The Grand Valley University Foundation will celebrate a "Legacy of Leadership" at its annual Enrichment Dinner, set for June 8 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
Two prominent West Michigan families will be honored at the event. Daniel and Pamella DeVos will receive the Enrichment Award, recognizing their community philanthropy and commitment to Grand Valley State University. The Enrichment Award will also be presented posthumously to the family of Edward J. and Frances T. Frey.
Tim and Barbie Schowalter will receive the Leadership Award, which is presented to next-generation leaders. Mary Seeger, professor emerita and retired dean, will receive the Arend D. Lubbers Award, presented to longtime faculty and staff members for service to the university and community.
Maribeth Wardrop, vice president for Development, said all the honorees continue to reflect the legacy of philanthropic leadership that is firmly rooted in West Michigan. She said: "These honorees represent the breadth of support we’ve had from this community, including the leaders who founded us, the generations of families who continue to support us and the emerging young leaders who are picking up the torch. We are blessed to be the recipient of such a tremendous legacy of leadership."
• Edward and Frances Frey led a life of civic and entrepreneurial leadership. Edward founded Foremost Insurance Co. and had served as chairman of Union Bank and Trust. He served on the founding committee for Grand Valley in the late 1950s, and was instrumental in hiring the college's first president. The couple established the Frey Foundation in 1974. Today it is one of the largest family foundations in Michigan.
• Dan DeVos is president/CEO of DP Fox Ventures, LLC, in addition to serving as president of the Grand Rapids Griffins and Orlando Magic. Pamella DeVos is president and designer of the PAMELLA ROLAND clothing line; she recently received the Top Woman-Owned Business Award.
The DeVoses are co-chairs of Grand Valley's Shaping Our Future campaign and directors of the GVU Foundation. Their community involvement includes service as board members for the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Symphony, Hope Network, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, and more.
• Tim and Barbie Schowalter are active in the GVU Foundation. The couple has served on the boards for Hospice of Michigan, John Ball Zoological Society, Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, Mel Trotter Ministries, and others. Tim Schowalter is president and CEO of Pioneer Construction. Grand Valley's Beckering Family Carillon Tower on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus is named for Barbie's grandfather, Earl Beckering, Jr.
• Mary Seeger and her husband Wilhelm Seeger began teaching German at Grand Valley in 1965. Seeger initiated the Faculty and Staff Campaign, now one of the most successful annual giving staff campaigns in the nation. She retired as dean of Advising Resources and Special Programs in 2005. Seeger serves as an advisory cabinet member for the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies.