Golden Raider Retirees enjoy volunteering

There are a number of Golden Raiders who still enjoy participating in student events. As you do your yearly planning, keep them in mind when you can use their assistance. Contact Penni Weninger at or Julie Johnson at with whatever information you currently have (events, approximate dates), and they will take it from there!

GRCC Retirees Karen Holt, Penni Weninger, Ann Sandberg, Julie Johnson, Deb Nordman, Fiona Hert, and Alice Donahue at Commencement 2019.

Photo: GRCC Retirees Karen Holt, Penni Weninger, Ann Sandberg, Julie Johnson, Deb Nordman, Fiona Hert, and Alice Donahue at Commencement 2019.

GRCC Retiree Biography: Nanci Guigue

Nanci Guigue started her career at GRCC as an adjunct teacher in the Dental Department in the mid 1980’s. In 1998, she started as a contingent employee in the Dental Clinic office, moved to the Registrar’s office and also spent time working for the Admissions office. In November 2000, Nanci was hired into her current position, Support Professional in the Associate Dean’s office for the School of Workforce Development. Nanci noted that she has also been an adjunct in the Business Department during her time at GRCC.

Nanci has encouraged many students and made a tremendous impact during her employment at GRCC. Nanci recalled one of her favorite stories of serving a GRCC student: “One of the AMP students I was working with was a little older than the rest of the students in the cohort. He would stop in the office to talk periodically and I think to get some encouragement to keep pursuing his degree. He was finishing his degree and I encouraged him to attend graduation. It was so rewarding to see him walk and get his diploma and I got a big hug and thank you at the end of the evening.”

Nanci feels she belonged at GRCC because of the many opportunities she has had to participate in GRCC events as a volunteer or serving on committees. “Thus, I have met many wonderful people both at GRCC and in the community.”

Nanci has many fun plans for her retirement and plans to continue to make a difference in student’s lives. “Many years ago I taught first grade and gifted/remedial reading. I have made arrangements with an elementary school near my home as a volunteer to tutor students that need extra help with reading. There are several other volunteer opportunities I am pursuing as well as having time to do some traveling. Seeing St. Petersburg, Russia, has always been on my bucket list so will be trying to make that happen at some point. Since my husband is retiring at the same time, we are going on a cruise to the Bahamas in March to celebrate. I also hope to work at some type of employment part-time.”

Nanci wants everyone to know “I have truly enjoyed my time here at GRCC and will miss all the friends that I have made over the course of all these years.”

We are so honored to have had the opportunity to work with you, Nanci! You made a large impact on the lives of our students and campus community. We appreciate your dedication to the students and your colleagues. We wish you the best in your retirement and hope you stop by throughout the year to share your many adventures!

GRCC Retiree Biography: Sally Zokoe

Sally Zokoe has worked for GRCC since 2010. She started in the Cashier’s Office and worked there through June 2016, until she moved to the Accounts Payable department. Sally shared that she had “a lot of cool experiences with students from her Cashier’s days. I have also met some awesome people and formed great friendships. One of those was Molly Maczka, who I’m sure many still miss madly like I do. We discovered that we had one of those ‘small world’ things in common.”

Sally had wanted to work for GRCC for a very long time, ever since she went here “in the dark ages when it was GRJC.” At the time she was a student worker in the Athletic Department and worked for Gordy Hunsberger. The Athletic Department was located on the corner of Ransom and Lyon in what is now the Music building. “We had every kind of sports team in those days. It was good fun helping all of the young men who came in and out of that building. Life took me away from here, and I worked in banking for many years. After I was downsized out of my first banking job in 1996, I started applying for openings at the college. It took until 2010, when I was finally given the opportunity to work here.”

What does Sally have planned for retirement? “Anything, everything, and nothing.” And most importantly, “grandbabies!”

Sally enjoyed her time working at GRCC and wants to “wish all the best to my colleagues who will continue working for this great college. My hope is that I will be able to stay in touch with my friends and have lunch once in a while. I’ll drive.”

We are so happy you accepted the offer to work at GRCC, Sally! We look forward to having you return and rehash all of the wonderful memories – you have made a difference at GRCC and had a large impact on the lives of our students and campus community. We wish you the best in your retirement and hope you stop by throughout the years to share your adventures!

Emeritus Faculty Award Nominations Due Feb. 15

You are invited to nominate a GRCC retired faculty or administrator for the Emeritus Faculty Award. This award was established in 1985 to honor those instructors/administrators whose dedication and creativity have left an indelible mark on the lives of students and colleagues at GRCC. During their tenure at GRCC and since their retirement, they have continued to promote GRCC’s “Commitment to Excellence” as illustrated by the GRCC values described in the narrative forms.

Nominations should be submitted to the Provost office by noon on Friday, February 15, 2019. For more information and to submit a nomination, please visit the website.

GRCC retiree biography: Janice Chapman

Photo of Janice Champan

Janice Chapman will be retiring from GRCC at the end of fall semester. Janice has worked for GRCC for 9 ½ years as an Assistant Professor in the English Department and prior to this worked at an Alternative High School in Wyoming.

Janice taught developmental English and currently is teaching Integrated Reading and Writing. When asked about her favorite memory at GRCC, Janice said “I have enjoyed reconnecting with some of the students I taught from the Wyoming School District. I have also enjoyed being at the frontlines, acting as a bridge to help students that are underprepared for college. I would say this has been my calling.”

In retirement, Janice is going to enjoy more of her role as Mimi-Jan to 6 amazing little Chapmans. Janice looks forward to having more time for her art and The Arts. Janice and her husband, Don, plan to hike and camp- immersing themselves in the National Parks. They want to play hard while they are healthy. They plan to continue managing their rental properties and if they get bored might flip a few houses.

We wish you all the best in your retirement, Janice. Please stay in touch! Thank you for all that you did for GRCC and our students. You have really made difference in the lives of many. Enjoy retirement!

GRCC retiree biography: Ron Graves

Ron Graves has worked for GRCC since January 2000 and noted that he will be just shy of 19 years at the College. Ron began in the Cashier’s Office as the Student Tuition Refund Specialist and currently works in Financial Services as one of the two Accounts Payable Support Professionals. Ron stated that “the people I have worked with at GRCC have made coming to work each day so enjoyable. In my current position, my coworkers really care about each other and their families. That is what I will miss most, the friendships we shared every day.”

Ron shared story where he and his wife were invited to their daughter’s nursing program open house a few years ago. He noted that “all the quests were asked to say their name and where they worked. After the ceremony, the instructor came up to me and asked me if I worked in the Cashier’s Office. I said yes, and she told me it was I that helped her get through college. You see, she was stressing about how she was going to pay for classes at GRCC, and she told me it was I that helped explain the FACTS program, and it allowed her to concentrate on her classes instead of her finances. When she told me that, I felt great. I didn’t think I ever made a difference in someone life here at GRCC, but in fact I did!” This is such a powerful story and only one of the many students, faculty, staff, and community members Ron helped throughout the years.

Ron has great plans for his retirement, which involves a lot of warm weather! Ron’s wife isn’t retiring until July 2019, but that hasn’t stopped them from planning. “We are going to Florida in March 2019 to look for a spot to take our fifth wheel and park it for the winter months starting Oct. of 2019. We are also planning to take my youngest granddaughter to Cancun this spring as a graduation gift. We are planning to be in Florida Oct. – April, and here in Michigan the rest of the time.”

Ron is so thankful that Jane Mohr gave him a start in the Cashier’s Office 18 plus years ago. “I love my co-workers, and I hope we can get together on occasion to rehash the good times we had here at GRCC.”

Ron, we look forward to having you return and rehash all of the wonderful memories – you have made a difference at GRCC and had a large impact on the lives of our students and campus community. We wish you the best in your retirement and hope you stop by throughout the year to share your adventures!

Please join Ron Graves at his retirement reception on Thursday, December 13, from 3-5 p.m. in the White Hall Dining Room.


GRCC Golden Raider Happy Hour happening this Thursday

Graphic that says "Happy Hour" in a mix of decorative fonts and colors.

The GRCC Golden Raider Happy Hour is back! The first happy hour was a great success and left everyone wanting more, so come connect with colleagues and friends, and throw a few bucks into the collection box for the Golden Raider Scholarship while you’re at it.

This Thursday, December 6, from 3-6 p.m. at Derby Station (2237 Wealthy St SE #130, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506)

  • Cash bar and food
  • Free parking in the ramp behind the restaurant

Folks who are planning on retiring are most welcome, and current retirees are welcome to bring friends!

If you have any questions, please contact Diane Sparks at (616) 690-0009 or