In the past decade, Grand Rapids Community College has begun to make it a practice to name campus buildings after individuals who have made a difference on and around Grand Rapids Community College’s campus.
As was mentioned in the story “Arena named to honor GRCC legend” on page 1, the arena inside the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse has just been named after Gordon Hunsberger, a man whose impact was felt on the football field as well as in the athletic office.
Although the opportunity to name the building was given to Dave and Carol Van Andel due to the large donation they gave to the school, it was what they did with this opportunity that should serve as an example for both GRCC and future donors.
Rather than naming the building after the Van Andel family, Dave and Carol did what was right for the college and its students by giving faculty and staff the chance to name it after one of GRCC’s own.
By choosing Gordon Hunsberger, the staff has made it clear who they feel truly deserves to have his name on the wall. Yes, the donors had a large role by giving to the school, but without Hunsberger, the Ford Fieldhouse may not be what it is today.
In the years Hunsberger spent at GRCC, he led the school to numerous winning seasons, touched many lives both on the field and in the office, and played a substantial role in leading the athletic department to what is now the Ford Fieldhouse.
While most students may not be aware of the history behind the athletic department, the naming of the arena has taken a step in the right direction by familiarizing students with a look at a man who helped shape the school into what it is today.
The gift given by Dave and Carol Van Andel is greatly appreciated by those around GRCC, and we are especially grateful for what thy did after.
Grand Rapids Community College would be wise to learn from this positive experience and use this model if and when another building is renamed.
Keep the names within the GRCC family and help educate students not only about a certain curriculum, but also about the men and women who made GRCC what it is today.