Service milestones: three people recognized for 45, 50 years at GVSU

More than 210 faculty and staff members have hit milestone years of service, beginning with 10 years of working at Grand Valley.

During the university's 60th anniversary, three people are recognized for 45 or 50 years of service: Gregg Dimkoff, professor of finance; Roger Ellis, professor of theater; and Robert Beasecker, curator of rare books and distinguished collections for University Libraries.

View names of all service award recipients online; below are brief profiles and two "60 for 60" videos.

Gregg Dimkoff headshot
Gregg Dimkoff, professor of finance
Kendra Stanley-Mills
Roger Ellis headshot
Roger Ellis, professor of theater
Kendra Stanley-Mills
Robert Beasecker holding a book about Lincoln
Robert Beasecker, curator of rare books and distinguished collections for University Libraries
University Communications

Gregg Dimkoff

Dimkoff arrived at Grand Valley in 1975, after finishing his doctorate in finance at Michigan State University; he was charged with developing a finance program and teaching classes. He said there were seven finance majors at the time; there are now more than 500 majors in the program and 12 faculty members who hold doctoral degrees. 

The Seidman College of Business did not exist during Dimkoff's early years. Business courses fell under the College of Arts and Sciences. "GVSC went through a major reorganization in 1979, removing the Department of Business from CAS, and combining it with the Seidman Graduate College. That was the beginning of the Seidman College of Business," he said.

Dimkoff said he has enjoyed watching Grand Valley evolve from a local college into a well-respected university. "I have a sense of pride in the quality of our students," he said. "And I've enjoyed the people. I’ve gotten to know so many interesting people over the years. I miss not seeing them, or not seeing them often enough."

60 for 60

Roger Ellis

Ellis was a working actor and director in California before taking a job with Grand Valley's young theater department. He had completed his doctoral degree in theater at the University of California, Berkeley.

In the late-1970s, Grand Valley experienced financial difficulties and administrators cut the theater department teaching staff to two faculty members. Ellis said it took 15 years to rebuild the program to its current level of offering six large productions annually.

He introduced the Diversity in Theatre initiative in 1992 and co-founded the Shakespeare Festival in 1993. 

"There are other large milestones, but we take special pride in the success of our graduates," Ellis said. "They're working in Hollywood, they've appeared on Broadway and toured internationally, and they're employed as teachers, arts managers, designers and professional playwrights."

60 for 60

Robert Beasecker

Beasecker began his career at Grand Valley as a reference librarian. He said the only "archives" in 1970 were Board of Control minutes, meeting minutes from various committees and the student newspaper, of which the library director kept back issues. "I unofficially took that over at that time," he said.

University Libraries' rare book collection began with a gift in 1992 from Harvey Lemmen, who gifted his 7,000-volume Lincoln and Civil War collection. 

"University Libraries petitioned the administration for Seidman House to house the rare books and University Archives when the Admissions, Registrar and Financial Aid offices relocated from Seidman House to the newly-built Student Services building in 1995," Beasecker said.

There are many treasures within the Special Collections, including Cold War espionage books, the incunabula books (printed between 1450-1500) and Michigan author Jim Harrison's papers. Beasecker said his favorite remains the initial gift from Lemmen.

"The initial gift from Harvey Lemmen was particularly satisfying, as was the subsequent long personal relationship with him — a true gentleman in all respects," he said.

President Mantella adds congratulations