GRCC aims to support learning, modernize facilities with $10M donation

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Grand Rapids Community College leaders are reviewing how to use a nearly $10 million donation to support student resources and modernize facilities. Courtesy GRCC/Steve Jessmore

Grand Rapids Community College leaders are reviewing how to use a nearly $10 million donation to support student resources and modernize facilities.

The donor, Robert Richmond, passed away in 2019.

“This is an extraordinary and generous investment in GRCC, its students and our greater community,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “Mr. Richmond saw firsthand how GRCC gave his employees the knowledge and confidence to grow and thrive. His gift will help us continue providing state-of-the-art learning spaces and other resources to make education more accessible to West Michigan residents.”

Richmond started his career with IBM, helping businesses set up computer systems. He and his wife Lois started B&L Plastics in Rockford and, later, B&L Development, where they hired interns from GRCC.

“Mr. Richmond’s vision was to help the college keep higher education within reach of everyone who seeks it,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Mullins, vice president for college advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation. “We will use this generous gift to honor his legacy.”

Pink said the donation reflects the value West Michigan employers and residents place on the community’s college and its critical role in developing a talented workforce and boosting the local economy.

“We deeply appreciate this gift,” Pink said. “Mr. Richmond is a great example of leaving one’s treasure to touch the lives of others for years to come.”

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