By Rachael Yadlowsky – Collegiate Staff
Retiring Grand Rapids Community College president Steven Ender will be giving the keynote address at the college’s commencement ceremony this Friday.
Doors to the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse, 111 Lyon Street NE, will open at 6 p.m. At this time, friends and family members of the graduates can enter the building and find a seat. Graduates are limited to five tickets per person. Children under 2 years old get in free. Also, the campus parking lots will be open for free parking.
The fieldhouse doors will close and the processional will begin at 6:45 p.m. Once all students are seated, the ceremony will begin.
During the ceremony, Ender will receive the President Emeritus Award. Ender will also be giving the graduation address.
The Emeritus Faculty Award will be given to Physical Science Professor Joseph Hesse and the Distinguished Alumnus Award will be given to Colonel Scott Haraburda.
Hesse will receive the Emeritus Faculty award because of his “high standards for his students and his constant enthusiasm.” Colleagues say that he was very open to new ideas to teaching.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award honors alumni who have earn at least 30 credits and have made major contributions to the good of their fellow beings.
Haraburda will receive this award because because of his major contributions to the military and to engineering. Haraburda was awarded the Legion of Merit and three Meritorious Service Medals.
After the ceremony, friends and family members can meet in the Bostwick Commons to find their graduates.
“I’m very excited to be graduating. GRCC has been very kind to me, but it’s time to go,” said graduate-to-be Nygie Pegues, 26, of Grand Rapids. “I’m majoring in social work and I will be transferring to either Grand Valley or Spring Arbor University.”
Once the graduates are out of their gowns, they have the option to recycle their gowns. There will be drop off boxes around the Bostwick Commons where students can leave gowns for future graduates.
This year’s commencement will cost the college around $35,000, which is over $62,000 less than last year’s commencement which was held at the Van Andel Arena and cost $97,000.