Impact Insights

Spring 2024

Welcome to Impact Insights

Here, you can read about how your support makes an impact by transforming students’ lives through Christ-centered learning. We hope you enjoy these stories. Visit our website to learn how you can support Grove City College.

A Rock-Solid Foundation

Tom ’77 and Lila (Thomas ’79) Riley are as involved in the life of the College today as they were as students. Having recently reestablished themselves as residents of western Pennsylvania, they have jumped at the chance to become a regular part of the Grove City College community again.

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Tom: “The reason we attend events on campus is, first and foremost, there are high-quality events. We make it a habit to come to Wednesday Chapel service, and we’ve never been disappointed in that worship experience. Every year, the Institute of Faith and Freedom has their conference. I don’t think we’ve ever missed one of those. And we’ll come for sporting events. My wife has gotten to know one of the basketball players on the women’s team, and so we’ve enjoyed coming and watching her play. We just enjoy coming on campus, even if it just means going into the student union, having lunch and just absorbing the atmosphere of being at the college, we just really, really enjoy it.”

Tom’s sentiments about being involved on campus are matched only by their enthusiasm for giving back.

Lila: “I was really honored to be asked to help start that Gamma Chi Scholarship, and this was something that we could ask all the [sorority] alumni to help with and support so that it encouraged the girls who were active at that time. I think since the scholarship started, I’ve gotten to meet the scholarship recipient. Every year I want to say, ‘Why don’t you come over to our house this afternoon?’ We’ll just hang out and talk some more because I feel like we have so much in common, even though there are generations between us now.”

It’s no surprise that connecting with new generations of Grovers comes easily to this GCC power couple. Two of their own sons are also alumni, making the Rileys a “Legacy Family.” But the connections don’t stop there. Lila has helped to lead a discipleship group of young women through the Chapel Ministries department, and both Tom and Lila are very active with the YoungLife organization on campus.

Being annual donors for the last 23 years, Tom and Lila are motivated by the incredible students whom they’ve gotten to know here.

Tom: “[Grove City College] produces citizens in this world who are truly special, ones very well-equipped to make a difference in the world. Everything at the College is taught from a Christian worldview, so that foundation is rock solid. The students who come here and learn on that foundation… well, they leave here very, very well-equipped to be high-performing citizens in our country.”

The Rileys are part of that rock-solid foundation that students are receiving here, serving as examples of engaged and generous alumni who clearly understand that the College’s mission transforms lives. Our students themselves are the return on the Rileys’ investment, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

A Culture of Caring

As a Wolverine baseball player, senior Nick Guidas ’24 has experienced his share of amazing athletic performances, including the one during the fall 2022 season where he pitched an elusive “perfect” game.

 

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Nick: “We played a game in Florida against Illinois College, and it was a beautiful day, and I went out and threw a perfect game. It’s a really rare thing in baseball, and I’m blessed to have the ability to do that. My dad passed away last year, and on that mound, I felt his presence. It was something I’d never experienced before. And then after I threw the perfect game, the support my coaches and my team showed me, hugging me… it was an emotional time. And all my professors, all the alumni in my fraternity, they reached out to me and emailed me and texted me. And it was a really, really great experience.”

Nick found the campus community ready to celebrate his success on the ballfield, and equally ready to stand with him during his time of personal loss. Professors sent cards to his family when his father passed away and the community expressed care for him that really strengthened his faith. Another special group, his Pan Sophic brothers, helped walk with him through this difficult time. They even partnered to help Nick feel his dad’s presence with him during every game. A beautiful tree facing the baseball fields is now adorned with a memorial plaque in memory of his dad, Mike Guidas. The Pans have made a lasting impact on Nick.

Nick: “We have yearly events, and the fact that they show up, those guys, and they’re so supportive of us. And the fact that they’re just there and they support us, in everything that we do. They put on events for us, they donate. It’s just amazing the culture that’s built there. And I’m really thankful for the connection we have with our alumni. I’m definitely going to give back when I’m an alumnus, just because of the fact that they give back. It’s just so amazing.”

You can watch Nick’s video testimonial here.

Making an Impact with QCD’s

“When I went down to the lower campus and saw the renderings for the new lower campus fieldhouse having been a part of the inaugural women’s tennis team, I knew I had to be part of this,” said Marsha (Crouch ’75) Wilson. “Giving from my IRA directly to Grove City College to support this project made perfect sense. It’s a great way to have impact now.”

You can transfer funds from your IRA directly to Grove City College. This is an effective way to have an immediate impact and ensure our work of preparing students for a career while helping them discover their purposes for success in life.

Here’s how it works:

  • You must be 70 ½ or older.
  • An individual may transfer up to a total of $105,000 per year and a married couple may give up to $210,000 to all organizations.
  • Your gift must be transferred directly from the IRA account to Grove City College.
  • Your gift is a transfer of funds from your IRA to Grove City College, so it does not count as income for the year.
  • If you are 73 and older, the transfer of funds counts towards your annual Required Minimum Distribution from your IRA.
  • An individual may take a one-time QCD up to $53,000 to fund a charitable gift annuity (CGA) or charitable remainder trust (CRT).

Katherine’s Journey at GCC

Katherine details how she came to major in Electrical Engineering, learning about signals and circuits, and where she plans to take her knowledge in the future. Watch her inspiring video to hear her story!

Rockwell Hall to be Renamed in Honor of Bill and Dieva Smith

The iconic campus landmark will be rededicated as the Smith Hall of Science and Technology in 2025 when renovations currently underway to the 90-plus year old building are complete. The $48 million project is a major first-phase priority of Impact 150: The Anniversary Campaign for Grove City College Impact 150: The Anniversary Campaign for Grove City College. The Smiths are lead donors to the renovation.

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The news was announced by Edward D. Breen ’78, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, on Friday, Nov. 3 at the Impact 150 Launch Celebration held at alumni-owned Gecko Robotics in Pittsburgh.

“Bill’s and Dieva’s extraordinary generosity should inspire everyone whose lives were impacted by Grove City College to give back to this great institution. It should also clearly impress friends of the College of the value of a Grove City College education. Their support for this historic project will make it possible to equip countless students in the years to come to serve others with the highest proficiency and purpose,” Breen said.

Known for its striking tower overlooking the campus’ Quad, Rockwell was simply named the Hall of Science when it opened in 1931. It was the first academic building on Upper Campus, rising alongside Harbison Chapel and dedicated on the same day to symbolize the integration of faith and learning that is part of the College’s identity.

In 1966, it was renovated and renamed for former College Trustee Willard F. Rockwell Jr. Rededicating the renovated building in honor of the Smiths follows in that tradition, in which the College, which accepts no federal funds and is dependent on tuition and the generosity of private donors, honors those who support and embody Grove City College’s unique character.

William W. Smith Jr. Headshot

William W. Smith Jr. ’69

Bill Smith is a successful entrepreneur and corporate leader who earned a degree in Business Administration from the College in 1969. He founded Smith Micro Software in 1982 and, guided by his visionary leadership and savvy business acumen, it developed a reputation as a trusted software solution provider to wireless carriers and cable companies. Over 40 years as CEO, he built Smith Micro into a multi-national corporation that is a key player in the telecommunications industry.

Smith credits Grove City College for providing the foundation for his success and is a passionate supporter of the private Christian liberal arts college, particularly its Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation and Computer Science programs. Many alumni secure post-graduate employment with the company.

“I didn’t know when I was in Grove City that I was going to be founding a tech company, or become the chairman and CEO, but the College gave me the skills and the moral compass that was required,” Smith said. “You work a lifetime and if things work out, you have the opportunity to make a gift like this. It is part of giving back. It is part of saying thank you because this is where I got my start.”

The Rockwell renovation will preserve the building’s classic collegiate gothic exterior while transforming almost every interior space from the lower level laboratories to third floor classrooms and offices to meet the needs of today’s students and technologies. The project includes a multi-story structure that will connect Rockwell to STEM Hall and increase the available space for instruction, collaboration, and innovation by nearly 25 percent. The building’s mechanical systems – HVAC, electrical, and plumbing – will see significant upgrades as well.

Key features of the renovation emphasize active, hands-on learning and research experiences and engagement across all the sciences, from physics to exercise science, to ensure students are prepared for lives of creative contribution and careers in fast-changing scientific environments. The building design will ensure the College responds from a position of strength in service to the evolving needs of science, technology, and engineering students for generations.

“It’s my fond hope that this becomes a center for the campus … one where students can prosper and grow and learn about the technologies and sciences that they will need to apply in their careers going forward,” Smith said. “In this world today, for Grove City College to be a leader and maintain its relevance going forward, a strong science and technology approach is mandatory.”

Impact 150: The Anniversary Campaign for Grove City College is a historic fundraising campaign designed to position the College, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2026, for the next century and a half. The $185 million campaign prioritizes student financial aid and investments in existing infrastructure and new construction. For more about the campaign, visit giving.gcc.edu.

Join The Faith and Freedom Society

Grove City College’s Faith and Freedom Society is a special group of supporters who have made a transformational commitment to enriching the lives of GCC students. Many individuals choose to show benevolence to the College through an estate or planned gift. We thank these alumni, parents, friends and employees who plan for their legacy to benefit Grove City College with membership into the Faith & Freedom Society.

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