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Bill Seidman

Bill Seidman
(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.

Learn more about Bill

Bill Seidman at a Grand Valley meeting

“The thing I’m proudest of is that I formed a group that started a new university – Grand Valley State College in Allendale, Michigan.”

– Bill, on helping found GVSU

Video Gallery

“You’re going through a period here like we’ve never seen before... But when everything changes like that, there’s great opportunity if you can just get ahead of the curve.”

– Bill, speaking at GVSU during the 2008 financial crisis


Founding And Sustaining An Institution

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.

Advising The President

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.

Saving the Banking System

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.

Sharing Wisdom

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.

“It was my idea from the time I stepped off a destroyer alive and well after two wartime years in the Pacific that I owed the world a debt. Serving in the government was one of the great ways to meet that obligation, and one of the rewards of a lifetime.”

– Bill, on government service

Photo Gallery

“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

A display of the life and achievements of Bill Seidman