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Grand Valley remembers Sally Seidman

  • Sally Seidman is pictured at the memorial service for L. William Seidman in September.

Posted on November 23, 2009

Sally Seidman, wife of the late L. William Seidman, died November 22, at their family home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was 85.

As spouse of the founder of Grand Valley State University, Sally played a role in the university’s early history, hosting many of the gatherings organized by Bill Seidman to rally support during the late 1950s to establish Grand Valley. Mr. Seidman and a citizens’ council secured the university’s charter in 1960, after raising $1 million required by the state.

“Sally was a great friend of Grand Valley,” President Thomas J. Haas said. “Her tireless work with Bill during the formation and early years of Grand Valley are well known. Marcia and I were honored to host her when she attended her husband’s memorial service on campus. Our hearts go out to the Seidman family.”

Maribeth Wardrop, vice president for Development, was a longtime neighbor and family friend of the Seidmans. “Sally was one of those women who are pillars of their community and their family. She was gracious, full of life, and so welcoming," Wardrop said. “Bill always acknowledged how Sally helped make his wide-ranging career possible while she raised the family they both loved.”  

Seidman was very involved in community service in Grand Rapids including membership in the Grand Rapids Junior League, and as a board member for the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Forest Hills Public Schools. Sally met Bill when they both attended East Grand Rapids High School. Bill, founding chair of Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees and former FDIC chairman, died May 13 at the age of 88. They had six children, who live across the U.S.

Information about funeral arrangements was not yet available.




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