Lubbers addresses Class of 1969 golden reunion

President Emeritus Arend Lubbers at the podium in the alumni house.
President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers addresses the Class of 1969 at an October 25 event in the Alumni House and Visitor Center.
Image Credit: Kyle Bultman
large group of three rows of people, members of the class of 1969 and President Mantella, President Emeritus Lubbers
President Philomena V. Mantella, seated at center, and President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers are pictured with members of the Class of 1969.
Image Credit: Kyle Bultman
man at podium
Fred Davison, class of 1969, addresses the audience.
Image Credit: Kyle Bultman
man at podium
Chris Barbee, director of Alumni Relations, welcomes the audience.
Image Credit: Kyle Bultman

President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers addressed the Class of 1969 and their guests at a golden reunion event during Homecoming weekend and highlighted the influence alumni have at Grand Valley.

Lubbers gave a presentation October 25 at the Alumni House before 50 people. The first year of his presidency was 1969.

He cited alumni influence in terms of donations to the recently completed Jamie Hosford Football Center, and the fact that four of the eight Board of Trustees members are Grand Valley graduates.

"Over the years, the alumni relationship to the university increases in its capacity to influence the direction of the university," Lubbers said. 

He also discussed challenges to higher education such as a decline in the number of Michigan high school students, increased competition among colleges for those students, and unfilled jobs for qualified workers in STEM fields.

"Our task as citizens is to press for improvement in K-12 education and insist that our universities help in that process, as well as educate students, both traditional and non-traditional," he said.

When the Class of 1969 graduated, Grand Valley ranked 11th among the state's public universities in enrollment, Lubbers said. Grand Valley now ranks fourth in enrollment and third in number of earned credit hours.

"That all began with a concept of loyalty to an institution. Loyalty to something beyond self contributes to our humanity. 

"What we in this room have in common is Grand Valley. So why not leave this evening with a song in our hearts: 'Keep your banners flying; black and white and blue; we sing to thee, Grand Valley, united we're for you,'" he said.

Lubbers served as president from 1969-2001.