Venderbush Leadership Lecture


Come celebrate leadership! The Venderbush Leadership Lecture is designed to recognize extraordinary leadership. Since 1999, Grand Valley has honored the memory of Kenneth R. Venderbush through an ongoing series of leadership lectures. In addition to having the opportunity to listen to inspiring tales of leadership, this event offers the opportunity to acknowledge outstanding student leaders who contribute regularly to our community by bestowing the Immediate Impact Award to one exceptional student leader. New members of the National Leadership Honor Society Omicron Delta Kappa are also recognized during the event.


2015-2016 Academic Year





Fall 2015

Wednesday, November 4th


2204 Kirkhof Center (Pere Marquette)

Winter 2016

Tuesday , March 15th


2204 Kirkhof Center (Pere Marquette)



Kenneth R. Venderbush (1930-1975)

Dr. Kenneth R. Venderbush came to Grand Valley in 1969. During his tenure he served as Associate Professor and Acting Dean of William James College, and from 1969 until 1973 he was Vice President for Student Affairs. He received an undergraduate degree in speech from Kalamazoo College, an M.A. from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D from Ohio State University in 1968. Dr. Venderbush's commitment to student affairs was highlighted by his understanding of student concerns. During his time as Vice President of Student Affairs, he worked to assure student input in the decision-making process. He was a strong advocate of student leadership participation as a learning tool.


The Kenneth R. Venderbush Leadership Award

Please note that the Kenneth R. Venderbush Leadership Award is not awarded at the Venderbush Leadership Reception. The Award is coordinated through the Dean of Students Office.

Since 1983, the university has bestowed its highest Student Leadership Award, the Kenneth R. Venderbush Leadership Award to a graduating senior student. In the Fall of 1999, the university continued to honor his memory through an on-going series of community leadership lectures made possible by a gift from Kenneth R. Venderbush's family.

This prestigious award is presented to a senior who has made a significant leadership contribution to student life at Grand Valley and demonstrates a strong commitment to academics. Award nominations and selection is coordinated through the Dean of Students Office. Click here for more information on nominating a student for the Venderbush Student Leadership Award.