Presidents sits at his desk with his feet up

Sentimental surroundings

President Thomas J. Haas shares meaning behind items in his office

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President Thomas J. Haas, who will retire in June, talks about some of the items in his Zumberge Hall office that are meaningful to him. Scroll below for a video tour of nine special items, or view the entire video here.

An artistic box with a bunson burner inside

Haas earned a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.

A collection of Challenge Coins

Haas created his own Challenge Coins, patterned after military medals, to honor select people.

Haas' honorary degree is pictured with a sash, photo of Haas and event program

Haas' grandparents emigrated from Cracow to New York’s Ellis Island in 1915 and settled on Staten Island where he grew up.

A collection of lighthouse memorbilia is displayed

While in the Coast Guard, Haas served on two cutters on the Great Lakes. “When the board hired me to be president of Grand Valley, they hired a real Laker.”