Veterans Center dedication and ribbon cutting, Main Campus, on 10/06/2021. © Photography by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 9, 2022: Grand Rapids Community College was named a Gold Level College by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, reflecting the campus’ commitment to helping student veterans gain the support and education they need to be successful.

The state’s Michigan Veteran-Friendly Schools Program recognizes academic institutions committed to supporting the needs of student veterans. Colleges and universities are awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze level status based on their veteran-centric services and programs.

GRCC had been a Silver Level College in the past. The college’s new Veterans Center and the work of staff supporting student veterans led to the elevated status.

“We are incredibly proud of our student veterans,” Registrar Valerie Butterfield said. “GRCC has a long history of being a veteran-friendly campus, and our new Veterans Center has helped us provide even more support. The Gold Level status reflects our commitment, and our focus on finding even more ways to help veterans transition to college, and be successful.”

The U.S. Education Department in January 2021 awarded GRCC a grant to create the center, which serves as a hub for planning and delivering services to students who have served in the armed services.

The center, located on Level G2 of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, is staffed by the Veteran Success Coordinator, Patrick Coleman, who works as a single point of contact, connecting veterans with campus resources including financial aid, advising and disability support. The project also helps GRCC expand its partnerships with state and local veterans’ agencies, helping students access benefits and support in the community.

The Veterans Center hosts workshops and events, and provides opportunities for networking and social interaction.

The Veteran2Veteran program provides peer support, outreach, and resources for student veterans through Peer Advisors for Veteran Education, including veterans supporting each other through the transition to college.

Veterans Center services include:

  • One-on-one advising.
  • Veterans Administration work study positions.
  • Connections to tutoring and academic support.
  • Assistance in completing the VA education benefits process.
  • Peer support, outreach, and resources for student veterans through Peer Advisors for Veteran Education.

The center is planning a veteran student orientation coming up on Aug. 17, and student veterans are still able to enroll in fall semester classes, which begin Aug. 29.

Students can connect with Coleman by phone at (616) 234-2578 and with our benefits certifying official, Janice Holton by email at Additional information is available online at