(1921 – 2009)
Grand Rapids native Lewis William “Bill” Seidman was the 14th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and chairman of the Resolution Trust Corporation. He was also a key presidential advisor, a popular and respected financial commentator on CNBC, and a longtime supporter of Grand Valley State University.
In the late 1950s, Bill was at the center of a campaign to create a new institution of higher learning in West Michigan – an effort that launched Grand Valley State University.
In 1974, Bill left his accounting firm to work for Gerald Ford, a longtime friend who was then the newly named U.S. vice president. Bill consulted with Ford on management and budget issues until Ford became president following Richard Nixon’s resignation.
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Bill chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This job soon landed him squarely in the savings and loan (S&L) crisis of the late 1980s.
Bill believed in sharing his insight and he found a variety of outlets for doing so. He wrote and spoke about economic subjects, taught courses at colleges, and was a founder of WZZM, the third television station in Grand Rapids.
“I’ve had a great life. I’ve worked for three presidents of the United States. I’ve been in major businesses. There is nothing that I’ve done that gives me more satisfaction than seeing how Grand Valley State University is delivering on its promise to the western Michigan area.”
– Bill, on helping found GVSU
For all that Bill has done for Grand Valley and West Michigan, a display was made in his honor. We invite you to the L. William Seidman Center to see it in person.
L. William Seidman Center
Grand Valley State University
50 Front Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504