GVSU Foundation names new chairs

GVL / Courtesy - GVSU.edu

GVL / Courtesy – GVSU.edu

Lucas Escalada

Some new, but familiar faces will soon be seen working with the Grand Valley State University Foundation.

After 24 years of work, Richard M. DeVos was named Chairman Emeritus of the Grand Valley Foundation. Jim and Donna Brooks, previous vice chairs at the foundation, became the new general chairs for the foundation at the annual meeting on Sept. 30.

Karen Loth, vice president for development, said the new general chair members were elected by the foundation’s nominating committee.

Dan and Pamela DeVos will fill in the gap left at the vice chair position. They previously served in the executive committee and helped lead alongside Jim and Donna Brooks.

Jim and Donna Brooks were the natural choice for the position, since they have been serving as vice chairs of the foundation, Loth said. She specified that they have performed very well in their former position, so they are both poised for the new role.

Loth said Jim and Donna Brooks can naturally step into the leadership role, which will keep the transitional tumult to a minimum.

While there will be new members heading the GVU Foundation, the end goal is the same.

“We have a very stable and productive foundation which helps the university raise the private funds needed to continue to provide the excellent Grand Valley experience for our students,” Loth said.

All four leaders have the right tools to lead the GVU Foundation in the right direction, Loth said. They understand both the university and community needs, which helps them make the right decision for everyone. She said they also consider what GVSU alumni might think, which makes them perfect to lead the university forward.

Looking into the future, the university hopes to expand the size of the university endowment fund, which is currently at over $100 million. Loth said they hope to accomplish this by engaging with more foundation directors as well as reaching a wider base of donors.

Jim and Donna Brooks will be in charge of decisions regarding foundation elections, activities and events. The vice chairs assist the general chairs with their duties.

Together, they analyze meeting resolutions, run meetings, update the community on foundation events and engage with foundation directions during fundraising campaigns, Loth said.

The experience of all four members will be key in their new positions: since they are experienced leaders with knowledge of the foundation’s working, there will not need a lot of time to become acquainted with the various challenges.

Loth said the work everyone at the Grand Valley Foundation does is for GVSU students. Its purpose is to continue making GVSU a special place with exceptional offerings for undergraduate students. She emphasized the need for private donors to go along with everything the university does.

“Private gifts remain critical to Grand Valley’s success and future growth,” Loth said. “The foundation is the organization that has brought in the private funds we have needed to get to where we are today and was particularly instrumental in bringing the university into downtown Grand Rapids.”

The foundation also works on growing the scholarship program as well as supporting various academic programs at GVSU.

For more information, visit www.gvsu.edu/giving.