May 1, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College is targeting Saturday, Aug. 1, as the new date to celebrate its 103rd Commencement.
The event was originally scheduled for today, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 crisis.
GRCC President Bill Pink said the exact form of the event is to be determined. Campus leaders will continue working closely with state and local health authorities throughout the summer and monitoring social distancing recommendations and restrictions on large gatherings.
Pink recorded a video sent to all graduating students this week, congratulating them on their achievement, especially during this time of unprecedented challenges with academics and at home.
“Even though this ceremony won’t happen in May, it will happen -- and I promise you’ll get the recognition you deserve,” Pink told graduates.
“You will have your moment in the sun this year. It will just be a little delayed. But nothing should prevent you from celebrating now as well. Making it through GRCC made you stronger, smarter and wiser. Making it through this era in our history gives you special powers. You and your family and classmates will see the world differently than any graduates we have had before, and that perspective gives you an advantage.”
The Aug. 1 date was selected with input from students through a survey.
Commencement is typically when the college honors distinguished alumni and bestows emeritus status on a faculty member.
Professor Duane Davis earned Faculty Emeritus. He served in the Music Department for 26 years, working with students in the classroom and serving as GRCC’s director of choral and vocal activities. Under his tenure, the Shades of Blue vocal ensemble received national and international recognition, and the College Choir performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Nkechy Ezeh has been named the 2020 Distinguished Alumna. She said GRCC “opened the door” for her to embark on a career of advocating for children and training educators around the world, especially those working to help families overcome the effects of poverty.
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 — Michigan’s first community college — and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.