News Briefs

Kenneth R. Venderbush Student Leadership Award Nominations

Nominations for the Kenneth R. Venderbush Student Leadership Award are due in the Grand Valley State University Dean of Students Office (202 STU) no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. The award will be presented to a senior at the Annual Awards Celebration on Monday, April 6.

Candidates must meet the following criteria: (1) be a senior enrolled fall and/or winter semester; (2) demonstrate a significant contribution to student life through volunteer student representation, committee involvement, student organization leadership, residence hall leadership or athletic leadership and participation; and (3) be in good academic standing. Academics should be balanced with extracurricular involvement and should reflect a solid performance by the individual.

People interested in nominating a student can visit to access the nomination form. The nomination should be sent in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential” and indicate that the nomination is for the Kenneth R. Venderbush Award.

Grants awarded the highest honor by Grand Rapids Urban League

The 2015 Drum Major Award was presented to George and Beverly Grant in recognition of their leadership and service to the community.The award is the highest honor the Grand Rapids Urban League can impart to a recipient.

George Grant, Jr., dean of the College of Community and Public Service, and Beverly Grant, interim executive director of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, have been married for 20 years.

The Drum Major Award is significant because it draws from a speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. which says, “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

Violinist Verdehr to headline latest Arts at Noon

Violinist Walter Verdehr is set to perform at the next Arts at Noon session on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at noon in the Grand Valley State University Cook DeWitt Center.

Verdehr, professor of violin at Michigan State University, was born in Gottschee, Yugoslavia and received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2004. Publications such as The Vienna Express and The Times of London have praised his musical talents.

The Arts at Noon performance will include compositions such as “Sonata in F Major” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Fantasy for Violin and Harp” by Camille Saint-Saens as well as two pieces by James Niblock.

For more information about the event, call the Music and Dance Department at (616) 331-3484.

Symposium to focus on environment and economy

The fourth annual Women and the Environment Symposium will include workshops and presentations focused on areas such as healthy homes and families, localization of food, inclusion and environment and climate resiliency.

The symposium, which was put together by the Grand Valley State University Women’s Center and the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, will host keynote speaker Nikki Silvestri, executive director of the Green for All organization.

Green for All, located in Oakland, Calif., pushes for a healthier and more sustainable economy.

Tickets to attend the symposium are $45 for adults and $20 for students.

The symposium will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25 inside the Loosemore Auditorium at the DeVos Center.

Campus plans to celebrate cultural heritages

Grand Valley State University will host a number of events in celebration of the Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage from January 29 to March 21.

Festivities and events, which are hosted in part by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, begin with the Asian New Year Festival from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29 in the Kirkhof Center’s Grand River Room.

In addition to the festival for the New Year, other events include a discussion relating Orientalism to particular hit television shows, a workshop involving topics such as immigration and health care as well as a presentation by Presidential Medal of Honor recipient Fred T. Korematsu.

For more information on dates and times for the events, go to