Grand Valley to celebrate graduates April 30

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More than 3,300 students will participate in Grand Valley State University commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 30, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. 

La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is the morning speaker, and George Heartwell, former mayor of Grand Rapids, is the afternoon speaker. 

Grand Valley Commencement Ceremonies

Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids

The ceremony will be webcast at

MEDIA NOTE: Skybox 101B is reserved for media. The box offers a mult box and an elevated, unobstructed view of the podium and platform. 

The 10 a.m. ceremony will include the following colleges: Seidman College of Business, College of Community and Public Service, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, College of Health Professions and Kirkhof College of Nursing. The 3 p.m. ceremony will include the following colleges: College of Education, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 


Tabron joined WKKF, one of the largest private foundations in the U.S., in 1987 as controller. She has been an active leader in the foundation's racial equality, diversity and inclusion work. She serves on local, state and national boards, including the Detroit Workforce Development Board and Mississippi Center for Education Innovation. 

Heartwell served as mayor of Grand Rapids for 12 years. During his tenure, Grand Rapids was recognized as the nation's most sustainable mid-sized city by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is a recognized expert on sustainability and climate protection and an ordained minister. In February, Heartwell took on a new role as community sustainability coordinator for Grand Valley's Office of Sustainability Practices. 

Awards and honorary degrees

The Alumni Association will present its Distinguished Alumni Award to Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, '92 and '93, an associate professor of education and director of the Early Childhood Education program at Aquinas College. The Outstanding Educator Award will be presented to Greg Wolffe, professor of computing and information systems. 

Noreen Myers and Peter Renucci will receive honorary degrees. Myers, '72, is a lawyer specializing in employment law and the first alumna to be appointed to Grand Valley's Board of Trustees. Renucci is owner of E&R Investments and is a director on the Grand Valley University Foundation. He and his wife, Pat, have funded scholarships and equipment to support student achievement.

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