The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control announced on Aug. 9 during a special meeting that George Grant Jr. will be the fifth president of the institution. The current president, Donald Bachand, is retiring from his position after serving since 2014.
Grant is a Detroit native, and studied at Wayne Community College before getting his bachelor’s degree in social work at Marygrove College. He also studied at Grand Valley State University and received a master’s degree in social work and later a Ph.D. in sociology at Western Michigan University
He is currently a chancellor at Pennsylvania State University-Berks and was previously the dean of the College of Community and Public Service at GVSU.
During his time at GVSU, Grant raised over $46 million, and developed academic programs that offered support to adult students having trouble balancing work, family, school, and other things. He also started Master of Social Work programs in rural communities across Michigan.
Grant outlined what piqued his interest in applying for the position in a video posted to SVSU’s social media.
“I know the history and tradition of SVSU. Its people have a passion for academic exploration and achievement, and it continues to ensure that the opportunities of higher education are attainable to assist students in meeting their full potential,” Grant said.
He also stated in the video that he was not actively looking for a new position.
“I was not looking for a new opportunity, but SVSU’s mission, strategic plan and commitment to
community engagement are in line with my personal values. SVSU is committed to educating the citizens of Michigan, while also providing the opportunity for a quality education to people across the country and around the world. I cannot wait to get started.”
SVSU has only had four presidents since its founding in 1963, and Grant will be the first person of color to serve in the position.
“I am honored, and excited, to be the next president of Saginaw Valley State University. I am looking forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, and the community,” Grant said.
Grant will begin serving as president on December 1.