An entrepreneur with solid local and global connections was named the first endowed chair for the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley.
Bill Holsinger-Robinson, principal at BHR Consulting, was named the Meijer Endowed Honors Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a two-year position in which he will teach a course and work closely with students on leadership and innovation projects.
University leaders called Holsinger-Robinson the perfect candidate for this position.
Gayle R. Davis, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said: “Bill has the experience, enthusiasm and creativity that we are seeking in this new position, qualities that will draw students to him as they develop their interests in experimental projects that today’s world demands.”
Holsinger-Robinson helped launch ArtPrize and served as executive director for its first two years. He also serves as the host for the 2013 TEDx Conference in Grand Rapids, and is the co-founder of SEED Collective, an organization dedicated to connecting social entrepreneurs and investors in West Michigan and globally.
Jeff Chamberlain, director of the Honors College, said Holsinger-Robinson brings the qualities that the Meijer Foundation sought in its endowed chair.
“He’s going to help students focus on entrepreneurship and innovation,” Chamberlain said. “He’s so well-connected to Grand Rapids, to West Michigan and internationally. He’s going to be a link for students like they’ve never had before.”
Students who work with Holsinger-Robinson may find opportunities to get involved in his projects, he said.
“As the endowed chair, it will be my job to connect students to meaningful projects and businesses in Grand Rapids,” Holsinger-Robinson said. “With those students who want to explore their own ideas, I will help them find the methods, people and resources to make them real.”
Holsinger-Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Alma College and pursued a master’s degree in comparative religion from Western Michigan University. He begins his position at Grand Valley July 2.