We build character, faith and community. ROCHESTER COLLEGE

For more than 55 years, Rochester College has shaped the lives of young people through education, personal mentoring and spiritual formation. A Christian College located in Michigan’s Oakland County, Rochester College is focused on building.

WE BUILD CHARACTER

Our students learn more than how to make a living; they learn how to live ­— with personal integrity and with respect for one another.

WE BUILD FAITH

As a Christian College, we believe that history, science, business and the professions should be informed by faith. Our students are challenged to view their lives and careers in terms of God’s will.

WE BUILD COMMUNITY

From the diversity of our student body, we find ourselves united in the pursuit of truth in our various fields of study. We work together to envision and create a just, fair and peaceful world.

HELP US BUILD.

Our primary concern is not brick-and-mortar.

WE BUILD CHARACTER, FAITH AND COMMUNITY.

But we do need lecture halls and libraries, classrooms and residence halls to achieve our mission. Our urgent need is an arena that will house student athletic events, enhance campus spirit, and provide impetus for future growth. Functional in a variety of ways, the same building can be used for all-student assemblies and for community service. It is a facility Rochester College has needed for years. The time has come to make it happen.

We need your help to make it a reality.

Garth Pleasant Arena

THIS ARENA WILL BE THE PLACE THAT...

It’s so difficult to articulate the influence “brick and mortar” can have on a life. The casual observer might say, “Bricks don’t speak. Steel doesn’t support spiritual truth. Hardwood floors don’t reflect servant leadership. Locker rooms don’t solidify faith. Front doors don’t invite people to open their lives to new thought.” However, this is exactly what this arena will do—it will help change lives.

Foundations will be laid as students assemble for chapel—all together in one place. Worship, edification and teaching will all take place inside the bricks of this new facility. Bricks may not speak, but they can definitely facilitate change, contemplation and commitment. This arena will be the place this happens....

If there’s something that cannot bend, it’s the spiritual truths Rochester College has imbedded into the lives of our students for more than 55 years. We have stood firm in the truths received from God’s word. We’ve given students an understanding of the type of support that will strengthen their lives. Iron sharpens iron as one person sharpens another. Steel cannot support spiritual truths, but it can be used to facilitate spiritual truths. This arena will be the place this happens....

When a community knows they have access to a place where the image of Christ holds the seams of every piece of hardwood together, they begin to see “the place” as something different. As the floors fill up with events like community health and career fairs, youth sporting camps, mom-to-mom sales, addresses from engaging local and national speakers and other clean and uplifting family activities, servant leadership is modeled. This arena, these hardwood floors, will be the place this happens....

Athletics is more than just competing to win. Many people say those words, but in our case we have years of history to demonstrate our ability to use sports as a way of building faith and community. The locker room becomes more than a strategy session at halftime—it becomes the place where true values are cemented into the core of each athlete. This arena will be the place this happens....

Every home has a front door, a recognizable entry point, a place where people know they “enter here” to find out more. Come in, take a peek around. Give a quick look to discover what’s going on. The truth-seeker, the potential student, the current student, the community member wondering “who is Rochester College?”—they all need a front door. This arena will be the place this happens.

Will you please help us change lives? Yes, I believe it’s far more than brick and mortar. Can you see the vision? Will you help us make this dream a reality?

John Tyson, Ph.D.

President

JUSTIN

a sophomore pre-med major from West Bloomfield, Michigan

WILL "...FIND MOTIVATION TO STRIVE FOR PERFECTION AND GIVE NOTHING LESS THAN 100 PERCENT, ON AND OFF THE COURT."

OLIVIA

a junior secondary English education major from Stow, Ohio

ENVISIONS THE SPIRIT OF OUR CAMPUS COMMUNITY GROWING STRONGER. "WE NEED A PLACE TO RALLY TOGETHER, SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER AND BOND DURING POWERFUL FELLOWSHIP EXPERIENCES."

PARIS

a senior business management major from Rochester, Michigan

"...IS EQUIPPED TO SUCCEED AS AN ATHLETE, CHALLENGED TO BE A BETTER VERSION OF HIMSELF, AND PROUD TO INVITE THE COMMUNITY TO JOIN IN THE TRADITION OF WARRIOR ATHLETICS."

COACH PLEASANT

Vice president, athletic director, head coach for men's basketball and co-director for Lake Norcentra Basketball Camp.

When Coach Garth Pleasant ended his 30-year career with the Warriors in 2011, he handed over the clipboard to his son, Klint. Charged with the same passion and appreciation for both the college and the game, Klint stepped into this new role at RC (he also serves as the vice president of enrollment/athletics and athletic director). Not surprisingly, Klint has a unique understanding of how beneficial the construction of a new arena will be for Rochester College. Here he dons a few of the many hats he wears and shares his thoughts on the project.

GABBY

a senior, mass communication–public relations major from Warren, Michigan

“The practice gym is very old. The wood floor does not have much cushion and is laid close to the foundation. Unfortunately, this situation oftentimes interferes with our training. A new gym floor will be a great blessing for all of RC’s student athletes.”

THE PROJECT STATUS

View from the southwest corner, facing Avon Road.

PHASE 1: PROJECT LAUNCH

As long ago as 2005, Rochester College began dreaming and planning for what was conceived as a Health and Life Sciences Center. The project estimate for that 90,000-square-foot structure was more than $14 million. A campaign was started to raise money for the building, but several factors dictated a major delay.

Approximately $2.5 million was raised toward the $14 million goal. Various project-related expenses were paid from that fund. Approximately $1 million was spent in architectural fees, design modifications and site preparation. The major expenditure was a sophisticated energy-management system that would serve not only the new building but the entire RC campus. This $1.5 million system was mandated by DTE before any construction steps could be initiated for a facility.

THE GREAT RECESSION

Then came the Great Recession of 2007–2008 and a challenge to the very survival of Rochester College. Along with many other small colleges and businesses in our region, we were forced to realign our priorities to deal with this serious challenge. The college is stable now, and the regional economy is recovering. Some important but minimal elements of a larger plan were achieved, but we still do not have a Health and Life Sciences Center.

RENEWING A BUILDING PROJECT

We must move the project to completion, but good judgment dictates a deliberate and responsible course of action. We plan to build the complex in three stages, while remaining steadfast in our primary mission of building character, faith and community. This approach allows us to build the Health & Life Sciences Center in successive, manageable increments. The site will house not only certain athletic programs but also our School of Nursing.

PHASE 2: GARTH PLEASANT ARENA

With significant infrastructure work now completed, the second step is to build the Garth Pleasant Arena

Garth’s long-time friend, Bill Fox, committed a $1 million gift for turnkey construction of the gym. A 1971 graduate, Mark Ide stepped in shortly after with an additional $1 million gift for the project. Once the Garth & Pat Pleasant Arena is finished, we will add the remainder of the facility as student growth and funding allow.

MEET COACH GARTH PLEASANT

CHANGING LIVES

The Garth Pleasant Arena will honor and perpetuate the 38-year career of Coach Garth Pleasant. In addition to incredible success on the basketball court, Coach Pleasant has influenced the lives of hundreds of students. He models RC’s mission of building character, faith and community.

After a winning season with his men’s basketball team, one of his players asked, “Coach, how do you think we did?” Garth’s answer sums up his philosophy of coaching and life: “Ask me again in 20 years. After I see what kind of men, husbands and citizens you have become, then I’ll know how good a job we did.”

Garth Pleasant’s influence has reached well beyond our campus. Through Pleasant’s summer basketball camps, more than 16,000 boys and girls have been influenced. “The camp and Coach Pleasant’s intentional challenge for us to be young people of character affected me greatly. I wanted my 11-year-old son to have a similar life-building, faith-enhancing experience [to the one I had 30 years ago], so I sent him from Tennessee to Michigan to Coach Pleasant’s camp. It is amazing that the legacy of Garth Pleasant is still being carried out on the campus of Rochester College by current staff who were trained at the feet of Garth as well.” (Rogers Clayton, Nashville, TN).

"AFTER I SEE WHAT KIND OF MEN, HUSBANDS AND CITIZENS YOU HAVE BECOME, THEN I'll KNOW HOW GOOD A JOB WE DID.”

THE KEY PLAYERS

BILL FOX

Auto dealer Bill Fox decided long ago to share his success with others, especially the community he has called home for almost 50 years.

Opening as Bill Fox Chevrolet in 1967, Fox’s dealership flourished and grew alongside its home city of Rochester Hills. Fox and his wife, Shirlee, always believed in contributing to their community, which included supporting Leader Dogs for the Blind, Crittenton Hospital, Rochester Rotary Club and, of course, Rochester College.

The Fox’s most notable and recent gift to RC has been to kickstart fundraising for the Garth Pleasant Arena with a matching gift of $1 million. This significant gift is a remarkable indication of a long-term friendship between two men.

Fox’s first affiliation with Rochester College (then Michigan Christian College) came when Coach Garth Pleasant asked him to serve on the college’s athletic advisory committee. The dealer and coach become fast friends, with Fox even asking Pleasant to conduct his wedding.

“He’s always been a great guy, great coach,” Fox said. “You can never say anything bad about Garth. He’s always been a super coach and super person. We became close friends over the years.”

The two men share a desire to influence their community in positive ways, especially to build good character and life-transforming faith in young people. “Some of the boys Garth has taken have been rough around the edges and he helped them become really good people and good men,” Fox said. “I totally admire that. I graduated from a high school whose motto was ‘builders of boys and makers of men,’ and I always think of Garth when I think of that motto because that is what he has done throughout his career.”

While Pleasant has been the direct, daily influence on young people, he says he couldn’t have done it without support from people like Fox. “Bill has been a great giver to the community and other worthy causes. I think Bill appreciates what Rochester College has done for the community and how it has helped the lives of young people,” Pleasant said. “His gift is a way for him to say thank you to the college for the way it has affected the lives of young people.”

Fox says he has always had a passion for education and he wants to help others teach and support the next generation.

As he became more acquainted with RC over the years, he saw the effect not having a gymnasium was having on the small college community. “I see a real need for a gym. A college of that caliber, with its quality sports teams — not having its own gym was a real turn-off. I thought this is something that has to happen,” he said.

Fox believes his gift, alongside the contributions of many of others, will benefit the college and greater Rochester community. “I’m in full support of building this gym for Garth and countless others. I hope we’re successful.”

MARK IDE ('71)

Mark Ide credits his experience at Michigan Christian College with giving him a solid foundation on which to build his life—both professionally and personally.

A 1971 graduate, Ide’s company, Ide Management Group, owns and manages skilled nursing and assisted living facilities throughout the United States. With more than 2,000 employees, the company has an annual revenue of $150 million and facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Along with his wife Missy, Ide has pledged $1 million for the college’s new gymnasium, which is the largest alumni gift in the college’s history.

Ide said, “The college aided me in my business success, and I am happy I am in a position to help the school improve.”

Looking back at his time at the college, Ide points out the relationships he built with teachers, such as Sue Reich, Don Shull, Larry Jurney and Bill Shinsky, who all became not just teachers but friends as well.

Ide remembers an encounter with Shinsky. “Once Coach Shinsky made a statement that the totem pole belongs on the island and will never be moved. The next morning it was on his front lawn. I don’t know how it got there,” he laughed. This is, of course, the same totem pole that was refurbished in 2011 by a group of alumni and will be prominently displayed in the lobby of the new gymnasium.

These relationships and the educational foundation gave Ide a “solid academic base and helped him gain confidence,” he said.

Ide went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in social work from St. Louis University, and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.

Known as an entrepreneur, consultant, leader, coach and acquisition specialist, Ide spent 15 years working for non-profit organizations. During this time, he developed a passion to improve the care and rehab services offered to seniors.

His company turns around struggling facilities using a team of healthcare professionals with years of experience in intermediate, skilled and assisted living facilities. Ide Management provides consulting, counseling, training and management to each facility on a consistent basis to improve the overall operation of each facility.

“We adhere to a philosophy of ‘residents first,’ ” Ide said. “This philosophy is the foundation of the company and continues to make our facilities leaders in the healthcare industry.”

Ide also manages a not-for-profit company, Gone Fishin’, which assists employees dealing with hardships. In his free time, he loves to travel with his wife and spend time with his children and granddaughter. He can be found fishing in Canada, hunting at his cabin in Tennessee, golfing in Florida and sitting by the lake in Carolina.

In addition to his financial support, Ide devotes his time serving on the RC Board of Trustees. “I want to see the school gain more recognition as a Christian educational institute we can all be proud of,” he said.

BUILDING SPECS

  • Projected completion by February 2017
  • 20,000 square foot facility; first of three phases
  • Includes a regulation performance court for NAIA competition
  • Accommodates nearly 1,000 guests

AVAILABLE NAMING RIGHTS

  • 100 permanent seating chairbacks
  • Main bleacher seating
  • Score table
  • Trophy case
  • Concession booth
  • Players bench & bleacher seating
  • Women’s locker room
  • Score board

GIVING LEVELS

(includes name on plaque in the arena)

  • PIONEERS $250,000+
  • CORNERSTONES $100,000 — $249,999
  • TRAILBLAZERS $50,000 — $99,999
  • PATHFINDERS $25,000 — $49,999
  • GROUNDBREAKERS $10,000 — $24,999
  • VISION BUILDERS $5,000 — $9,999
  • WARRIORS $3,000 — $4,999
  • 4TH QUARTER CLUB $1,000 — $2,999

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