Annual Enrichment Dinner will honor area philanthropists

Michael J. and Susan Jandernoa, and others, will be honored at the Enrichment Dinner Wednesday.
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Michael J. and Susan Jandernoa, and others, will be honored at the Enrichment Dinner Wednesday.
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Local philanthropists and community leaders will be recognized by the Grand Valley University Foundation at its annual Enrichment Dinner on Wednesday, June 6.

The dinner, which is the foundation’s annual celebration of giving, will be held at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., a reception at 6 p.m.

Enrichment Awards will be presented to Michael J. and Susan Jandernoa, and John C. “J.C.” Huizenga; the Arend D. Lubbers Award will be presented to former faculty member Johnine Callahan.

 

• Michael J. and Susan Jandernoa

The Jandernoas are well known for their leadership in West Michigan and are generous supporters of Grand Valley.

The former CEO and chairman of Perrigo, Mike continues to serve the company on its board of directors. He has been instrumental in supporting West Michigan’s entrepreneurial infrastructure through his leadership in venture capital funds, creation of Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring and involvement with Grand Valley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Seidman College of Business. He has been a GVU Foundation director for 20 years.

Susan retired from East Grand Rapids Public Schools as a teacher committed to early childhood development and promoting the importance of proper nutrition and health care for young children. She serves on several area foundation boards including Make-A-Wish and First Steps Kent County. Along with Mike, Susan served on the committee for Grand Valley’s Shaping Our Future comprehensive campaign and initiated the Michael and Susan Jandernoa Endowment for students interested in entrepreneurship.

• John C. “J.C.” Huizenga

J.C. Huizenga is an active entrepreneur and philanthropist who owns several area businesses and supports a wide number of area nonprofit organizations. Huizenga founded National Heritage Academies in 1995. The company now serves 71 charter schools with 45,000 students in nine states. He also launched a high school initiative, PrepNet, which operates three high schools in Michigan.

Huizenga is an active and generous supporter of Grand Valley and currently serves as a foundation director. He serves on the Seidman College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. He has been instrumental in many campaigns for the university, including Shaping Our Future. The J.C. Huizenga Business Scholarship was established in his name and he initiated the J. Patrick Sandro Education Scholarship in honor of his friend, Pat Sandro.

• Johnine Callahan

Johnine Callahan joined the Grand Valley faculty as assistant professor of health sciences in 1979. She advanced to director of the School of Health Sciences in 1983, and several years later was asked to direct Grand Valley’s Honors Program.

Callahan envisioned an honors program that was interdisciplinary and incorporated student life resources. Her vision of a community of scholars was realized in 2000 when the Glenn A. Niemeyer Living Center opened, the precursor to today’s Frederick A. Meijer Honors College, which enrolls more than 1,000 students.