FORUM Vol. 43, No. 8 December 3, 2018

Board of Trustees member will address graduates

John C. Kennedy

John C. Kennedy


Arlan B. Meekhof


Raleigh J. Finkelstein

Raleigh J. Finkelstein 

More than 1,150 students will participate in Grand Valley's fall semester commencement ceremony, set for Saturday, December 8, at 10 a.m. at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. 

John C. Kennedy, member of Grand Valley's Board of Trustees, will give the commencement address. Kennedy,president and CEO of Autocam Medical, will end his second board term at the end of December. The ceremony will be webcast and available at 

An active community member, Kennedyalso serves as a board member for Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, Lacks Enterprises, Shape Corporation, Van Andel Institute, Acton Institute, West Michigan Policy Forum, the Right Place, and as an advisory board member of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

State Sen. Arlan B. Meekhof and Raleigh J. Finkelstein will receive honorary degrees. 

Meekhof (R-West Olive)was first elected to serve the 30th Senate District in 2010. He was chosen by his Republican colleagues to serve as majority floor leader for the 2011-2014 term, and was elected as Senate Majority Leader for his second term. He also serves as chair of the Government Operations committee and the Michigan Capitol committee. 

Finkelstein was the lead donor for the initial building in Grand Valley's expanding Health Campus and the building was named in his honor. He worked with his brothers to grow their parents' business into what was MC Sporting Goods. After selling the retail chain, the brothers maintain an active real estate business. 

The Alumni Association will present its Young Alumni Award to Mark Switzer, who earned a bachelor's degree in film and video in 2011 and a master's degree in school counseling in 2014. 

Switzer is a career counselor at Gogebic Community College in the western Upper Peninsula.Switzer works with many students who are the first in their families to attend college, who have disabilities or live below the poverty line, or are pursuing nontraditional careers. To help remove their barriers to an education, Switzer has written grants to expand the college’s food pantry and donated clothing area, and he partnered with Range Suicide Prevention to raise awareness of mental health issues on campus.

Page last modified December 2, 2018