Campus News Summer 2013

Campus community mourns Finnertys death

The Grand Valley community and Laker Nation mourned the death of former quarterback

Former Laker quarterback Cullen Finnerty died following a fishing trip in late May.

Cullen Finnerty. Finnertys family reported him missing May 26 following a fishing trip near Baldwin.

His body was recovered after two days of searching. Many current and former Laker football players and coaches joined in the search.

President Thomas J. Haas said: Ill always remember the victory embrace we shared on the field after the national championship game in Alabama his senior year. You can tell by the outpouring of support, and now grief, just how much this young man means to the Grand Valley community.

Athletic Director Tim Selgo said: Cullen embodied the term competitive spirit and led Grand Valley football to tremendous success. We appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone, and want to thank all who assisted with the search efforts, especially our current and former GVSU football players. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cullens family and loved ones.

Former Laker football players, including Curt Anes, Brad Iciek, Blake Smolen and Bill Brechin, shared their memories of Finnerty, saying his legacy will last forever at Grand Valley. Interviews with former players and video highlights from Finnertys Laker career are posted online, click

New York Times reporter Greg Bishop wrote an article about Finnerty; its online at

New charter schools will serve homeless students, dropouts

Grand Valley will open new charter schools with specialized programming in Grand Rapids and Detroit that serve students ages 16-22 who are or were homeless or former dropouts.

Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids will be housed in the former Grand Rapids Public Schools Campau Park Elementary building, which the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board agreed to sell to Covenant House in April for $400,000.

The authorization of Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids is a continuation of the long-standing partnership between Grand Valley, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and the City of Grand Rapids that will ensure that all children have access to high-quality public schools.

I am very pleased and excited to partner with Covenant House and Grand Valley to serve children, GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said. Many of these students are going to age out of Grand Rapids schools or may have already dropped out. We need them to be productive members of society, so thats why we are not just selling the building, but partnering with both organizations to ensure they have a high-quality support system.

Seventeen percent of Grand Rapids families live in poverty, 86 percent of GRPS students live in poverty, and an estimated 5,000 individuals in Grand Rapids are homeless. Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids will be the first school in Grand Rapids dedicated to serving this unique population.

Covenant House Academy Detroit is a group of three charter schools that also serve homeless and at-risk students. It has been in operation since 2005 and was previously authorized by Detroit Public Schools. Since 2005, more than 600 students have earned their high school diploma through the academies.

Pioneer faculty member dies

Arthur C. Hills, a pioneer professor and administrator, died March 31 at age 92. A memorial service was held May 23 at the Cook-DeWitt Center.

Hills joined Grand Valley in 1963 as one of 14 original faculty. A musician and music instructor, Hills was the first fine arts professor and the composer of Grand Valleys alma mater, Hail to Thee Grand Valley.

In 1971, Hills was appointed vice president for Administration and chief academic officer and became founding director of the Performing Arts Center. In 1978 he became executive assistant to President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers and secretary of the Board of Trustees, a position he held until his retirement in 1987.

The Arthur C. Hills Living Center on the Allendale Campus, the Arthur C. Hills Music Scholarship and the Art Hills Spirit Award are named in
his honor.

New degree program established

Grand Valleys Board of Trustees approved establishing a masters of public health degree program at its April 29 meeting.

Housed in the College of Health Professions, the program will begin in the fall 2013 semester. Provost Gayle R. Davis said the approval process was expedited due to demand for the program, as 22 students have expressed interest in enrolling for the fall semester.

Roy Olsson, dean of the College of Health Professions, said the program will be divided into three emphases: epidemiology, health promotion and health administration. Olsson said the program is designed to accommodate a cohort of 60 students.

Public health professionals work in both the public and private sectors. There are a variety of jobs available: food safety inspectors, health educators, policy analysts, epidemiologists, researchers and many more.

Earlier in April, President Thomas J. Haas approved two new minors: an LGBTQ minor, housed in Women and Gender Studies, and German Secondary Education, housed in Modern Languages and Literatures. The minors were also announced at the meeting.

Board names two trustees honorary members

The Board of Trustees named two former trustees as honorary life members at its April 29 meeting.

Dorothy A. Johnson and Donna Brooks received the distinction, recognizing their years of service as trustees.

Johnson served as trustee from 1995-2011, including as board chair from 2001-2004. Brooks was a trustee from 1993-2009, and served as board chair from 1997-2001 and 2006-2007.

Johnson and Brooks will not have voting rights as the title is ceremonial.

University opens Detroit Center

President Thomas J. Haas and others celebrate the opening of the Detroit Center.

President Thomas J. Haas and several members of the Board of Trustees took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Detroit Center on May 8.

The ceremony on the front steps of the building also included a dozen students from the Grand Valley-authorized charter school Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies and Detroit elected officials.

The GVSU Detroit Center, 163 Madison Ave., will house classrooms for both the Grand Valley Charter Schools Office and the College of Education. It will also hold the regional offices for the Small Business and Technology Development Center and serve as a central meeting location for Grand Valley professionals conducting business in southeast Michigan.

We need to invest in our young people, we need to invest in our businesses, Haas said. We need to create the talent thats so important to our state, and each region needs that talent. I think thats what were doing today. Were celebrating a special occasion that will help us educate students and improve our society well into the future.

Laker athletes join You Can Play campaign

Grand Valley is the first NCAA Division II institution to join the You Can Play campaign, a national effort seeking to change locker room culture and support all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

A video featuring Laker student-athletes and Tim Selgo, director of athletics, was posted on the You Can Play Facebook page. View it at

In the video Lakers from many different sports send the message If you can shoot (swing, race or swim), you can play.

Colette Seguin Beighley, director of the LGBT Resource Center, said the vision for the project lies with Joe Miller, a sports leadership major who produced the video with Mark Switzer, a film and video graduate.

Fall Arts Celebration

Ten years of enriching the arts and humanities in West Michigan

Since its start in 2003, Fall Arts Celebration has featured many distinguished writers, poets, musicians, dancers, artists and scholars of our time. The tradition continues in 2013 with six signature events that aim to broaden our horizons, help us make sense of the new and unfamiliar, reflect on the past and be charmed by the classics. All events are open to the public with free admission. Seating is limited for these popular performances.

Cyril Lixenberg: An Artists Journey

Art Gallery, Performing Arts Center. Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 11, 5-7 p.m.

This unique exhibition explores and celebrates 81 years of the life and work of the popular contemporary Dutch artist Cyril Lixenberg. His monumental sculptures and colorful screen prints are exhibited throughout Grand Valleys campuses. New gifts of paintings and works on paper will be featured, including drawings, monoprints, print editions, small sculptures and archival material.

Music from La Belle Époque: Chamber Music for Winds from Turn-of-the-Century Paris

Monday, September 16, 8 p.m., Louis Armstrong Theatre, Performing Arts Center

Music Department faculty and guest artists will recreate this great epoch in music, performing the woodwind chamber music of DIndy, Enesco, Bernard and Stravinsky, conducted by renowned guest conductor, retired Col. Lowell E. Graham, former director of the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C.

I Heard the Sirens Scream Lecture by Laurie Garrett

Monday, October 7, 7 p.m., Eberhard Center

Laurie Garrett is the only person to win the three Ps of journalism: the Pulitzer, Polk and Peabody. She is one of Americas most trusted speakers on public health, infectious disease and prevention. A senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, she has written many books, including The Coming Plague. Garrett is particularly suited to navigate the intersections of politics and science, in an effort to understand and describe how our leaders help and hinder, how we prepare, how we treat, and how we respond to the threats of global health.

An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Christian Wiman and Pattiann Rogers

Friday, October 25, 7 p.m., Eberhard Center

Christian Wiman is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Every Riven Thing, as well as a memoir, My Bright Abyss. He edited Poetry for a decade, during which the magazines circulation tripled. In July 2013 he joined the Yale Institute of Sacred Music as senior lecturer in religion and literature.

Pattiann Rogers has published 12 collections of poetry, most recently Holy Heathen Rhapsody, and two books of essays, including T he Grand Array: Writings on Nature, Science, and Spirit. Rogers is the recipient of two NEA grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2005 Literary Award in Poetry from the Lannan Foundation.

Memories of Summer  The American Identity in Dance

Monday, November 4, 8 p.m., Louis Armstrong Theatre, Performing Arts Center

Nationally celebrated choreographer Lauren Edson and the Lauren Edson + Dancers present a fresh modern dance interpretation of Samuel Barbers achingly beautiful music. Throughout the 20th century, when most composers were experimenting with dissonance and freedom in musical form, Barber was writing in a lyrical, romantic style with a distinctively American melody.

A Very English Christmas: Music of the Season from the British Isles

Monday, December 9, 8 p.m., Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids

Musical selections will run the full gamut from the beloved Coventry Carol, which was first heard in the early 15th century, to the decidedly more modern parable of Brother Heinrichs Christmas. The magnificent and uplifting Gloria, by world-renowned English composer John Rutter, will complete this unique performance event featuring some of the most beloved British Christmas music.
For more information, visit, or call (616) 331-2185.