posted April 8, 2004

Hope to Present Honorary Degrees

Hope College will present two honorary degrees during Commencement on Sunday, May 2.

Hope will confer honorary degrees upon J. Kermit Campbell, who recently retired as chairperson of the college's Board of Trustees, and Danny R. Gaydou, who is chairperson of the Board of the Michigan Colleges Foundation and publisher of "The Grand Rapids Press."

Campbell will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), and Gaydou will receive the Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.).

Campbell, who lives in Traverse City, was chairperson of the college's Board of Trustees from 1995 until retiring this past summer. He had served on the board since 1983.

He chaired the college's 1992-93 Holland/Zeeland Community Campaign. He and his wife, Sallie, established the "Evelyn Spallinger Campbell Scholarship Fund" at Hope in memory of his mother.

Campbell was group vice president at Dow Corning Corporation from 1987 to 1992, responsible for all operations in the United States. His career at Dow Corning began in 1960. He served as manager of new products research; technical director for the European area; vice president and general manager of fluids, resins and process industries business; and vice president for personnel, communications and governmental affairs. He holds 25 patents.

From Dow Corning he went on to Herman Miller, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer until 1995. He is now retired and managing his own investments.

Campbell has consistently been active in his community and as a volunteer.

Interested in helping young people, he is on the board of the Eagle Village residential program for youth in Hersey, and was founding board chair for Michigan Communities in Schools. He was general chairman of Midland Junior Achievement and chaired the State Michigan Partners in Education Task Force.

He has served on the boards or chaired the boards of organizations including the American Architecture Foundation, Midland County United Way, Midland Symphony, Grand Rapids Opera, the Henry Ford Museum and the Interlochen State Theatre in Traverse City. He was president of the Midland County Growth Alliance, and co-chaired Michigan First with former Michigan Governor John Engler.

Active in his church, he is currently chairman of the consistory of Faith Reformed in Traverse City.

He is a graduate of the University of Kansas. He completed a master's degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Sloan Fellow.

Campbell and his wife have two children: Jim, who is a member of the college's Class of 1985, and Sherri.

Gaydou has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF) since 1994, serving as chair since 2001.

MCF solicits financial support from businesses and corporations on behalf of independent higher education in Michigan. Since its beginning in 1949, the foundation has raised more than $62 million for its 14 member colleges, which are private, four-year liberal arts institutions. In addition to Hope, the members are: Adrian, Albion, Alma, Andrews, Aquinas, Calvin, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Madonna, Marygrove, Olivet, Siena Heights and Spring Arbor.

Gaydou has been publisher of "The Grand Rapids Press" since 1996. He was publisher of "The Flint Journal from 1987 through 1995. Previously, he was assistant controller at "The Journal," controller at "The Saginaw News" and vice president for Booth Newspapers (parent corporation of "The Press," "Journal," "News" and five other Michigan newspapers).

In addition to chairing the MCF board, he is also chairman of the board of Right Place Inc. and president of the Inland Press Association. He also serves on boards or is a trustee for organizations including Spectrum Health, the DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation, Metropolitan YMCA and Meijer Gardens.

He is past president of the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America, was general campaign chairperson of Heart of West Michigan United Way in 2001, and during 2000-01 was a cabinet member and chairperson for the Millennium Park Fundraising Committee of the Secchia Millennium Commission.

Gaydou is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Flint. He and his wife, Lou Ann, have three children and three grandchildren.

The college's Commencement ceremony will be held at either Zeeland Stadium or, in the event of rain, at Zeeland East High School. Admission is open if the event is outside but by ticket only if indoors.