Senior Recognition Ceremony: December 2020

Our "Virtual" Ceremony: December 11, 2020

Welcome to the Fall 2020 Senior Recognition Ceremony here in the Frederik Meijer Honors College. We're unable to celebrate our wonderful graduating seniors in person this year, but we're delighted to bring you this virtual version. Please take some time to look around--and enjoy! Most of all, congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!


Welcoming Remarks

Most of this year's graduates started in Honors in 2016 or 2017. In this video, Honors Director Roger Gilles offers introductory remarks reflecting on our graduates' experience here in the Honors College and encouraging them to think back to their initial "dream clouds" from Welcome Days and reflect on all they've enjoyed and accomplished in their time at Grand Valley and in Honors.

Honors Director Roger Gilles

Reflecting on 2020--and Beyond

Honors Academic and Enrichment Advisor Meg Marshall, who, like many of our graduating students, began in Honors during the 2016-17 academic year, reflects on the special challenges our students have faced--and overcome--in 2020. She casts these challenges as a strong indication that this year's graduates are even better prepared than most to meet the challenges of the future and thrive as helpers and problem-solvers.

Honors advisor Meg Marshall


Reflections from Three Graduates

We asked three of our many outstanding graduating seniors to reflect briefly on their experience here in the Honors College.

Grace Branding

Grace, a Liberal Studies major in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, took the "Theory and Practice of Rights" first-year sequence from Professor Karen Zivi. She also took Honors courses from Ahmad Jeddeeni, Gary Greer, and Kelly Parker. She participated in the "Semester in Detroit" experience in Fall 2019 and interned with the James and Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit. Grace's Honors senior project, which she completed in Fall 2020 with Professor Andrea Riley-Mukavetz as her faculty advisor, focused on her experience with the Interrogate Justice community reading group she founded while here at Grand Valley. She plans to move to California to work and enjoy some serious snowboarding before looking for more permanent work as a community organizer. 

Grace Branding, Liberal Studies major

Meredith Filter

Meredith majored in Special Education in the Comprehensive Science and Arts for Teaching program in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She took the "Food for Thought" first-year sequence with Professors Amy McFarland and Jody Vogelzang. In Honors, she also studied with Professors Pamela Galbraith, Kurt Ellenberger, and Rob Franciosi. Meredith studied abroad in Arusha, Tanzania, and later, working with Professor Lisa Kasmer, focused her Honors senior project on special-needs education there. During the 2017-18 academic year, Meredith participated in the University Innovation Fellows program through Stanford University, working with Professors Paul Lane in Marketing and Kathryn Christopher in Engineering, along with three of her fellow Honors students, to propose and execute a project in support of the Honors curriculum revision then underway. She plans to pursue a Master's degree in Special Education here at Grand Valley.

Meredith Filter, Special Education major

Lukila Witthoeft

Lukila, a Biomedical Sciences major in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, started in Honors with Professor Craig Benjamin in the "Big History" first-year sequence. She also studied with Honors Professors Ellen Adams and Peter Wampler. As she discusses in her video, Lukila studied abroad in Haiti focusing on both the art of the country and the water issues there. Her Honors senior project, completed with the guidance of Professor Rachel Campbell from Sociology, focused on the high rates of infant mortality in certain parts of Michigan. She plans to attend MSU's College of Human Medicine in Fall 2021.

Lukila Witthoeft, Biomedical Sciences major


Entering class photo Fall 2016

The Honors College entering class of 2016

Group photo of Honors entering class of 2017

The Honors College entering class of 2017


Senior Profile Slideshow

Please take some time to browse through our December 2020 senior profile slideshow, which features photos and information about half of our more than 70 graduating seniors. You'll see here our students' wide and impressive range of interests, activities, accomplishments, and future plans. Click here for the slideshow.

First slide of the Senior Student Profile slideshow