GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Community College family is mourning the loss of its former president.
Dr. Richard Calkins passed away Friday. He took over the college's top post in 1975 when GRCC was known as Grand Rapids Junior College.
Calkins helped transform the school into an independent institution. The Creston High School graduate also helped grow the campus, opening The Music Center, Ford Fieldhouse, Spectrum Theater, College Park Plaza, Student Community Center and the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center during his 23-year tenure.
The Calkins Science Center was later named for him.
GRCC plans to hold a public memorial celebration in Calkins' honor in spring 2014.