Nearly 1,000 students will participate in the fall commencement ceremony December 10 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
Kate Pew Wolters
Christo T. Panopoulos
The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. and will be webcast live at www.gvsu.edu/commencement.
Students will hear an address from Kate Pew Wolters, president of Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation and a member of Grand Valley's Board of Trustees. Their foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that emphasize the arts, education, social justice, or people with disabilities. Pew Wolters chairs the Steelcase Foundation and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, among other boards. President Bill Clinton appointed her to the National Council on Disability in 1994.
The Grand Valley Alumni Association will present the Young Alumni Award to Cory Jackson, nutrition and wellness director for YMCA of Western North Carolina. He received a bachelor's degree in public and nonprofit administration in 2012. Jackson earned a $160,000 grant to expand the YMCA's mobile nutrition fleet; the program now includes a food pantry and three mobile units.
During the ceremony, Christo T. Panopoulos will receive an honorary degree. Panopoulos immigrated to the U.S. from southern Greece in 1955 when he was 19. Following service in the U.S. Army, Panopoulos moved to Grand Rapids and managed a hair salon. He grew that business into Salon Enterprises, which includes cosmetology schools, Panopoulos Salons and Haircuts Plus Salons. He serves on the board of the Grand Valley University Foundation.
Learn more at gvsu.edu/commencement.