William Millar retirement bio

Will Millar had this to say about his retirement:

When I was in high school, I had no intention of going to college. The only thing I was interested in was playing my guitar. High school was easy – what I cared about was no challenge to me and the rest I let go. In the fall of 1974, my parents talked me in to going to GRJC (as it was then known) to study electronics (under Dick Foster and Jim Thompson), and thus combine my interests in electronics and music. As a special project, I built a 200-watt, vacuum-tube guitar amplifier, which I still have. The GRJC publicity department put me on TV8 – publicizing both the college and the electronics program. Henry Erb did the interview and it was broadcasted at Christmas time of 1975. I finished my AAAS in 1976. I then decided to pursue my growing interest in math and physics, returning to GRJC that fall.

I eventually transferred to the University of Michigan for my Bachelor’s degree. I did not finish there, instead I returned home to work as an electronics technician at JET electronics. In the fall of 1980, Dick Foster contacted me to see if I might like to try teaching. There was a need for someone to teach a day section of the “Electronics Math” class. This is where I started – and discovered I liked – teaching. I continued teaching part-time at GRJC while finishing my Batchelor’s in physics at Calvin College (University). I then learned that to teach in the physics department, I needed at least a Master’s degree. I applied for and completed an M.A. in physics at Western Michigan University. This then allowed me to teach in the Electronics, Math and Physics departments, which I started doing in the fall of 1984.

In the fall of 1991, there was enough work for me to become full-time, which eventually led to a permanent position in the physics department. In 1993, Bob Baumbach retired and I took over teaching astronomy (PC131). The first semester I was lucky to have one section of astronomy run. Since then PC131 became AS103, and AS102, AS106 and AS108 have been added to the GRCC course catalog. I also finished my Ph.D. in astrophysics at James Cook University (Australia) and published a book for amateur astronomers through Cambridge University Press (England) – just for the fun of it. There are now upwards of 12 sections of astronomy running, both in-person and online, with two full-time and three or four part-time instructors.

In 2001, the Music Department started their Recording Technology program. They needed a lab science course for this program and I was able to revive the “Science of Sound” course for their needs. This gave me the opportunity to combine my love of music (guitar playing), math, physics and to some extent, electronics in to one course. I’ve had a great deal of fun teaching all of these courses.

Working with people like Dick Foster, Marv Tyler (electronics), and Bob Cebelak and Jerry Johnson (physics) has been a privilege, a real honor and pleasure. They and others in the departments all made me feel like I belonged here at GRJC/GRCC over these many years. However, I have now reached full retirement age. I have returned to school, as a student or as a teacher, every September for 62 years straight. Now I’m ready to spend more time with my wife, my cats and my guitars. No comment about the order…

Many thanks to the people and my colleagues at GRJC/GRCC for many years of a great career in teaching.

Winter 2023 employee exercise classes

Start the year off right by making fitness a part of your routine! 

Boost your energy and meet new people and get stronger! 

GRCC employees have access to free exercise classes – take advantage of this great wellness benefit and join in the fun! Did you know that you can earn up to 5 hours of professional development by engaging in employee wellness?

Winter 2023 semester

January 9 to April 27, 2023


5:15-6:00 p.m.

Spin & Sculpt with Kelly

Rm 213 FFH


12:00-12:45 p.m.

Strength Blast with Lannie

Rm 212 FFH


12:00-12:45 p.m.

RaiderStrong with Lannie

Rm 212 FFH


12:00-12:45 p.m.

Fitness Fusion with Lannie

RM 212 FFH

Please complete the registration form and waiver and a calendar appointment for the entire semester will be sent for you to allocate that time to your personal wellness!

Think of it as self care time!

Questions or more information, contact angelasalinas@grcc.edu

Celebrate Dr. Kathy Mullins’ career supporting GRCC students

An open house retirement celebration for Dr. Kathy Mullins, vice president for College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation, is planned for Thursday, Dec. 15 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in The Heritage restaurant.

Everyone is invited to stop by and thank Dr. Mullins for her years of service to GRCC and its students, and wish her the best in her new role as vice president for University Advancement and Marketing at our partner, Ferris State University.

Dr. Mullins has raised millions of dollars for student scholarships and facility improvements. She worked with community partners and donors to double the amount of money available for scholarships and generate resources to transform and modernize facilities throughout the campus.

Dr. Mullins also oversees GRCC’s Grants and Development team, which shattered the college record for grant funding to support students and programs. She also directed GRCC’s award-winning Communications and Web and Digital Strategy teams.

Dr. Mullins has headed the GRCC foundation since 2012. Last year, it distributed more than $1.4 million in scholarships to more than 1,600 students. The foundation also raised funds to renovate the historical Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, Steven C. Ender Hall and Custer Alumni House. A series of renovations and a new addition have transformed the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, a building that also houses Ferris programs.

“Dr. Mullins’ work at Grand Rapids Community College has had an impact on every student, whether they are supported by a scholarship or taking classes and accessing services in state-of-the-art facilities,” Interim President Juan R. Olivarez said. “She has built relationships with partners across the region to create more and better opportunities that bring about generational changes for students and their families.”

Please consider making a donation to the Foundation in her honor, a suggested designation would be the Women in Philanthropy scholarship. Kathy has worked hard to cultivate this scholarship over the last few years, with a special group of women from both the external and internal community.  When donating remember to include in the “tribute gift” field; in honor of Kathy Mullins, Women in Philanthropy scholarship.

Be loud and proud, refresh your headshot on Jan. 5

GRCC has outstanding faculty and staff members. Help us show students, potential students and community members the quality of the people here at GRCC serving our community by having a current headshot for the website and other uses.

The Communications Department is providing an opportunity for faculty and staff to have free headshots photographed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 5 – Learning Day – on the third floor of the Student Center in the lounge area.

Without a headshot, the webpage shows a missing photo icon or a RaiderCard photo.

Communications stresses that GRCC provides an affordable education, but more importantly, a quality education. Our expert faculty and dedicated staff members are selling points! Help us highlight your work and attract new students by updating your headshot and web bio.