Dr. Todd Steen of the Hope College economics faculty has been named the first recipient of the college's new Granger Endowed Professorship in Economics, Management and Accounting.
The professorship is designated for an outstanding member of the faculty in the department of economics, management and accounting with a spiritually mature Christian faith whose teaching and actions are exemplary; and who makes a positive difference in the lives of Hope students, sharing his or her own Christianity to help them grow in their own faith, and the world beyond. It has been established by Ron and Donna Granger of Lansing, Mich. who are pictured with Prof. Steen.
In addition to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed professorships provide funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support. The college has a total of 19 endowed professorships for faculty and two endowed chaplaincies.
"Endowed professorships make a very real difference to the college by providing an opportunity to recognize outstanding members of the faculty and supporting their work as scholars and teachers," said Dr. James E. Bultman, president of Hope College. "Ron and Donna Granger are business leaders known for demonstrating their Christian faith by investing their time, talent and financial resources, and making a positive difference in the community. We are grateful for their longtime involvement in the life of the college, which has included not only generous financial support but participation first as the parents of students and, more recently, as the grandparents of students at Hope."
"Todd Steen is a respected member of the faculty who makes a significant difference through his teaching and scholarship. He is a mentor and a person of faith in the lives of his students, in his discipline and in the community," Bultman said. "He is a most deserving inaugural recipient of the new Granger Professorship."
A professor of economics, Steen has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1988. His appointment to the endowed professorship will become effective July 1, 2009.
Steen's interests include labor economics and Christian perspectives on economics. His courses at the college have included Principles of Macroeconomics, Labor Economics, Christianity and the Marketplace, Econometrics, First-Year Seminar, Economic Themes and Topics, Internships in Vocation and Intermediate Macroeconomics.
He has published dozens of articles and reviews in a variety of journals, including "Population Research and Policy Review," "International Journal of Social Economics," "Perspectives" and "The Christian Century," and he has also made numerous presentations at professional conferences. He has served as the managing editor of "Christian Scholar's Review" since 1994.
In 1996, "The Christian Century" received an "Award of Merit" from the Associated Church Press" for the article "Justice Among the Generations," which he wrote with Hope colleague Dr. Robin Klay. In 1993, the college's graduating class presented him with the 29th annual "Hope Outstanding Professor Educator" (H.O.P.E.) award.
In addition to his teaching, he has been involved in the life of the college in a variety of ways. Among other current activities, he serves as co-coordinator of his department of economics, management and accounting's Internship in Vocation program, which he helped develop; is faculty advisor of the college's chapter of the Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honorary society; and is on the coordinating committee of the Hope College Pew Society. His past activities include having developed and coordinated the mentoring program for students in the department of economics, management and accounting, and having served as faculty advisor of the college's chapter of Mortar Board.
He is in his 10th year on the board of trustees of the Holland Christian Schools, currently serving as president. He has participated in a variety of ministries at Park Christian Reformed Church, where his wife Suzie serves as director of adult ministries. His activities also include past service on the Compensation Committee of Christian Schools International.
Steen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in geography from Pennsylvania State University, a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts and doctorate in economics from Harvard University. His doctoral dissertation was on the economics of child care.
Ron and Donna Granger have four children and 13 grandchildren. Three of their children attended Hope, their eldest grandchild graduated from Hope in 2007, and three of their grandchildren and a grandnephew are attending Hope currently.
Ron and Donna have been longtime supporters of the college's annual Hope Fund. They also established the Ronald Keith and Donna Mae Granger Scholarship Fund at Hope in 2004. The scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance for deserving students with financial need, with preference given to graduating students from Lansing Christian High School.
Ron is co-chairman of the board of his family-owned business, Granger III & Associates. Granger is a leader in performing environmental management-related services; specifically in the area of solid-waste collection and disposal, recycling, composting and landfill gas-to-energy applications.
Ron and Donna are active in their church, Mt. Hope United Methodist in Lansing, as well as their private foundation which was established with Ron's two brothers and their wives in 1978.