Press release: Founding GRCC board member announces she will leave her seat early



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


May 8, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees member Terri A. Handlin announced today that due to personal family obligations she is resigning from the board. She will serve through Aug. 31, 2013. Her current term would have expired Dec. 31, 2014.

“Terri has been a member of the Board of Trustees since its inception,” GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender said. “We will miss her enthusiasm and passion for education, and her dedication and commitment to guiding the college’s mission of providing educational opportunities for West Michigan residents. We know she will continue to be a loyal supporter of the college, and she will continue to be a member of the GRCC family.”

Handlin was elected to the college’s founding board in February 1991 and was re-elected in June 2001. She has served in many leadership roles during her 22-year tenure: She was secretary of the board and a member of the Presidential Search Committee from 1991-97, 1999-2001 and 2001-07; and was board treasurer and chairwoman of the Finance Committee from 1997-99.

“The passion I have for general education and workforce development, as well as my commitment to diversity, has given me the opportunity to be an influence in the Grand Rapids community,” Handlin said. “My work with GRCC has been especially rewarding because our emphasis always has been on student success.”

A retired teacher and Forest Hills Public Schools administrator, Handlin has dedicated her life’s work to education. In addition to her commitment to the GRCC Board of Trustees, she is past-president of the Grand Rapids Junior College Alumni Association. She served six years as a member of the Girl Scouts of Michigan’s board of directors, as well as Women’s History Council board of directors – where she also was co-chairperson for Legacy 2000. She also is an education, career development and diversity consultant, and earned her Michigan Career Development Facilitator credentials. She is a trained facilitator for the Institute for Healing Racism.

“Terri’s commitment to the college as a member of the Board of Trustees is unparalleled,” board Chairman Richard W. Verburg said. “She will be greatly missed.”

Handlin also is a member of the American Association of University Women and was recognized as the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Month. For her continued commitment to giving back to her community, she was honored with the GRCC Salute to Women Award in 1999.

She earned an Associate of Arts from GRJC, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Education from Western Michigan University, a Master of Arts in Occupational-Vocational Education from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Michigan State University.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.