FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
April 19, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College's 2017 Emeritus Faculty worked to help students in and out of the classroom.
Professor Joe Hesse taught chemistry at GRCC for 28 years before retiring in 2015. He set high expectations for his classes -- and helped students meet them with his infectious enthusiasm for his subject. Colleagues say he was always ready to embrace new methods -- from creating a series of "Dr. Science" videos to being the first at GRCC to teach an online science course.
"For Dr. Hesse, teaching is a calling," said President Dr. Steven C. Ender. "He absolutely believes that all students can learn under the right conditions, and he continuously worked to create the right conditions for all students."
Hesse also worked outside the classroom to support GRCC students, especially those who wanted to follow him by going into teaching. A faculty representative to the GRCC Foundation board for 15 years, he approached the Wege Foundation to request support in starting the Teachers of Tomorrow Scholarship.
"Joe saw a need for our students, and he went out into the community to seek funding to meet those needs," said Kathryn Mullins, foundation executive director and vice president for College Advancement. "This scholarship is now permanently endowed, and Joe's work and dedication to his students will continue in perpetuity."
Hesse will be honored as part of GRCC’s commencement, which takes place 7 p.m. April 28 at Ford Fieldhouse, 226 Lyon St. NE.
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.