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Dr. Juan R. Olivarez and Dr. James V. Buzzitta

We all go through periods of transition, as we move from one time or place to another. Hopefully we learn as we go, becoming better and stronger as we step forward.

That’s certainly been the case for Grand Rapids Community College this past year.

We are emerging from the pandemic with new approaches, and heightened awareness of challenges faced by our students and our greater community. The “normal” we once knew has given way to the “new normal” we find ourselves in today.

The temptation is to look at the past as the good old days. At GRCC we look back at our distant and recent history and can be proud, because those times are the foundation on which we build our future.

But transitions are also times for reflection. Are we headed in the right direction? Are we serving our community the best way we can? Are we doing what needs to be done, or are we doing what is comfortable?

We are emerging from very difficult times as a college, a community, and a nation. We have learned through these times that we are resilient, flexible, and able to meet the changing needs of our West Michigan residents and employers.

The pages of this report share the stories of determined students emerging from their personal transitions, and the people who support them. You will read about alumni who started at GRCC, gained skills and confidence, and are committed to making our world better. You will read about new construction to set an environment to help the next generations of GRCC students find their place.

There is a constant in this sea of change where we find ourselves. That constant is you, the people who help the Grand Rapids Community College foundation support our students and their changing needs.

Your continued support makes a difference and will continue to do so long into the future. The life you change today sets in motion generational changes. Those are transitions, transformational ones, made possible because you cared.  

There are also so many others who need your help. We continue to learn about how our world is changing through these transitional times. But our mission is unwavering. We humbly thank you for your generous support of the GRCC Foundation and our greater community. We hope you can continue assisting us as we move forward together.


Juan Olivarez's signature

Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D., interim president, Grand Rapids Community College

James Buzzitta signature

James V. Buzzitta, M.D., Foundation Board Chair