GVU Foundation honors Pickard, Kindschi for their commitment to philanthropy, service

William "Bill" Pickard and P. Douglas Kindschi were recognized May 3 by the Grand Valley University Foundation for their commitment to philanthropy, service and the university. 

Pickard, who received the Enrichment Award, served as a member of Grand Valley's Board of Trustees for 11 years (1977-1989) and is a longtime supporter of business students and students of color. The Enrichment Award recognizes community philanthropy and commitment to the university.

Bill Pickard standing in a blue suit jacket and gray pants
William "Bill" Pickard received the Enrichment Award. A longtime member of the Board of Trustees, Pickard established new endowments this year to support students.
Image credit - Dusty Brown

Pickard is a philanthropist with a passion for education, arts, culture and entrepreneurship. In 2016, he established the Dr. William F. Pickard Business Scholarship. His most recent gift in January 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, or students from Genesee, Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties. 

“This is a full-circle moment for me, where I can now pay it forward for students and help them in the same way I was helped,” Pickard said. 

A business and civic leader in the Detroit area, Pickard is executive chair and founder of GAA Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management and GAA New Ventures, co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino, CEO of Bearwood Management McDonald's, and co-owner of five black-owned newspapers. He has served on numerous boards, including Michigan National Bank, National Urban League, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and National Park Foundation. 

Pickard earned a doctoral degree from The Ohio State University and honorary degrees from Grand Valley and Cleary College. He is the author of "Millionaire Moves: Seven Proven Principles of Entrepreneurship."

Doug Kindschi is pictured in a classroom, leaning against a shelf in a blue suit
Douglas Kindschi received the Arend D. Lubbers Award, which recognizes longtime faculty and staff members for service to the university and community.
Image credit - University Communications

Kindschi, director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, received the Arend D. Lubbers Award, which recognizes longtime faculty and staff members for service to the university and community. During his 45-year career at Grand Valley, Kindschi helped build the foundation of the university’s STEM programs. 

He served as dean of Science and Mathematics for more than 25 years, developing more than 14 academic programs and colleges, including what has transformed into the College of Health Professions, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, and Annis Water Resources Institute. Kindschi was instrumental in K-12 outreach, establishing the Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education, Regional Math and Science Center and bringing the Science Olympiad tournaments to Grand Valley's campus.  

President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers presented Kindschi with the award. “For over two decades, Doug filled that position distinguishing himself and the sciences,” Lubbers said. “He attracted and managed resources — always striving, always creating, always achieving.”   

Kindschi was appointed founding director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute in 2010 and has led programming such as the community-wide Year of Interfaith Understanding and Jewish/Christian/Muslim dialogues.

Kindschi has served on the board for Van Andel Education Institute Council, Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, and other organizations. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University.

In 2015, Grand Valley named its new science building, the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science, in honor of Kindschi, recognizing both his role in science education and generous financial support. The building's greenhouse is named for his wife, Barbara. 


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