Gator News

In Memory: Rich Rutkowski

By Suzanne M. Johnson, October 10, 2022

GRC president Rich RutkowskiDear Green River College community,

It is with deep sadness that I write to share the news of the passing of Rich Rutkowski, Green River’s third president. The College was informed of his passing on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022.

Rich served Green River from 1974 until 2010, first as the College’s vice president of business affairs and then from 1983-2010 as the College’s longest-serving president. His legacy is vast.

Under his leadership, Green River College expanded its connections and partnerships throughout the local and global communities and launched GRC’s International Program. With his vision and under his stewardship, Rich obtained funding to make major capital improvements on Green River’s main campus, as well as establish new campuses in Kent and Enumclaw.

Rich also served on the Boards of Gesa Credit Union, Pemco, and the Green River College Foundation. He was also a Kiwanian and an avid fisher.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley, and his two daughters. Memorial services are pending, and service information will be shared in future messages.

Letters of condolence for the family may be sent to HR for forwarding. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rich & Shirley Rutkowski Family Endowment Fund by writing “In Memory of Rich” in the “Designation” field.

Counseling services are available to staff and faculty through the Employee Assistance Program at 1-877-313-4455 or

In memory and with gratitude,


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