Grand Valley celebrates commencement

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Nearly 2,900 Grand Valley State University students participated in commencement ceremonies April 26 at Van Andel Arena.

Students and their families and friends heard addresses from  Lawrence J. Korb, senior fellow at American Progress, in the morning, and Naana Jane Sam Opoku-Agyemang, minister for education in Ghana, in the afternoon. 

The Alumni Association presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to Kathleen Vogelsang, director and chief investment officer for Van Andel Institute, and its Outstanding Educator Award to Asli Y. Akbulut, associate professor of management.

John C. Canepa and William Lieberman received honorary degrees. Canepa, a member of Grand Valley’s advisory cabinet, retired as consulting principal for Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest CPA firms in the country. Lieberman, who graduated from Grand Valley with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1979, is the owner and director of Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago’s River North contemporary art district. He has donated more than 50 works of art to Grand Valley.

President Thomas J. Haas said to graduates, “Today we are celebrating a milestone, but remember that it is a point in a path to lifelong learning.”