The Grand Valley University Foundation forum is an annual winter gathering of Michigan and Florida friends. The day is sure to be full of enlightening information, and the event offers newcomers and long-time friends an open and casual atmosphere in which to connect with others interested in Grand Valley and our state.

There is no question that our world today is more complex than ever before. Our children and grandchildren will be dealing with unprecedented global challenges. While this is a daunting prospect, it is also an exciting one as we find ourselves on the verge of a new threshold in history. This is the essence of big history. It is a view of the past that reveals big picture patterns to help us understand the future and find hope in a complex world. Grand Valley’s own Craig Benjamin, professor of history in the Frederik Meijer Honors College and vice president of the International Big History Association, will be our guide for this exciting topic.


9:30 am
Continental Breakfast

10:00 am – 11:30 am
Forum Featuring Craig Benjamin

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Cocktail Reception

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Luncheon and Discussion


Jim and Betsy Barton

Jane Becker

John and Marian Bouwer

Jim and Donna Brooks

Don and Fran Buske

Jim and Judy Czanko

Ronald and Jessie Dalman

John and Judy DeMaria

Dan and Pamella DeVos

Mike and Lynette Ellis

Art and Marilyn MA ’83 Emery

Robert and Rudean Fairman

Happy Fox

Forrest and Sandee Frank

George and Barbara Gordon

Bob and Sharie Grooters

Tom and Marcia Haas

Ed and Nancy Hanenburg

Art and Betsy Hasse

David and Joyce Hecht

Tom and Barb Hiller

Earl and Donnalee Holton

J.C. and Tammy Huizenga

Mike and Sue Jandernoa

Chuck and Carol Jennings

Dottie Johnson

Tom and Margy Jones

Jim and Ginger Jurries

Buzz and Wendy Kersman

Karen Loth

Ray and Ginny Lovett

Arend and Nancy Lubbers

Frank and Jan Merlotti

Jack H. Miller

David and Diana Moore

Glenn and Betty Niemeyer

Don ’67 and Diane ’67 Paton

Randy and Debbie Price

Peter P. and Pat Renucci

Budge and Marilyn Sherwood

Wayne and Lyndy Simon

Cliff and Lucille Taylor

David and Bonnie Wesorick

Jim and Phyllis Wynsma

Bernon and Bette Young

Craig Benjamin

Craig Benjamin

Craig Benjamin is a professor of History in the Frederik Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University where he teaches Big History and ancient world history to students at all levels. He earned his Ph.D. in ancient history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Craig is a frequent guest presenter at conferences worldwide, and the author of several books and articles on ancient Central Asian history, Big History, and world history, including his book Big History: Between Nothing and Everything. Craig has also recorded several programs and courses for the History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The Teaching Company, and has lectured for Scientific American and New York Times cruises, and for Archaeological Tours. Craig is chair of the College Board Test Development Committees for both the AP and SAT World History exams.

He was treasurer of the International Big History Association since its inception in 2011 until 2016, when he was elected Vice President of the IBHA, and he is past-president of the World History Association.

Please direct questions to Nicole Woody at (616) 331-6574 or