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President Bill Pink looking forward to future of Ferris

It has been two months since Dr. Bill Pink stepped foot onto campus as the newest president of Ferris State University.

As the former head of Grand Rapids Community College, Pink has felt very welcomed and comfortable in his first months in Big Rapids.

“I have been reminded of how really great the institution is,” Pink said. “I've come to terms of the work that this institution does across the state and across the country with the education we provide.”

Not only is Pink the nineteenth president in school history, he is also the first African-American
president at Ferris State. When asked about the feat, Pink said it reflects the history established by
founders Woodbridge and Helen Ferris.

“They established it on a premise of opportunities for everyone in this state,” Pink said. “They weren't
concerned about what socioeconomic status, color of skin, or gender of the person. My hope is that it gives any African American the hope and the vision I had too, where they too can rise to these levels of responsibility and leadership seeing someone in this seat that looks like looks like them.”

In preparations of a large phase plan to be unveiled at his October inauguration, Pink is looking forward to making an impact on more than just the typical student demographic.

“We'll never take an eye off our traditional 18-year-old graduate from high school, but part of what I
have envisioned is how our institution can start having a stronger focus on nontraditional students.
Because of the programs we have on this campus, we can be such a resource for individuals aged 25 and older to get post-secondary (education) credentials that will lead them to good paying living wage jobs so they can take care of their family better.”

Along with this benefit, Pink also wants to help strengthen the community footprint both regionally and nationally with some of Ferris’ doctoral programs.

When asked about who has helped him throughout this drafting process, Pink said current and former Ferris State leadership has been crucial.

“I have an incredible Board of Trustees and it starts with them. I have spoken to them individually and collectively, several times now. Obviously, David Eisler, since the very beginning, has been helpful at providing some of his own perspective in history. There are a lot of folks who know the history and know not only the place we sit, but also realize the potential where we can go.”

Along with faculty, Pink has learned a lot about the University thanks to his “Link with Pink” Tour this
fall. The president has already travelled to places like Flint, Detroit, East Lansing, and Traverse City to
converse with former Ferris State alumni and friends about the school’s past and future. His tour will
finish up this week with stops in Midland and Kalamazoo slated for September 29 and 30 respectively.

“We have alumni all over the state and across the country who are still strong Bulldogs and continue to be connected to the school,” Pink said. “They pay attention to what the university is doing and continue to be supportive of it. I’m just loving to commit to being connected to this alumni base.”


For more information on the “Link with Pink” tour and his inauguration ceremony, follow along on the President’s homepage at

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