Joining the list of Oklahoma Christian University alumni currently serving as college presidents is Bill Pink, who was named as Grand Rapids Community College’s 10th president on Nov. 21.
After receiving an associate’s degree from York College, Pink attended Oklahoma Christian and graduated in 1990, receiving a bachelor’s degree in education. He later received his master’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.
“I am grateful to institutions like OC that played such a vital role in my development as a person, and as a leader,” Pink said. “I value my days at OC both as a student, as well as a former faculty member.”
After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, Pink continued on to coach basketball and tennis at York College, then worked as athletic director, head men’s basketball coach and assistant to the president at Cascade College, before returning to Oklahoma Christian University in 1998 to teach in the department of education.
“I have had so many great professional experiences, and served with great mentors, throughout my professional career,” Pink said. “My days as a faculty member, associate dean, athletic director, and vice-president have all been pertinent spots along the way to where I am today. My mentors throughout those years have been so important to me, and many of them continue to hold great significance in my life.”
Pink worked at Oklahoma Christian for six years, then at UCO as the associate dean of the college of education and professional studies, and then vice president of academic affairs for Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City, OK in December 2011. In March 2015, Pink moved to Michigan and became Grand Rapid’s vice president and dean for workforce development before becoming president.
“I am so honored and humbled at being named the 10th president of our college,” Pink said. “The impact that this college has had on West Michigan for over 100 years is monumental and I look forward to working with our campus community, as well as the community of West Michigan, to continue that movement. We have great days ahead.”
During Pink’s time as a student at Oklahoma Christian, he played basketball under former men’s head basketball coach Dan Hays and earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors his senior year.
“From day one, I knew what a special student athlete he was,” Hays said. “He was an outstanding player on very good teams that we had and he was a great student. He was also very active around campus and he had his own radio show back when we had our own radio station. I just knew he was destined for success.”
Pink said there are many professors and coaches at Oklahoma Christian who influenced him during his time as a student and professor, with Hays at the top of his list.
“He is the reason I attended OC and continues to be a great friend and mentor to me,” Pink said. “Please know that many others are highly important to me, but Coach Hays is the one who offered me a basketball scholarship at OC.”
Current men’s head basketball coach Cory Cole said he knew Pink when he was a graduate basketball assistant during his last two years playing for Oklahoma Christian.
“Some of my best memories were after I finished playing and was working as an assistant and we would play noon league hoops,” Cole said. “He has always been a leader from the front and that’s what he displayed here at OC for many years in various roles. He’s more than prepared. He’s going to excel.”