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David Hooker honored by GVSU Board of Trustees

  • David Hooker, pictured with members of the GVSU Board of Trustees, President Thomas J. Haas and Robert Hooker.

Posted on February 08, 2019

David Hooker, president and CEO of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and former member of Grand Valley State University's Board of Trustees, was honored by the board at its February 8 meeting held at the L. William Seidman Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Hooker was honored for his eight years of service on the board, which included serving as chair of the board and chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee.

"David was steadfast in his commitment to the governance of Grand Valley," said Mary Kramer, chair of the Board of Trustees. "His insistence upon academic quality, founded in the liberal arts, reflects his belief in providing students with the best possible educational experience."

Hooker said he will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board.

"It was an honor and privilege to serve this institution for eight years," said Hooker. "The board members and others in this room are truly exceptional people dedicated to student success, and I'll always treasure the opportunity to be a part of it."

Kramer said Hooker's leadership role at Frederik Meijer Gardens and involvement with ArtPrize, United Way and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital are beneficial to the greater good of the Grand Rapids area. 

Kramer also said Hooker continued the legacy of service to Grand Valley started by his parents, Robert and Judith Hooker, who also served as members of the board. The Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center on the Allendale Campus was named in honor of them, as well as Earl and Donnalee Holton, to recognize their service to the university. 

In other board action:

• The board approved a B.A. and B.S. program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. The program emphasizes a practical approach to environmental issues through collaborative problem solving, involvement in faculty-led research projects, internships, practicums and community engagement projects. Students will organize their coursework around at least one of four emphasis areas: sustainable food systems, energy, water resources, or the cultural and built environment.

• The board approved a name change for the existing M.S. in Medical and Bioinformatics program to an M.S. in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics.

• Students will see a modest increase in room and board rates beginning with the fall 2019 semester; the board voted to increase the rate by 1.5 percent. The average cost for housing on campus per semester will increase by $17.

• The board approved the reauthorization of seven existing charter schools, including: Hanley International Academy, Hamtramck; Walker Charter Academy, Walker; Knapp Charter Academy, Grand Rapids; Legacy Charter Academy, Detroit; Madison-Carver Academy, Detroit; Cornerstone Health and Technology School, Detroit; and Timberland Charter Academy, Muskegon. The board also approved the addition of grades for Old Mission Peninsula School, Traverse City, and the appointment or reappointment of charter school board members to GVSU-authorized public school academy boards.