Thousands of Lakers walk across stage at commencement

<p>Courtesy: Grand Valley State University</p>

Courtesy: Grand Valley State University

Courtesy of GVSU News Team

More than 3,000 Grand Valley State University students participated in commencement ceremonies April 27 and 28 at Van Andel Arena.

Students and their families and friends heard addresses from Raymond Bennett, a Grand Valley alumnus and chief global officer for Marriott International; U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, who has represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate since 2014; and Teresa Weatherall Neal, superintendent for Grand Rapids Public Schools.

The Alumni Association presented its Distinguished Alumni Award to Angie Crouch, ’88, an Emmy-award winning journalist for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. The Outstanding Educator Award was presented to Barbara Hooper, assistant professor in the Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Robert Hooker, Judith Hooker (posthumously), Allen Hunting, and Donnalee Holton received honorary degrees. Robert Hooker is the retired president and CEO of Mazda Great Lakes and current director of the Grand Valley University Foundation. Robert’s wife, Judith Hooker, was a kindergarten and first-grade teacher and a trustee for Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees. Hunting is among the founders of Grand Valley. He led Stow and Davis Furniture Company for 30 years and was a director of the Grand Valley University Foundation. Holton, a supporter of Grand Valley, is a former member of the university’s Board of Trustees and an advocate for education, health care and the arts.