Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink presented metal band Metallica with heavy metal from the college’s welding program on Wednesday night during the band’s stop at the VanAndel Arena as part of their WorldWired Tour.
The gift comes after the band’s foundation, All Within My Hands, granted GRCC and nine other colleges nationwide $100,000 for educational programs. At GRCC, the grant will fund the welding program to aid non-traditional welding students participating in the program.
Pink presented Metallica guitarist James Hetfield with a decorative steel guitar with the words “AWMH GRCC Welding” which was made by welding professors John Doneth, Nick Pinckney and Nathan Haney.
Doneth recalled his connection to the band and welding while creating the guitar for Metallica, which was made out of a 14-gauge steel sheet.
“I used to go to welding school and listen to Metallica’s music,” he said. “Now we made them something cool and are teaching welding.”
Fountain Hill Brewing also provided the band with a GRCC souvenir, one that also allows them a free drink whenever they’re in town.
Of the gifts presented to the band, Pink said Hetfield liked them, stating, “He loved it. He said, ‘This is really cool.’”