Feature Stories

Kyra Harris Bolden '10

Kyra Harris Bolden '10

On November 22, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that she will appoint Kyra Harris Bolden '10 to the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2023. Bolden will be the first Black woman to serve on the state's high court. Read the official press release.

Bolden is an attorney serving her second term in the Michigan State House. In August 2022, we interviewed Bolden during her campaign for the Michigan State Supreme Court to learn about her experience at GVSU, and how being a Laker has supported her throughout her career.

1. How was your experience as a student at GVSU?

I had a wonderful experience at GVSU!  I was able to form life-long friendships with other students as well as some of my professors all while receiving a world class education on a beautiful campus. The faculty and staff were extremely supportive and I felt they were interested and invested in my personal success. Most of all I started dating my husband, Dr. Greg Bolden, also a Laker, while we were students at Grand Valley. Greg is a dentist serving veterans at the VA Hospital in Detroit. We will welcome a little Laker in August!

2. How did GVSU prepare you for your career in public service?

GVSU promotes a strong sense of volunteerism and community. There are many organizations to get involved with that support an inclusive environment. This focus on volunteerism and community is the perfect preparation to lead in public service.

3. Did you have a mentor at GVSU who had an impact on you?

My mentor was Professor Kathleen Blumreich who was one of my English professors. We have remained close over the years  and I was honored to have her as a guest at my wedding. My senior year in college, I confided in her that I was unsure about the direction of my career. She suggested I go to law school, which changed the direction of my life. She offered her advice, counsel and believed in me. I will forever be grateful to her.

4. What has been your journey since graduation?

Since graduation, I attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, passed the bar exam on the first try, and worked as a criminal defense attorney, judicial law clerk, and civil litigator before successfully running for State Representative in 2018 where I have served for the past 3 ½ years.

5. Why did you decide to run for the Michigan State Supreme Court?

I decided to run for Michigan Supreme Court because I love Michigan and I want to protect access to justice, and ensure equal justice under the law for generations. The decisions the Michigan Supreme Court makes will literally affect our state for generations to come.

6. What do you believe are the top opportunities and challenges facing the state of Michigan?

We have an opportunity to protect justice for generations. We have the opportunity to ensure access to justice and equal justice under the law and to make sure we have a Michigan that our children and grandchildren are proud of.

7. We read that you are expecting your first child. Congratulations! How do you feel about being a new mom?

Motherhood means so much to me particularly because of my reproductive journey. I had a miscarriage in 2019 and I discovered uterine fibroids in 2020 which resulted in a myomectomy. We are excited to welcome our rainbow baby. Being pregnant and entering motherhood has given me a strength that I did not know I had. I am so very fortunate and honored to carry life and excited about watching my daughter grow.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with GVSU alumni?

GVSU provided me with a great foundation to be able to move forward into the world. If elected to the Michigan Supreme Court, not only will I be the first Laker, but I will be the first Black woman elected to the court in our state’s history. It is an honor and privilege to run for this office and serve as representation of what is possible for all. #LakerforaLifetime

P.S. On August 15, the Boldens welcomed their baby girl, Emerson Portia Bolden, into the world. Congratulations!

Interest Area(s)
Psychology, English

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Page last modified August 9, 2022