Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer

Trustees Approve Appointees to Foundation Board of Directors, Naming for Campus Facilities

Ferris State UniversityAt its regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 13, Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved three alumni appointees to The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors. Trustees also approved a new College of Business bachelor’s degree program, naming for facilities and more during their afternoon meeting in Big Rapids.

Arlen-Dean Gaddy, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Emily (Cramer) Hancock, of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Dr. Alton Smith, of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan are the three appointees to The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors.

Gaddy, a Chicago native, came to Grand Rapids as a child and attended Grand Rapids Public Schools. Gaddy, who attended Ferris, later graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Operations and Production Management. He serves as director of market strategy for Erhardt Construction, a $75 million Michigan-based company. Gaddy is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and is a contributor on several community organizations, including serving Make-A-Wish Michigan, as committee-chair; Inner City Christian Federation, as board vice-chair; Grand Rapids Rotary, as a member; Hope College Parent Council, as chair; and South Christian High School, as a board member. Gaddy has been married to Sandra Gaddy for 28 years. They are the parents of three adult children, Marissa, Garrison and Angelique.

Hancock is a 1976 Ferris graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. She later earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1992. Currently, she serves as an academy member of the National Academy of State Health Policy’s Prescription Drug Cost Workgroup. Among her awards and honors, Hancock was named Indiana Hospital Pharmacist of the Year, in 1995, and in 2007 received a Ferris Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2006, Hancock and her late husband, Bruce G. Hancock, established the Cramer Family Endowment at Ferris. The endowment has grown to include the Alfred S. Cramer scholarship, for students of accountancy in the College of Business; the W.D. Cramer scholarship, for College of Pharmacy students; the W.D. Cramer scholarship, for science educators in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education; and an unrestricted fund to support faculty development in the College of Pharmacy and the Michigan College of Optometry.

Smith graduated with honors from Ferris, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Nuclear Medicine with a minor in Pre-Medicine. Later, he attended Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree in 2000. Smith was born in Jamaica, as the second of three siblings, and was raised in Detroit. He attended Detroit’s Edwin Denby High School. He would later join the U.S. Army Medical Corps where he served as a combat medic during the Middle East Gulf War conflict. He is a board-certified radiologist at William Beaumont Hospital Grosse Pointe and a clinical professor at Oakland University’s School of Medicine. Smith and his wife of 19 years, Dr. Wontika Smith, have a son and daughter, Alton II and Saniyah.

Trustees approved a new Bachelor of Science in Project Management. The degree was developed after increased enrollment in the existing certificate program and student interest in a bachelor’s program. The degree will have a broad-based approach to distinguish it from competing industry-specific offerings.

“The bachelor’s degree in Project Management is a natural addition to the current program offerings in the College of Business,” said Paul Blake, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “While the new B.S. in Project Management will use some of the courses offered in Ferris’s Certificate in Project Management, new PM courses in agile project management will provide greater depth and breadth for students pursuing a career as a Certified Project Management Professional.”

The university plans to begin enrolling students in the new program in Fall 2020.

In other action, the trustees approved:

  • renaming the Card Wildlife Education Center as the “Card/Riley Conservation and Wildlife Education Center.” The facility will be the permanent home of The Riley Collection, which includes animal mounts, trophies, artifacts and artwork assembled by the late George Riley. Riley passed away in January 2018, leaving Leonard Kruszewski as executor of the George F. Riley Estate. In October 2019, Ferris received a gift from the estate of real property, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, valued at $1.1 million. This home will be sold and proceeds used to support the enhancement and expansion of the renamed Card/Riley Conservation and Wildlife Education Center, located on the Big Rapids campus;

  • renaming the practices laboratory, in the Granger Center for Construction and HVACR, as the “William J. Pulte Construction Practices Lab,” effective immediately. The Pulte Family Charitable Foundation recently made a gift of $1 million to The Ferris Foundation in memory of William J. Pulte and in support of the Construction Technology and Management program; and

  • contract reauthorization for Northridge Academy, in Flint, Michigan, and four appointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies;

The trustees are chair Amna P. Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; vice-chair Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Grand Rapids; secretary Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; member-at-large Lori A. Gwizdala, of Bay City; Robert J. Hegbloom, of Clarkston; Kurt A. Hofman, of Grand Rapids; Kari L. Sederburg, of East Lansing; and LaShanda R. Thomas, of Grosse Pointe.

The next regular meeting of the Board is Friday, Feb. 21 in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 10 a.m., followed by the 11 a.m. full board meeting.