Grand Valley community celebrates life of GVU Foundation director

Leaders at Grand Valley and in West Michigan are celebrating the life of Robert “Buzz” Kersman. Kersman died on February 26 at age 84.

Kersman was a strong supporter of Grand Valley since its founding, serving in a variety of roles including as a director for the Grand Valley University Foundation since 2001. He also chaired the Seidman School of Business Advisory Board and worked with the GVSU Family Owned Business Institute.

Robert Kersman in tuxedo, black tie
Robert Kersman served GVSU and the GVU Foundation in a variety of roles. Kersman died February 26 at age 84.

Kersman was instrumental in creating the Challenge Grant for the WGVU Digital Future Campaign. Kersman and his wife, Wendy, supported a variety of other initiatives around campus.

“The Grand Valley community is deeply saddened to learn of Buzz’s passing,” President Philomena V. Mantella said. “His passion and energy were invaluable in each of the roles he played within the university. His liveliness will be missed, and our thoughts are with Wendy and their entire family.” 

As past president and owner of Lorin Industries Inc., Kersman initially got involved with Grand Valley because of the help he received from a professor when he was working to globalize his company. He said he loved the personal connections he was able to make at the university and continued to stay involved.

“Having someone like Buzz on our advisory board was an immense asset to our school,” said Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business. “He brought a knowledge and love for the region as well as a deep well of business acumen that helped guide many conversations and decisions.”

Kersman also served on the Comerica Bank Board and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. He sat on numerous other community boards.


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