AQUINAS COLLEGE OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE FIRST TO HONOR FATHER-DAUGHTER PHILANTHROPISTS
April 15, 2010 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (April 15, 2010) – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Aquinas College has selected community philanthropists Robert C. Pew II and Kate Pew Wolters to receive its 2010 Norbert J. Hruby Emeritus Award. The pair will be recognized at the 27th Annual Aquinas Emeritus Evening on Thursday, May 13 at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Avenue N.E. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m.
Pew and Wolters are the first father/daughter recipients of the award, which is named in honor of Norbert J. Hruby, Ph.D., second president of Aquinas College. Rick Steketee, co-director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Aquinas College, said "Robert C. Pew II and Kate Pew Wolters were chosen for the award because of their continuous dedication to improving the lives of those living in Grand Rapids."
First-awarded in 1993, the award is given as a tribute to a person, or persons, in the community whose leadership, generosity and spirit of service have been sustained over the course of many years and whose dedication to the welfare of all citizens serves as a light to guide those who follow.
Robert C. Pew II is chairman emeritus of Steelcase, Inc., where he previously served as company president and CEO. In 1989, he received the Michigan Governor’s Honor Roll Award for his support of the arts, and was inducted into the Grand Rapids Business Hall of Fame in 1990.
Pew has received honorary doctorates from Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, and Davenport University. He has served as director of numerous companies, including Foremost Corporation and Old Kent Financial Corporation, to name a few. As a former director of the National Organization on Disability and the Steelcase Foundation, Pew has also served on the boards of Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Cranbrook, United Way, Blodgett Hospital and the Michigan Economic Alliance.
Kate Pew Wolters, a 1978 alumna of Aquinas, is a former director of the Grand Rapids Center for Independent Living and executive director of the Steelcase Foundation. She is currently serving as chair of the Steelcase Foundation, a position she has held since 1996. Wolters has been a member of the Steelcase Board of Directors since 2001, and served on the Aquinas College Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2004, during which she served as chairwoman from 2000-2003. Wolters was granted Trustee Emerita status when she completed her Board service in 2004.
Wolters is the president of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation, which provides grants to non-profit organizations with an emphasis on the arts, education, human services and disabilities. She was appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Clinton in 1994, serving nine years, eight of those as vice-chair. Wolters received an eight-year appointment to the Grand Valley State University Board by Governor Jennifer Granholm and, currently, serves as chairperson.
The Aquinas Emeritus Evening is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Aquinas College. If you are interested in attending, please call (616) 632-2805. The cost of the dinner is $150 per person.
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