Former Grand Valley Board of Trustees member William "Bill" Pickard has initiated two funds designed to support students and help diversify West Michigan's talent pool.
Pickard's $800,000 gift helped create the Dr. William F. Pickard Pathway to Education Fund and the Lubbers and Pickard Endowment, providing short- and long-term help for students who are part of the HBCU/HSI Pipeline Consortium, and students from Genesee, Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties. The fund will be distributed annually, and the endowment will be invested for future generations of students.
Pickard has a deep commitment to ensuring success and educational attainment for students from Genesee, Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties. He was instrumental in helping Grand Valley partner with Fort Valley State University as GVSU established the pipeline consortium. Seven FVSU students are now enrolled in Grand Valley master's degree programs. Since that agreement, a second HBCU (Saint Augustine’s University) has joined the consortium.
A business and civic leader in the Detroit metropolitan area, Pickard's 30-year career as an entrepreneur helped him to absorb the university’s vision for inclusion and equity. His involvement with Grand Valley includes 11 years as a member of the Board of Trustees (1977-1989) and lifetime support for students exceeding $1 million.