Services and visitation for Sandi Glennemeier

Visitation and services for Sandi Glennemeier, a longtime member of the Financial Aid team, are planned for Sunday and Monday.

Visitation is planned for 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 at the Reyers North Valley Chapel, 2815 Fuller Ave NE, in Grand Rapids, and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 at St. Alphonsus Parish, 224 Carrier St NE, in Grand Rapids, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial.

Sandi passed away on Oct. 21 after a short illness.

Sandi, as a student loan specialist, helped thousands of students find the financial resources to attend college and change their lives. But what she really loved was helping other employees grow and thrive in their roles, and, in turn, seeing them help thousands more students – a tremendous impact on our college and greater community.

Sandi started at GRCC as a student employee in the Financial Aid department, and stayed for nearly 33 years.

Additional information is available on her memorial page.

The GRCC Financial Aid office will be closed on Monday so colleagues can attend the service. 

GRCC Foundation celebrating Dr. Juan R. Olivarez and Mary Olivarez for their service to the college and community at Scholarfest

The Grand Rapids Community College Foundation is honoring Dr. Juan Olivarez and Mary Olivarez for their service to the college and community in this year’s Scholarfest.

Scholarfest is an annual event celebrating GRCC’s philanthropic leaders and highlighting achievements of faculty, staff and students. Proceeds support GRCC scholarships.

The event is planned for 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 1. It will be the first event in the Secchia Piazza, located in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE in Grand Rapids.

Tickets are available here.

The GRCC Foundation awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarships last year and supported students in other ways as the community was affected by the pandemic.

“Juan and Mary are such an important part of our campus community, and their service extends throughout West Michigan,” said Dr. Kathryn Mullins, executive director of the GRCC Foundation and vice president for College Advancement. “Honoring them allows us to salute their service, and also inspire the next generations of GRCC students and those who help them be successful.”

As GRCC’s eighth president, Juan Olivarez forged community partnerships and increased educational opportunities for underserved populations.

The son of migrant workers from Benavides, Texas, he was the first Hispanic president of any Michigan college or university.

Dr. Olivarez was an educator in the Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than 20 years before becoming GRCC’s Dean of Institutional Research in 1991.

After retiring from GRCC in 2008, Olivarez became president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. He was named Aquinas College’s seventh president in 2011, retiring in 2017. He was a distinguished scholar in residence for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy Johnson Center for Philanthropy between 2018 and 2021.

Dr. Olivarez continues to be an important part of GRCC, serving as interim president while the college searches for a new president.

Mary Olivarez is equally committed to education, spending 24 years with Grand Rapids Public Schools, teaching kindergarten and early childhood education, and working with students with multiple impairments. 

The Secchia Piazza is the newest addition to the GRCC Main Campus and connected to the renovated Heritage restaurant. Supported by donations by former Ambassador Peter Secchia and his family, the Secchia Piazza provides opportunities for students in the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and tells the story of the program’s global reach.

How to pack for FMLA leave

If you’ve heard of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – or even if you haven’t, you may have wondered what it entails.

If you’re curious who is eligible for this type of leave and what your next steps would be if you think you need it, come learn more at this session. It will help, ahem, unpack information related to FMLA leave, including what qualifies and the steps for approval.

Register for this upcoming learning opportunity via your Online Center account. 

Great American Smokeout on November 17

The GRCC School of Health Sciences is hosting a Great American Smokeout event in collaboration with the Urban League of West Michigan. The focus of these interactive sessions is to bring awareness to our students and the community on the tactics used by the tobacco and vaping industries targeting minority youth.

This event is for our GRCC students but is also open to the public. It will take place on Thursday, November 17 from 4 – 5:30 pm in the Calkins Science Center Auditorium.

Please share broadly and encourage instructors to share the attached flyer in their classes and post it on Blackboard. 

Thank you for promoting this event within your respective departments.

GRCC In the News 10/26/2022

Students of all ages invited to GRCC open houses

10/25/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College is hosting a pair of open houses to help students decide the right career path.

GRCC exhibit showcases nature-inspired artwork

10/25/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A new exhibit at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) takes guests on a tour through the natural world as told by art and writing.

Homan’s quiet approach brings out the best in his swimmers

10/25/22 Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

NORTON SHORES – There are varying modes of motivation that coaches revert to in an effort to get the most out of their teams.

… He (Mick Homan) fell in love with the competition in the water, which stretched from his days at Mona Shores High School (he’s a 1986 graduate), and two years at Grand Rapids junior college to his last two years collegiately at Grand Valley State.

Links  to presidential candidate videos and surveys: Surveys due October 28 by noon

If you were not able to watch the public forums via live-stream of any of the candidates, see below for the videos.

Please complete the President Search Feedback Form – Fall 2022 for each candidate you watch videos of by noon on Friday, Oct. 28.

Dr. Stuart Blacklaw

Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access live-stream.

Campus & Community forum live-stream.

Board of Trustees Interview live-stream.

Dr. Charles Lepper

Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access live-stream.

Campus & Community Forum live-stream.

Board of Trustees Interview live-stream.

Dr. Timothy Casper

Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access live-stream.

Campus & Community Forum live-stream.

Board of Trustees Interview in the ATC auditorium. Public link to live-stream.

Black Friday Sneak Peek Is 10/27 – 11/13

It’s already that time of year….

Save on our latest laptops like the XPS 15 and the Inspiron 16 — crafted from premium materials & designed for on-the-go style.  Deals are live through 11/13.

Shop online through your Member Purchase Program store:

Full list of upcoming events:

  • 10/27 – 11/13: Sneak Peek Deals are live
  • 11/10 – 11/13: Black Friday Early Access for Members (Available ONLY through your dedicated MPP store)
  • Deals last through 11/26.  Additional Limited Quantity Deals go live 11/24-26. These will be limited in quantity and first come first serve. Shop early as these deals will sell out quickly!

CAP 3.4: LGBTQ+ Inclusive Fundamentals Team: Call for clothing donations for “Wear the Rainbow: A Trans & Genderqueer Free Clothing Event”

Time to clean out your closets. GRCC’s CAP 3.4 is working with community partners for “Wear the Rainbow: A Trans And Genderqueer Free Clothing Event,” in November. This event creates access for Trans and Genderqueer community members to safely find gender-affirming clothing and to explore gender expression in a safe and celebratory environment.

There is a drop-off box outside ODEI’s front door in the Library & Learning Commons. Donation cutoff is Friday, November 4, at 5 PM.

Questions may be directed to Ximón Kittok <>. Thank you!”