Recap: Wyoming Jr High Visit to GRCC

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GRCC welcomed more than 300 7th-grade students from Wyoming Jr. High on May 1 as part of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant. After enjoying a BBQ buffet in the Raider Grill, students learned about the college’s many programs and what they can do to prepare themselves for post-secondary success.

As part of the GEAR UP grant, the GRCC Foundation is setting aside scholarship funds for the 7th-grade cohorts from Wyoming Jr. High, Godwin Middle School, Godfrey-Lee Middle School, and Kelloggsville Middle School to use upon graduating high school and enrolling in a post-secondary program. GRCC’s GEAR UP program will provide academic support and advising to the Class of 2024 cohort of students and parents as they progress through the middle and high school years.

Congratulations to the Van & Marinus Swets 2019 Travel Award Winners

Congratulations to the Van & Marinus Swets 2019 Travel Award Winners! The Foundation was able to award 9 travel award to employees this year.

The winning essays were interesting and creative, just as Marinus would have liked.

Congratulations to:

  • 1st Michelle Allen- $400
  • 2nd Ell Simpson- $300
  • 3rd Elizabeth Van Portfliet – $200
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Karen TenBroeke- $100
    • Meegan Willi- $100
    • Mary Johnson $100
    • Stacia Barczak- $100
    • Kevin Perrin $100
    • Sue Goeman- $100

Thank you to all who submitted essays.  We hope you all enjoy your vacations you have planned.  We look forward to hearing from the winners and seeing pictures from their travels.

Safe travels!  We hope to see even more entries next year.


GRCC In the News, 3-1-19

Bank gives GRCC $50K

Feb. 28, 2019; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A bank, college and school district are working together to give high school students another opportunity for career exploration.

Huntington bank is providing a $50,000 grant, its largest in West Michigan, to establish the Connections to College and Careers program at Grand Rapids Community College.

GRCC recognizes the giants of our community

Feb. 27, 2019; WKTV

Grand Rapids Community College hosted its 37th Annual Giants Awards and Banquet at DeVos Place, over the weekend. Dr. Bill Pink, President of GRCC, opened the ceremony with a message of hope and encouragement. He began by quoting lyrics from the famous civil rights song, Ball of Confusion by the Temptations.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly Names Murphy to Leaders in the Law Class of 2019

Feb. 19, 2019; (press release from Varnum LLP)

Michigan Lawyers Weekly has announced that Lawrence J. Murphy has been named to Leaders in the Law Class of 2019.

… Murphy currently serves on the following community and nonprofit boards:

… Grand Rapids Community College Foundation Board, chair

Help plan Homecoming!

Homecoming – Fall 2019

Save the date and help us plan!

Mark your calendars for GRCC Homecoming — fall edition — which will be celebrated the week of October 21, 2019.  We are looking for faculty, staff and retirees who want to help plan the activities that will take place throughout the week. If you are interested in helping, please contact Erin Van Egmond ( or x3931) or Lina Blair ( or x3924). Go Raiders!

Recap: Creating Connections breakfast supports scholarly love on Valentine’s Day

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The GRCC Foundation held its 11th annual Creating Connections breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 14. This wonderful morning was spent with scholarship “owners” connecting with their scholarship recipients. Donor Till Peters was featured. Guests were treated to a hot breakfast, a warm welcome by Dr. Mullins and Dr. Pink, and heard from GRCC students Karl Blessing and Dominique Richards. To view the compelling student speeches, click here.

Special thanks to Facilities, Bayard Brooks, Brian Morris, Eric Tanner, Luba Petrash and her team, and Klaas Kwant for their hard work in making this event spectacular for our donors and students!

Congratulations to the January 2019 SSPD awardees

The Grand Rapids Community College Foundation and the Support Staff Professional Development Grants (SSPD) Review Team congratulate the winners of the January 2019 SSPD competition:

  • Bev Daily ($1,700): Higher Education User Group (HEUG) Alliance Conference
  • Kevin Perrin ($1,700): Higher Education User Group (HEUG) Alliance Conference
  • Rachel Bower ($2,250): Pink Elephant Conference
  • Renida Clark ($2,000): NASPA Conference
  • Michael Couch ($1,600): Achieving the Dream
  • Rebecca DeKorne ($2,000): LifeBound’s 5-day Academic Coaching Intensive Training
  • Kanyn Doan ($2,000): LifeBound’s 5-day Academic Coaching Intensive Training
  • Patrick LaPenna ($1,750): Drupalcon
  • Elizabeth VanPortfliet ($1,770): National Academic Advising Association Conference
  • Myriah Williams ($1,020): Native American Student Advocacy Institute
  • Linda Witte ($1,625): American Medical Technologists Educational Program & Annual Meeting

Homecoming games — special premium court-side seats still available

There are a few seats still available for the men’s and women’s basketball games this Friday, January 18. See below for details on how to enter. Seats will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On Friday, January 18, we will host a tailgate and cheer on our women’s and men’s basketball teams as they play Lake Michigan College.

A family-friendly tailgate begins at 5 p.m. inside the Hunsberger Arena, and will continue throughout both basketball games. There will be free food (while it lasts) and activities for kids and adults. The women’s basketball game begins at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s basketball game begins at 7:30 p.m.

We want to provide a few lucky employees with a chance to have premium court-side seating. For each game, we have designated premium seats for our GRCC employees to sit along the baseline of the court. A total of 12 spots per game are available. Please email Erin Van Egmond ( with the game you would like to sit court-side at (women’s or men’s), and how many people are in your party.

We hope to see you all there to cheer on our Raiders and celebrate Homecoming, GRCC style! Don’t forget to show your Raider pride and wear your blue and gold!

Homecoming is planned and sponsored by Campus Activities Board, Alumni Relations, Athletics, Student Life and Conduct, and Human Resources.

Photos from rededication of Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse

It was a full house for the rededication of the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse on Monday. Mike Ford, son of President Ford and first lady Betty Ford, was joined by community leaders, students and GRCC staff in celebrating the transformation of the fieldhouse to enhance learning, support student-athletes’ performance, and create a more comfortable environment for spectators and community events.

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GRCC In the News, 1-14-19

Jan. 12, 2019; MLive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Community College has funding to train 60 people for an initiative to help increase the diversity of the health care workforce, according to Julie Parks, executive director of GRCC Workforce Training.
Jan. 11, 2019; Grand Rapids Business Journal
A local college has created a new program to prepare students for supply chain management.
Grand Rapids Community College said last month it is now offering the 30-week program Supply Chain Operations Management Certificate to prepare people to manage the transport and storage of raw materials, inventory and finished goods from where they are made to where they are used.
Jan. 11, 2019; Grand Rapids Business Journal
… Mike Ford, son of former President Gerald R. Ford and first lady Betty Ford, will speak during a rededication of the renovated Grand Rapids Community College building named for his father.
News 8 Daybreak
Jan. 14, 2019; WOOD TV

A former first son will be in West Michigan today for a rededication ceremony. Grand Rapids Community College will celebrate the renovations at the Ford Fieldhouse. Mike Ford, President Gerald R. Ford’s son, will speak at the ceremony for the building named after his father. It will start at 3:30 today. GRCC spent $8 million on upgrades and new facilities for their student-athletes.
Jan. 11, 2019; (Kent Intermediate School District newsletter)
Days before the start of second semester, volleyball players Dani Johnston, Jamie Wellet and Jasmine Wellet, stopped in to see the newly renovated Ford Fieldhouse, which hosts the teams home games and other athletic events.
… Grand Rapids Community College officials say upgrading the fieldhouse, 111 Lyon St. NE, provides a state-of-the-art facility for athletes and students.
Jan. 12, 2019; The Arab American News
DEARBORN — Late last year, former Gov.  Snyder appointed Henry Ford College President Russell Kavalhuna to a two-year term on the state’s 21st Century Talent Creation Subcommittee.
… In addition to Kavalhuna, Snyder appointed Grand Rapids Community College President Dr. Bill Pink; Alpena Public Schools Supt. Dr. John VanWagoner; Dr. Joseph Lubig, associate dean of the School of Education at Northern Michigan University; Megan Schrauben, executive director of the MiSTEM Network for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget; Alycia Meriweather, deputy superintendent of external partnerships, enrollment & specialty programming at the Detroit Public Schools Community District and Dr. Mark Pogliano, principal at the Jackson Area Career Center.

Recap: Breakfast with Santa at the ATC

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On Saturday, December 1, GRCC Foundation’s Alumni Association hosted a Breakfast with Santa event with the help of Student and Alumni Philanthropy Club.

GRCC students, employees, and alumni brought their families to campus to enjoy festive food, games, and crafts. The highlight was having Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive to welcome the children and take photos. Thank you to all that attended and helped to make the day special!

Today is #GivingTuesday at GRCC!

An image of GRCC faculty and staff spelling out the letters "GRCC" in the student plaza.  Underneath the image is text that reads, "Support GRCC Foundation on #GivingTuesday."

As you already know, today is Giving Tuesday, and we hope that you will join us in supporting the GRCC Foundation on this important day of national philanthropy.

You have many opportunities to give today, and you have probably received several emails already this morning asking you to give to various non-profits in our community. But, today, we hope that you consider giving right here at home, at GRCC, where 100% of your donation will be designated for student scholarships.

Scholarships are critical to the success of so many students on our campus. Scholarships remove barriers for students and they increase a student’s ability to persist, transfer, and complete. Students have told us that the scholarship they received meant that they didn’t have to work two or more jobs to pay for their tuition. The scholarship afforded them the opportunity to successfully balance work, family, and school. Scholarships offer hope for our students.

Please take a minute to watch the student testimonial videos below, and you will see and hear from our students how important this gift of education is, and specifically how GRCC transformed their lives and the lives of their families forever.

YouTube Links:

No other institution of higher education in our community does this important work the way WE do it, so thank you for all you do for our students!

Please join us TODAY in transforming the lives of our students. Donating is easy – simply click Donate Now. And remember, 100% of your donation goes directly to student scholarships!

Photos from Spectrum Health scholarship event

On Monday, November 12, the GRCC Foundation celebrated with recipients of the Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship.  We also celebrated the second year of the partnership between GRCC and Spectrum Health, which made these scholarships possible.  In just two years of this program, over $700,000 will have been awarded to sophomores in our Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technology, and Medical Assisting programs.   We are so thankful to Spectrum Health for providing this opportunity for our students.

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Recap: Making Friends and Food at GRCC’s First ‘Seasonal Cooking’ Event

The GRCC Foundation and Secchia Institute for Culinary Education hosted a new seasonal cooking experience last Thursday – “Seasonal Cooking: A physician, a farmer, and a chef walk into a kitchen…”

Image of the Seasonal Cooking advertisement. The image features a variety of garden vegetables above the words, "Seasonal Cooking. "A physician, a farmer, and a chef walk into a kitchen..." Learn about the importance of local, seasonal produce to your overall health and well-being through this hands-on cooking class, presented by the GRCC Foundation. Come cook with us!"

This GRCC Foundation friend-raiser gave guests time to experience GRCC as they never have before, beginning the evening in the Pietro and Regina Amphitheater, followed by time spent cooking together in the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education kitchens, and ending with dinner and discussion.

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Thanks to everyone who helped make this Seasonal Cooking event such a wonderful experience!

Recap: The 500 Club Mug Club celebrates at College Park Plaza

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New and existing members of The 500 Club enjoyed lunch on the rooftop parking lot of College Park Plaza on Friday, September 7. Members also became part of The 500 Club Mug Club and received a personalized mug to be used at Fountain Hill Brewery.