Finding Joy in Giving Back

Tim '73 and Cherie Duthler

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What are your hobbies?

Cherie: We love anything to do with water including boating on White Lake and Lake Michigan. I have a passion for classical music; I used to play violin for the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Tim: We also enjoy golfing and attending our grandchildren’s sports activities and other events. 

The Duthlers stand in front of the Alumni House

Tim and Cherie Duthler are pictured outside of Grand Valley’s Alumni House and Visitor Center. 

What are some of your favorite things to do in West Michigan?

We love the atmosphere of this area. Most of our time is spent with family activities at our lake home. We love the cultural and sporting events in the area. Of course, we also love being Lakers and attending football, track and basketball games.

Tim, what’s behind your interest in psychology?

I took a psychology class in high school and that prompted my interest to pursue a career in the field. It was also a result of being in school in the 1960s and experiencing all of the social changes that were happening. 

I have been in private practice for 42 years and in 2000 opened our clinic in Standale. Our practice offers a variety of clinical services in addition to industrial and organizational consulting.

How did you learn about Grand Valley?

My high school counselor told me about GVSU and I also knew President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers. I was impressed with the personal and welcoming atmosphere during my campus visit and student orientation.

Tim, do you have a favorite memory as a GVSU student?

I have many favorite classroom memories in the Psychology Department. My academic advisor was exceptional. We also enjoyed visiting our children when they were students and had a great experience following our daughter for four years when she competed for the Laker track and field team.

Cherie, you are not a GVSU graduate but you are still very involved. What do you think makes GVSU so special?

I enjoy the family atmosphere at GVSU. I have been impressed with the quality of the education that my husband and children have received. It has been fun going to events and getting to know the staff, alumni and students.

Your first gift to Grand Valley dates back to 1983. What prompted that gift?

It was the realization and appreciation of what GVSU meant to me as an alumnus. I developed an appreciation for the foundation and knowledge I received in my psychology education. Both in the classroom and through my research experience, GVSU helped prepare me for my professional life.

Why did you decide to become an Alumni Champion?

I was looking for ways to assist in GVSU’s growth. I am proud to be a contributor to the success and growth of GVSU over the last 40 years.

Why do you feel it’s important to give to Grand Valley?

We feel the university has provided an exceptional environment for students because of its superior academic reputation. We wanted to provide more opportunities for prospective students who are seeking a unique and rich educational experience.

What difference do you hope your gifts make?

We envision our gifts as a benefit to future students. We also feel GVSU can make a significant impact on the growth of West Michigan. We have come to appreciate the relationship GVSU has with West Michigan as they partner for the advancement of our social fabric.

What would you say to someone to encourage them to give back?

We feel there is nothing more valuable than appreciating the opportunity to give back to GVSU. The university has given so much to us and there is much joy in giving back to the school. We understand what an integral part of the community that GVSU has become.

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