Press release: GRCC names Gary Burbridge Emeritus Faculty Administrator


Kathy Mullins
Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison

April 11, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has named former college dean and professor Gary Burbridge its Emeritus Faculty/Administrator for 2013.

The award is given at the end of each academic year to a retiree for outstanding work at the college; it will be presented at this year’s commencement on May 3.

During his 37-year career at GRCC, Dr. Burbridge taught anthropology in the Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences departments. His leadership earned him the title of department head, assistant dean and, eventually, dean of Arts and Sciences.

“Gary truly personifies the strong values and characteristics that define an outstanding professor and administrator,” said Dr. Gilda Gely, GRCC Provost. “His commitment to student success and satisfaction never waived or faltered during his tenure at GRCC.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University and a master’s degree from Ball State University, Dr. Burbridge went on to attain his doctorate from Union State University.

Among Dr. Burbridge’s many notable accomplishments is the impact he had on diversity at GRCC. As an assistant dean and dean in the School of Arts and Sciences, he was strongly committed to diversity in hiring. As an instructor, he developed courses that allowed students to learn about people and cultures different from their own.

Dr. Burbridge was also known for his environmental concerns and sustainability efforts. Along with other faculty, he developed the first interdisciplinary course that explored environmental and sustainability issues. His passionate commitment to integrating sustainable practices throughout the campus community is still evident today.

“Gary exemplifies excellence in his words and his actions, and is worthy of such an honor,” said Dr. Gely.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 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 additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.