William Baum Endowment Fund

The William C. Baum Endowment Fund at Grand Valley was established in 1998 to support Professor Baum's two great passions: politics and classical music. The endowment enables GVSU to host lectures on important, contemporary political topics and recitals by noted classical musicians, especially pianists

The Baum Endowment was established to reflect the shared interests of Baum family members. Professor Emeritus William "Bill" Baum, who died in 2007, was a political science professor at Grand Valley for 40 years and retired in 2005. Nancy Baum, a Grand Valley dance educator, died in 2011. Their son Jefferson taught dance at Grand Valley from 2000-2007.



William Baum

Professor Baum was a strong supporter of the arts, especially classical music. Besides his appointment in the Department of Political Science, where he taught courses on constitutional law, political thought and the Holocaust, he also taught in the Department of Music. Students appreciated his creativity, intellect and his ability to challenge them. Bill’s commitment to education and democracy will live on through the endowed William Baum Lecture Series, which has enabled us to bring numerous speakers and classical musicians to Grand Valley.

William Baum Endowment

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Lectures 2018-2019

Co-sponsorship of James W. Carey Lecture, School of Communications, September 26, 2018. 

Co-sponsorship of Professor Bawole's Lecture, Global Health Taskforce and Sociology Department, October 5, 2018. 


Co-sponsorship of Danny Postel,  Area and Global Studies Department. February 11, 2019. 

Danny Postel Talk

Co-sponsorship of Dalia Fahmy Lecture, Middle East Studies Program, February 14, 2019. 


Co-sponsorship of Dr. Jonathan Bass, Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance. April 7, 2019. 


Lectures 2017-2018

Periods Gone Public

Date: Friday, March 23, 2018 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM 
Location: Holton Hooker Learning and Living Center Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center Multi-Purpose Room

Taking a stand for menstrual equity. Periods should not hold anyone back, period. 

Event Flyer 

Co-sponsorship of Michigan Sociological Association Fall Conference, Sociology Dept., October 27-28, 2017

Co-sponsorship of Safoi Babana-Hampton from MSU documentaries “Hmong Memory at the Crossroads” and “Growing up Hmong at the Crossroads”, Modern  Languages & Literatures, Feb. 28, 2018

Co-sponsorship of Thomas Jerome Sienkewicz presentation on “Roman Emperors and Classical Myths in 21st-Century Editorial Cartoons Around the World”, Classics Dept., Feb. 19, 2018

Lectures 2016-2017

Co-sponsorship of Jonestown Survivor Presentation, Dr. Arthur Bainomugisha lecture, Anthropology Department, October 12, 2016.

Co-sponsorship of Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival with Area Studies,

March/April 2016.

Co-sponsorship of Great Lakes History/Conference on Americas, History Department, October 2016.

Co-sponsorship of Sean Ansett lecture “Addressing Supply Chain Human Rights: A practitioner’s Dilemma”, March 2017.

Lectures 2015-2016

Co-sponsorship of Well House event - Ethan Nadelmann & Major Neil Franklin discussion on drug policy, May 2015  

Co-sponsorship of Ambassador John K. Shinkaiye from Nigeria – Presentation topics: The Boko Haram Security Threat and the question of regional integration; March 2015. Area Studies.

Co-sponsorship of Howard Zinn’s play “Marx in Soho”, March 2015.  English Department.

Marx in Soho

Co-sponsorship of Stoics Initiative, Classics Department, November 16-20, 2015

Co-sponsorship of Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival, Latin American Studies, September 17-20, 2015

Co-sponsorship of Edward Su, Benediktsson-Karwa, Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and President-elect of the Mathematical Association of American, January 2015. Mathematics Department.

Lectures 2014-2015

Co-sponsorships of events on undocumented immigration in the US – panel discussion and lecture on April 9-10, 2015, with guest speaker Jose Angel N., an undocumented Chicago-based immigrant from Mexico and author of the recent book Illegal. Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant. Presented by the Philosophy Club.


Co-sponsorship of the Mosaic Lecture series on March 18, 2015, with guest speaker Dr. Francis Edward Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College – Voting in Agreeable Societies. Dr. Su is President-Elect of the Mathematical Association of American and first person of color to hold this position. Presented by the Mathematics Department.

Dr. Su

Co-sponsorship of 13th Conference on the Americas - “Contact Zones and Borders in the Americas”. Keynote speakers: Dr. Juan Manuel Sandoval Palacios, National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico, and Dr. Ana Patricia Rodriguez, University of Maryland, College Park. March 2015.

Lectures 2013-2014

Why Democracy is not Taking Hold in the Arab World -- Tuesday, March 18. Ali Younes is a recognized a 20-year veteran news editor, journalist, and a Middle East analyst; he is currently the US editor of the Jordanian daily Al Arab Al Yawm and a contributing News Editor at CNN covering Arab and Middle East affairs. His writings have covered a wide range of issues that covered the US-Arab relations, Arab Spring, Arab culture and religions. He is also considered one of the few Arab experts on the Arab Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967 and is currently writing a book on the 1967 war. Sponsored by: Middle East Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures Department, Model Arab League Club, Political Science Department, Padnos International Center, & College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Model Arab League

Charles Harnes (GVSU alumnus), retired Senior Migration Advisor, International Organization for Migration, and development programming consultant. Presentation “International Migration: Trends and Implications for International Relations”. November 2013.

Co-Sponsorship of the GVSU Pre-Law Society Forum. September 2013

Co-sponsorship of presentation by writer/poet Kama Sywor Kamanda, March 2014. (Modern Languages)

Lectures 2012-2013

Co-sponsorship of Sociology Department one-man play - Howard Zinn's "Marx in Soho".  March 2013


Marx in Soho

Co-sponsorship of Latin American Studies Conference on the Americas - "Places, Bodies, and Practices in Latin America". Guest speakers: Dr. Saskia Sassen, Columbia University & Dr. Ana Rosas Mantecón, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitan-Itztapalapa. March, 2013

Keynote Speakers

Co-sponsorship of Middle East Studies Lecture. Lecture by Kivanc Ulusoy, Istanbus University - "The Europeanization of the Religious Cleavage in Turkey: The Case of the Alvis". January 2013.


Kivanc Ulusoy

Co-sponsorship of 22nd Conference of the International Association of Feminine Hispanic Literature and Culture. November 2012.

Co-sponsorship of Latin American Studies Lecture Series. Lecture by Debra Castillo, Cornell University - "Waiting Before the Law". November 2012.

Lectures 2011-2012

Co-sponsorship of the Native American Student Association Pow Wow. April 2012

Co-sponsorship of Michigan Model Arab League Lecture – Lawrence Davidson – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict since 9-11. February, 2012.

Lectures 2010-2011

Co-sponsorship of Model Arab League Lecture. Keynote speaker: Dr. James Zogby. February 2011.

Dr. James J. Zogby is the author of Arab Voices (Palgrave Macmillan, October 2010) and the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, D.C.-based organization which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. He currently serves on the national advisory board of the American Civil Liberties Union, The Human Rights Watch Board of Directors for the Middle East and North Africa and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he is a Senior Advisor for the polling firm Zogby International. Dr. Zogby writes a weekly column, "Washington Watch," which is currently published in 14 Arab and South Asian countries. From 2001 until now he hosts the award winning "Viewpoint with James Zogby" on Abu Dhabi Television, LinkTV, Dish Network, and DirecTV.

Dr. James Zogby

Co-sponsorship of LAS Conference on the Americas. Keynote speaker: Dr. Doris Sommer, Harvard University. November 2010.

Co-sponsorship of Michigan Council for the Social Studies Fall Conference. Keynote speaker: Dr. Jim Loewen. November 2010.

Contribution to 2011 Fall Arts Celebration. Academic lecture by Michael Sandel.

Sponsorship of Internationally Renowned Pianists

Boris Slutsky

Boris Slutsky - First Prize along with every major prize, including the Audience Prize and Wihelm Backhaus Award, at the 1981 William Kapell International Piano Competition.

Dmitri Novgorodsky

Dmitri Novgorodsky, acclaimed pianist; The State University of New York Fredonia School of Music. 

Jeffry Brown

Jeffrey Brown, acclaimed pianist; Eastman School of Music

Claire Aebersold & Ralph Neiweem

Claire Aebersold & Ralph Neiweem, piano duo.

Deborah Moriarty

Deborah Moriarty – Professor of piano, Michigan State University College of Music

Louis Nagel

Louis Nagel - Steinway artist

The Merling Trio

The Merling Trio – School of Music, Western Michigan University

Ksenia Leletkina

Ksenia Leletkina - Cleveland Institute of Music

Ralph Votapek

Ralph Votapek – Van Cliburn International Gold Medal Winner

Frances Renzi

Frances Renzi – Juilliard School; Professor Emerita at the University of Toledo

Jonathan Bass

Jonathan Bass -- Professor or Piano at Boston Conservatory at Berklee