July 20, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College is mourning the passing of Joyce Wisner, whose generosity helped GRCC grow a state-of-the-art facility that is the home to world-famous programs and life-changing opportunities.
Wisner, who passed away July 14 at the age of 91, served as chair of the Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall Foundation.
GRCC’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE, was named after her, her husband, Grand Rapids Junior College alumnus Tom Wisner; and their children, David and Michelle Bottrall.
It houses the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, the Pietro and Regina Culinary Amphitheater, Art & Bev’s bistro, Fountain Hill Brewery, the Heritage Restaurant and the Manufacturing and Computer Information System programs. It was created through a partnership with Ferris State University, which also offers programs in the facility.
The Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, recently gained a two-story, 18,416-square-foot expansion that includes a new Data Center Lab suite, an expanded and updated Machine Tool Lab, more student study spaces, and a renovated computer lab.
“Joyce Wisner recognized the importance of creating opportunities for students to succeed, and that their success would help our community as a whole grow stronger,” said Dr. Kathryn Mullins, GRCC’s vice president for Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation.
“The Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center represents the value of partnerships, the connection of GRCC to students and programs around the world, and the importance of career skills. That’s a tremendous legacy we will recognize and celebrate for years to come.”
Dr. Bill Pink’s GRCC’s president, showed the college’s gratitude for Wisner’s generosity by presenting her with an honorary degree on her 88th birthday.
“Joyce Wisner truly cared about GRCC students and our West Michigan community,” Pink said. “Students of all ages leave that building with skills that allow them to step right into careers. I’m saddened by her passing, but proud to count her and members of her family as friends, and thrilled her vision will allow us to continue changing lives long into the future."