News & Events

New Scholarships for 2018-19

  • Dirk C. Hoffius Scholarship
  • Tom Hofmann Baseball Scholarship
  • The Hope Scholarship
  • Ms. Ellen M. James Trailblazer Scholarship
  • Meijer Scholars Program
  • The Edward "Mike" Murphy Scholarship
  • Bernice Trantham Peters Memorial Social Justice Scholarship

Broadway Grand Rapids Fundraiser

Partnership with Broadway Grand Rapids raises almost $15,000 for culinary scholarships

Students in the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education will reap the sweet rewards from a partnership with Broadway Grand Rapids and the generosity of theater patrons.

Nearly $15,000 was raised for scholarships through the sale of personal pies during the Broadway Grand Rapids production of recent run of “Waitress” at DeVos Performance Hall.

Pies played a leading role in the musical about a waitress who bakes her way through heartbreak to happiness. Faculty from the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and staff from the GRCC Foundation sold “pie in a jar” -- apple crumble and chocolate salted caramel -- before, after and during intermission for each performance.

In the weeks leading up to the performances, Broadway Grand Rapids conducted a pie-making competition, with contestants sharing their recipes -- and the stories behind them. Broadway Grand Rapids Executive Director Mike Lloyd and GRCC President Bill Pink served as judges.

“We were happy to leverage the tour stop here of ‘Waitress’ to bring attention to a wonderful community institution,” Lloyd said. “The pie-jar fundraising effort was a fun addition to a visit to the theater and an effective way to ‘feed’ the need for scholarship money.”

“These scholarships make a difference for so many students, providing opportunities for them to learn from some of the best chefs in the industry at one of the top culinary programs in the nation,” said Kathy Mullins, vice president for College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation. “We’re very appreciative of Broadway Grand Rapids for this partnership, and theatergoers for buying every last pie.”

Cooking class demonstration

Donors get hands-on experience with healthy, seasonal cooking classes

The GRCC Foundation hosted a series of seasonal cooking classes for donors. Each featured a physician, a farmer and a chef sharing information on the important role that local, seasonal produce plays in overall health and well-being. Donors then tried their hand at preparing recipes in the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education’s state-of-the-art kitchens and enjoyed tasting all the dishes.

Dr. Bill Pink presenting at the Creating Connections event

Breakfast highlights scholarships created by GRCC retiree Till Peters

Those attending the 11th annual Creating Connections breakfast on Feb. 14 could feel the love as donors and recipients shared the impact scholarships have had on their lives.

Till Peters and the four scholarships he has established were highlighted. All four established by Peters, who retired from GRCC in 1993 as dean of Occupational Education, are in memory of a loved one.

Receiving the Janet Ketchum Scholarship meant fewer sleepless nights for student Karl Blessing. The divorced father of three received an Associate of Fine Arts last year and is now close to his degree in web and graphic design. He said the scholarship “validated that my efforts did not go unnoticed.”

Dominique Richards, who received the English Department Scholarship, said that five years ago, she would never have guessed that she would in college after years in foster care. She attends GRCC while working a full-time job and is determined to get the education she needs to help others.

“No one has ever done anything this kind to me in my entire life,” she said.

Medical Assisting Students at Spectrum reception

Medical Assisting students now eligible for Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship

The GRCC Foundation celebrated its partnership with Spectrum Health and 68 scholarship recipients during a reception on Nov. 12.

Spectrum Health created the Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship in 2016 to assist students interested in health sciences or health careers. In the program’s second year, a total of $357,994.43 was given through need-based scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 to students in the Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technology and -- for the first time -- Medical Assisting programs.

The students who received the scholarships are in their final -- and most expensive -- year of these programs.

Yahntea Weaver has always wanted to work in medicine. Right after high school, she began working as a resident aide and then entered GRCC's Certified Nurse Assistant program. As she finished up that training, she learned about the Medical Assisting program and knew it would be the perfect next step.

But as the single mother to 2-year-old Prince, she didn't want to take on loans to pay for the program. The Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship meant that she could start her MA training immediately and still take care of her family expenses.

"Without the scholarship, I wouldn't have been able to join this program right away," said Weaver, who also works full time. "I didn't have to pay out of pocket at all. Being a full-time mom, that's a huge help."

Ellen James

Scholarship endowment honors founding board of trustees member Ellen M. James

The GRCC Foundation hosted an event in October to launch the Ms. Ellen M. James Trailblazer Scholarship Fund.

In addition to being a founding member of GRCC’s board of trustees, James has long been recognized throughout West Michigan for her advocacy to many who often have no voice. The endowed scholarship in her name will allow her to continue her efforts to expand educational opportunities for all.

Save the date for SCHOLARfest 2020!

Mark your calendars for SCHOLARfest 2020 on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse. Join us as we honor Dave and Karen Custer for their contributions to GRCC and our community, and as we raise money for scholarships that will prepare our students to be future leaders.

Dave Custer, GRCC's 2010 Distinguished Alumnus, founded what is now Custer Inc. in 1981. He has served on the GRCC Foundation's board of directors since 1989. He became board chair in 2008 -- marking the first time that position was filled by someone other than the college president. He and Karen have raised three sons, all of whom now serve in leadership roles at Custer Inc.

500 Club members at Food Truck lunch

Food truck lunch celebrates new 500 Club members

The GRCC Foundation celebrated the 13 newest members of the 500 Club on Sept. 6 at a lunch featuring food trucks on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza. All three of the food trucks -- Pressed in Time, El Caribe and Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars -- are owned and operated by GRCC alumni!

The 500 Club recognizes faculty and staff who donate $500 annually to the foundation. The newest members are:

  • Julie Bera
  • Lina Blair
  • Rachel Crapo
  • Katie Daniels
  • Yolanda Duncan
  • Shanna Goff
  • Evan Macklin
  • Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham
  • Bruce Morrison
  • Carolyn Morrison
  • Phoenix Noelle
  • Colette Smiley
  • Kristi Welling