Grand Rapids Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution Monday to rename its Main Building the Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, to honor a recent $2 million donation from the Grand Rapids entrepreneur.
“Mr Finkelstein is now part of the GRCC family,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “The way the gift is going to help our students and our faculty and staff, that to me that is the best thing.”
Finkelstein is a longtime resident of Grand Rapids perhaps best known for a family clothier business that evolved into athletic store MC Sporting Goods, later renamed MC Sports. Although that company was sold in 2000 and closed in 2017, Finkelstein and his brothers, Mort and Ed, are still partners in other business ventures including REM Real Estate, Arbor Mortgage and Northpointe Bank.
GRCC Student Alliance President Elizabeth Nguyen said she hopes that the renaming of the building will spark curiosity among her fellow students.
“I think it’s a great idea… to look more into why we renamed it, the purpose of it,” Nguyen said. “It’s a great opportunity for students just to look into it and do their own research.”
The Main Building was constructed in 1923, originally to house Davis Technical High School. In 1944, it became part of Grand Rapids Junior College.
Pink spoke of how beneficial the donation will be for the building’s planned renovations, which include adding more classrooms and upgrading current labs and art studios.
“It will help in doing some things to this building that have been overdue,” Pink said, “and will give us an opportunity to bring this building up to a level that all of our faculty, staff and students can feel very, very proud of.
“With [Finkelstein’s] help, that will help us make those shifts.”
Renovations are scheduled to begin in 2021.