Thomas J. Haas

Thomas J. Haas

Tom Haas became the fourth president of Grand Valley in July 2006. Before coming to Grand Valley, he served as president of the State University of New York, Cobleskill.

He is a retired captain from the U.S. Coast Guard with a long history in higher education leadership. He is also a tenured professor of chemistry at Grand Valley.

During his time as president, the university saw a steady rise in enrollment to nearly 25,000 students, the addition of 34 majors, and a dramatic increase in graduates.

A focus on student success has been a hallmark of Haas’ career. Within days of arriving at Grand Valley, students affectionately nicknamed him "T-Haas.”

Under his leadership, 2.3 million square feet in facilities were added. Projects included the construction of the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons and the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science, the expansion of the Health Campus, the establishment of the GVSU Detroit Center and the renovation and expansion of the Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts. The university emerged as a leader in sustainability with 24 LEED silver, gold or platinum buildings.

Haas has degrees from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the University of Michigan, Rensselaer Institute of Technology (New York), and the University of Connecticut. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Krakow University (Poland) and Kingston University (UK). He is a 2021 inductee of the Michigan Veterans and Military Hall of Honor.  

He is married to Marcia (Knapp) Haas, a native of Union City, Michigan, and a graduate of Albion College.

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Page last modified September 29, 2022