To commemorate the grand reopening of the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse at Grand Rapids Community College, administrators have planned an entire week of events for students to get acquainted with the newly renovated sports facility.
Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to join GRCC administrators for the fieldhouse’s rededication ceremony at 3 p.m. A reception and program are scheduled which include an appearance by Mike Ford, son of former President of the United States Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford.
GRCC’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) and the office of Student Life and Conduct staff have been preparing the week’s events around the reopening of the fieldhouse. CAB President Tina Poulias elaborated on what students can expect during the reopening ceremony.
“We decided this year to have it in the wintertime to open the new renovated gym, so since the gym has now been officially redone, we are having a ribbon cutting on Monday opening up the gym there,” Poulias said. “This homecoming week is able to kind of pinpoint different events that happen at the gym and also allow students to walk through the gym as well.”
Event organizers, like Director of Student Life and Conduct Lina Blair, are excited about the reopening and what it means for students and the community.
“Now that the Ford Fieldhouse project is complete and our athletic teams are back on campus, we wanted to harness the energy and excitement of the moment,” Blair said. “We’re excited to celebrate the new space and welcome the GRCC community (students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and the community) back to campus.”
Following Monday’s festivities is a “Dive-In Movie” at the Ford Fieldhouse Natatorium for a screening of “Finding Dory.” Underwater is the theme of the night complete with a lifeguard on duty to keep an eye on the children in attendance.
Wednesday’s theme is “Throwback Vibes” and students are encouraged to show their school spirit while giving back to the community. The “Throwback Vibes” event will be held in the Raider Grille from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Student will have a chance to play vintage arcade games and the game “Name That Tune.” Organizers also came up with an interesting way for students to show off their school spirit during Homecoming Week.
“If you bring in a non-GRCC shirt, in exchange we will give you a homecoming shirt,” Poulias said. “If you turn (the non-GRCC shirt) in, we’re going to donate them to either a shelter or probably Goodwill. We got a lot of shirts this year, so we wanted to disperse (them) enough that all the students have them. We thought this might be a good way that instead of students continuing to get a lot of shirts, this way they can give back something and in exchange, they’ll get an updated GRCC shirt.”
Thursday’s pep rally, held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Juan Olivarez Student Plaza, will keep students busy with activities in which to participate. Students can expect food trucks, a DJ, photo booth, airbrush tattoos, ice sculptures from Ice Guru and homecoming giveaways during Thursday’s pep rally to keep school spirit up.
Homecoming week ends on Friday with a tailgate before the men’s and women’s basketball games which conclude Homecoming Week. Much like the pep rally, the tailgate will involve free food and entertainment for students, faculty, staff and community members and their families. The tailgate starts at 5 p.m. at the north end of the Hunsberger Arena while the women’s and men’s basketball games are scheduled to be played at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively.
For more information on Homecoming Week at GRCC or for a list of events, visit the Homecoming Week page on GRCC’s website.