FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Nov. 21, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Community College board of trustees named Dr. Bill Pink, GRCC’s current vice president and dean for Workforce Development, as the college’s 10th president during a special meeting today.
“As a board, we are pleased to name Bill Pink to this position,” board Chairperson Bert Bleke said. “Throughout the extensive interview process, it became clear that he has the level of expertise and vision necessary to take the college to the next level.
“We were grateful to have three solid candidates from which to choose for this leadership role,” he added. “That didn’t make our job easy, but we’re happy with the outcome of this process and look forward to what the future holds.”
Bleke noted that the appointment becomes official once the board and Pink agree on final contract details, which include such items as compensation and salary, and an official start date in the position. This contract will be formally approved at a future board meeting.
Prior to joining GRCC’s leadership team in March 2015, he served as vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. While Abilene, Texas, is his hometown, Pink lived in Oklahoma City for 18 years before making Grand Rapids his home. He has been an educator for more than 25 years, and has taught or coached in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Oregon. As a college basketball player, he earned awards for his athletic and academic achievements, including a 2016 induction into the York College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Pink has an associate degree from York College in Nebraska, a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University, a master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. Pink contributes to his community through a variety of ways, including membership on the board of directors for Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids, as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids. Pink also serves as a board member of West Michigan Works!, the workforce development agency for seven counties in West Michigan.
In January 2016, Pink completed a four-year appointment as a member of the National Selection Committee for the National Merit Scholarship Council. He also is a former national conference co-chair for Dream Deferred: The Future of African-American Education. He is a sought-after public speaker and has accumulated numerous invitations to speak at events across the United States. His topics are usually associated with diversity, leadership, career and workforce development, and faith-based presentations. Aside from being a teacher-educator, Pink teaches public-speaking courses as well as athletic administration courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Along with a daily workout regimen, Pink enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with his family. His wife is Lori, and their two children are Lance and Lydia. Lori, a Michigan native, is an Air Force retiree and currently works for the Federal Aviation Administration. Lance, who is married to Kayla, is a member of the Marines, and Lydia is in middle school with a love for archery and playing volleyball.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.