GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Thursday, September 14 at 3 p.m. Dr. Charles Lepper was inaugurated as the 11th president of Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC).
The investiture took place at Fountain Street Church, marking the official transfer of power to the new president.
The ceremony began with words of welcome from Grand Rapids Chamber President and CEO Rick Baker, Grand Valley State University President Philomena Mantella, GRCC Student Government President Alexis Miranda, and GRCC Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Sheila Jones.
Lepper spoke as well, emphasizing the importance of belonging and the role GRCC serves in fostering an environment where every individual feels valued, respected, and accepted.
Lepper explained his intentions for the college in the coming years, “to recruit and retain top-tier faculty and staff that reflect the community we serve, to strengthen our partnerships with K-12 and business and industry, to foster a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and belonging, to empower our students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in an ever-changing world, and to ensure that Grand Rapids Community College continues to be a national leader in innovation, education, and workforce development.”
Lepper has over 25 years of experience at numerous universities and colleges. Prior to his role at GRCC he served as a vice president at Salt Lake Community College. Before that, Lepper served as a vice president for Student Affairs at Tidewater Community College in southern Virginia.
He also has been involved with the National Academic Advising Association, where he served as a consultant to two-year institutions around the country. Along with that, he serves on multiple boards of directors such as the Michigan Community College Association, The Right Place and West Michigan Works!.
Lepper earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources and Personnel Management from Ball State University; a Master of Education in Secondary, Higher and Adult Education from Grand Valley State University; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, Administration and Foundations from Indiana State University. He also completed Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management in 2017 and earned a professional development certificate in trauma and resilience from Florida State University in 2021.
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