Gator News

President Biden Visits Green River College

By Photos by: Adam Brown and Kaiti Kolke; Video by: Peter Gudmunson and Kaiti Kolke; Story by: Philip Denman, April 26, 2022

The President of the United States visited Green River College on Friday, April 22 to address the ever-rising health care and prescription drug costs, as well as the vital career and technical programs that support workforce development for the region and the state.

GRC President Suzanne Johnson shared appreciation for President Biden’s support of community colleges.

“We are extremely honored that President Biden chose to visit Green River College,” President Johnson said. “This was an exciting day for the college and the communities we serve! Our future is bright Green River. Through excellence in teaching and learning, we will continue to fulfill our mission.”

President Biden spoke for approximately 35 minutes in front of a warm and welcoming crowd in the Student Union’s Grand Hall. President Biden was introduced by Elisa Graceffo and Juliana Graceffo, a mother and daughter from Sammamish who have helped raise nearly $500,000 for diabetes research since Juliana was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 14 years ago. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier also provided remarks.

“This is a great college. It really is,” President Biden said. “Thanks in part to the leadership of the Governor, you have one of the best [community and technical college] systems in the country.”

During his remarks, President Biden highlighted the importance of nursing programs, like those offered at Green River College, and their increased need for support

“But, folks, we’re all laser-focused on lowering the costs for you and your families across the board. And a big way to do that is lower the cost of healthcare,” Biden said. “This includes how to fill the nursing shortage to help colleges like this one train and prepare the next generation of nurses and healthcare workers.”

Before closing his remarks, President Bident shared a message to the students of Green River College:

"To all the folks who are students here... I wish you well. We need you badly. You're the reason I'm so optimistic."

A full transcript of President Biden’s speech can be found here: The White House Briefing Room - Remarks by President Biden on Lowering Costs for American Families (April 22, 2022 | Grand Hall, Green River College, Auburn, Washington).

GRC entry sign reads

Auburn Police cruiser parked on Kennelly Commons

GRC volunteers pose for a photo

GRC Campus Safety staff pose for a photo

GRC President Suzanne John and Vice President for Student Affairs Deb Casey pose with GRC students

GRC nursing students pose at event

GRC students pose at event

The Presidential Seal is attached to the podium in preparation for the event to start.

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier also provided remarks.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee

 Juliana Graceffo

Panoramic of President Biden taking the stage in the GRC Student Union

President Biden speaks in Green River College's Student Union

President Biden speaks in Green River College's Student Union


Recent News

President Biden to Visit Green River College Friday, April 22

April 21, 2022

President Joe Biden will be visiting Green River College this Friday, April 22, as part of his official visit to Washington State. During his visit to our campus, President Biden plans to meet with a number of elected officials in our area and a limited number of members of our college community – especially students. The President will also provide remarks in the Mel Lindbloom Student Union.