The Grand Valley community is mourning the death of longtime supporter Robert C. Pew II, who died Saturday, Dec. 22, in Palm Beach, Florida. He was 89 years old.
Pew supported the university from its beginning and served on its Board of Control from 1985 to 1988. He helped lead the expansion of Grand Valley into downtown Grand Rapids by working to secure land and funding that enabled the creation of the Eberhard Center and the Meijer Public Broadcast Center, which are located on what is now the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
Pew lent his support to Grand Valley’s new library project. The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons is named for his wife of 60 years, and is currently under construction on the Allendale Campus. His son, Robert C. Pew III, served on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1994. He succeeded his father and was the first alumnus appointed to the Board. Pew's daughter, Kate Pew Wolters, currently serves on the Board.
“We are so very grateful for Bob Pew’s life of leadership and service,” Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas said. “Bob and his family believe in education and the promise of future generations, and they back that belief up with donations of their time, their talent and their treasure, and Grand Valley students will benefit for years to come. This whole community benefits from Bob Pew’s efforts, and we will greatly miss him.”
Pew received an honorary doctorate from Grand Valley and was inducted into the Grand Valley State University Hall of Fame in 1980. The Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons will open fall 2013 and that, along with the Pew Grand Rapids campus, will serve as a lasting tribute to the Pew legacy.