education, and experience, potentially leading to good jobs.

Students can register through Raider Connect or by calling 616-234-2578. The program is free for GRCC student veterans and is limited to 20 students.

“The is an opportunity to help our veterans present their education and skills to potential employers in a way that will get them noticed,” said Patrick Coleman, GRCC’s veterans success coordinator. “Our veterans have skills they acquired through their service, and others through their education here at GRCC. A professional resume and cover letter will help our students get their foot in the door.”

The session is led by Blue Bridge Leadership and goals include:

  • Learning what kind of resumes pass applicant tracking systems.
  • Tailoring a resume to a particular job.
  • Identifying “wow” factors that get resumes noticed and increase the likelihood of an interview.

GRCC’s Veterans Center provides a variety of resources to students who have served in the armed forces, including one-on-one advising, tutoring and academic support, assistance in completing the VA education and benefits process and peer support, outreach and resources through Peer Advisors for Veteran Education.

Students can connect with the Veterans Center by phone at (616) 234-2578, and by email at Additional information is available online at

Pronouns primer

Whether you know it or not, you very likely interact with non-binary people who use the “they, them, their” pronouns.

Come expand your awareness and understanding, share your concerns, ask questions, and get some hands-on practice with us in a brave space.

It’s not about ideology; it’s about creating a supportive and safe environment for our students and peers.

Enroll in “Using They, Them, Their Pronouns” learning opportunity session – open to all GRCC employees – on April 20. 

Visit the Professional Development tile in your Online Center account to register.

GRCC Student Alliance: a one-stop collaborative resource document for students

GRCC Student Alliance has composed a one-stop collaborative resource document for GRCC students. The purpose is to simplify the navigation between many resources available, to create a space to offer more, and also to host a collaborative workspace where anyone can leave a comment on the document.

The purpose of the Student Alliance is to represent and advocate on behalf of the voice of the student body. They act as a student government that takes feedback and ideas from students on and off-campus, and tries to turn ideas into real changes. You can learn more and contact Student Alliance members here!

Staff and faculty are encouraged to bookmark and participate! Provide more information, give some feedback, etc. by leaving a comment on the document. Student Alliance will remain editors of the doc to add and adjust year-round.

For best accessibility, download the Google Drive app or bookmark on your laptop/desktop! Using Google Drive makes this page MUCH easier to navigate. You’ll want to hang onto this if you’re attending GRCC next fall. Share with your friends, classmates, faculty, etc. to help someone out.”

Supervising Student Employees learning opportunity

If you’re new to supervising student employees or would like to enhance your skills, join the upcoming Supervising Student Employees training on Thursday, April 21

Staff from Student Employment Services will focus on student employment supervisor roles and responsibilities as well as general guidelines regarding behavior, payroll, and more. 

Log into your Online Center, select the Professional Development tile. 

GRCC In the News 04/13/2022

Former GRCC Foundation board member dies at 77

4/12/22 WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Ted Frey Jr., a former Grand Rapids Community College Foundation board member who helped support the college, has died. He was 77.

GRCC plans open houses at main, Lakeshore campuses


Those who are interested in learning about how Grand Rapids Community College can help change their lives can get more information during open houses at the main and Lakeshore campuses.

Good things on The Lakeshore with Shandra Martinez

4/12/22 WHTC

Each week, Shandra Martinez, managing editor of The Lakeshore, talks with morning news host Jared Fritsma about people and organizations making a positive difference along the Lakeshore.