Former GV Admin Donates Funds to Support HBCU/HSI Pipeline – Grand Valley Lanthorn


Dr. William “Bill” Pickard recently donated $800,000 to help support Grand Valley State University’s Historicly Black College/University and Hispanic Serving Institution (HBCU/HSI) Pipeline Consortium.

The donation will also help support students in Genesee, Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties.

According to the GVSU website, the goal of the HBCU/HSI Pipeline Consortium is to collaborate with HBCUs and HSIs to help create more opportunities for students from minority populations to find “real and meaningful positions while simultaneously expanding talent pipelines in western Michigan”.

Pickard’s gift established two funds, the Lubbers and Pickard Endowment and the Dr. William F. Pickard Pathway to Education Fund.

The Lubbers and Pickard Endowment will be invested for prospective students studying through GVSU and the Dr. William F. Pickard Pathway to Education Fund will be distributed annually.

Not only does Pickard support the HBCU/HSI pipeline consortium, he was also instrumental in GVSU’s first HBCU partnership with Fort Valley State University (FVSU).

There are now seven FVSU students who are currently enrolled in master’s degree programs at GVSU.

Saint Augustine University also joined GVSU as the second HBCU.

Vice President of Enrollment Development and Education Outreach B. Donta Truss said that students would benefit from the new HBCU/HSI pipeline.

“We work with historically black colleges and universities to make sure there is a partnership that allows these students to benefit from GVSU and the strong academic network portfolio that we offer,” Truss said. “So students can be in an HBCU and graduate and then pipeline in our programs here.

GVSU is also working with more universities in hopes of partnering with several more HBCU/HSI programs.

Pickard is a business and civic leader in the Detroit metro area and has been an entrepreneur for 30 years. He was also a member of the GVSU Board of Trustees (1977-1989) for 11 years and his lifetime student support exceeds $1 million.

Pickard said both funds were created through Pickard’s gratitude to Chairman Emeritus Arend “Don” Lubbers, Founder Bill Seidman and others who inspired him to become an entrepreneur and pay for his success.

President Philomena V. Mantella said Pickard’s contributions will help provide opportunities for future students and continue to diversify GVSU.

“Dr. Pickard’s donation enables the university to enroll and graduate an increasingly diverse group of talented and deserving learners from underrepresented backgrounds, fueling our vision of a inclusive and equitable community that fosters and maintains a sense of belonging and promotes diversity and respect,” Mantella said.

In addition to funding for the pipeline, they are also creating more scholarship opportunities for students facing financial barriers.

“His funds will enable some students who might not be able to afford to come to GVSU,” Truss noted. “It removes a financial burden and ultimately it’s the start of a great relationship with Dr. Pickard and others interested in helping students remove financial barriers and gain access to education. superior.”

Currently, the pipeline collaborates with two HBCU programs and is working on collaboration with an HSI program. Thanks to the pipeline, GVSU offers many opportunities for prospective students such as scholarships and advisors.


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