Glenn A. Niemeyer speaks from behind a podium while standing

GVSU mourns death of university's first provost

Grand Valley mourns the December 30 death of Glenn A. Niemeyer, the university’s first provost. He was 87.

Niemeyer was an original faculty member, having joined GVSU upon its opening in 1963. He rose through the ranks as history professor, department chair, dean of arts and sciences, then vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost. 

He retired in 2001 as provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and earned emeritus status.

“Provost Niemeyer was passionate about great teaching and robust academic programs, which remain the hallmarks of Grand Valley,” said President Philomena V. Mantella. “Today’s students are direct beneficiaries of his dedication.” Mantella noted that Niemeyer spent his entire academic career at GVSU.  

black and white photo of Glenn Niemeyer in his office
Niemeyer joined GVSU in 1963.
University Archives
Don Lubbers, Glenn Niemeyer and Ron VanSteeland stand outside
From left are President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers, Glenn A. Niemeyer and Ron VanSteeland (retired vice president for Finance and Administration).
University Communications

Niemeyer’s career intertwined almost entirely with the presidency of Arend D. Lubbers (now president emeritus) who was appointed in 1968.  

“Glenn was the cornerstone in the foundation of Grand Valley," Lubbers said. "The mentality, emotion, loyalty and competence he brought to the institution created its ethos."

Niemeyer, a West Michigan native, earned a bachelor’s degree at Calvin College and master’s and doctoral degrees at Michigan State University. The Glenn A. Niemeyer Living and Learning Center on the Allendale Campus is named in his honor.  

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date. Niemeyer's obituary is posted online.