By the end of this week, the Olivet School of Business will adopt the name “McGraw,” in tribute to CEO and Olivet graduate, Mick McGraw.
Of Olivet’s six main schools, only one thus far—The Walker School of Engineering—has been named to honor an alumnus of the university. University president, Dr. John Bowling, believes that the practice of renaming the schools to honor these graduates is “a way of saying thank you that puts a personality on embodying a concept.”
This was previously done with Martin Walker, the alumnus whose name is now carried by the School of Engineering. Dr. Bowling said Walker “was invested in our engineering program and also embodied both professional and personal qualities that we try to instill in students.”
The same goes for McGraw, who graduated from the university in 1972. He has since found success as president and CEO of Eastbrook Homes in Grand Rapids, MI. The company motto, as stated on their website, is “Always More Home for the Money.”
McGraw’s abilities as a businessman played a part in the university’s choice to rename the school for him, but it also stemmed from his investment in philanthropic projects. “[McGraw] sends inner-city kids to camp—he does all kinds of stuff, most of it behind the scenes that people don’t know about,” Dr. Bowling said. “But he has also invested in Olivet across the years as well.”
Dr. Glen Rewerts, Dean of the business department, also credits the renaming to McGraw’s strong relationships with the campus faculty, especially with Dr. Bowling.
“Dr. Bowling, I believe, has been the key individual in facilitating this change on campus,” Rewerts said.
Some may wonder why having a name attached to the department is so important.
“I think it will raise the profile of the School of Business, in that it validates that for years—decades—Olivet has been equipping individuals for lives of success and significance,” Dr. Bowling said, as well as “establishing an ongoing relationship with a successful businessman.”
A bronze plaque currently hangs in Weber, in anticipation of October 4th, when the School will be renamed in McGraw’s honor. A transcription of the plaque can be seen above.
Dr. Bowling plans to announce the decision to the Board of Trustees at their meeting this Tuesday, introducing McGraw and his wife. McGraw will be meeting with business students as well. The public campus announcement will come the next day during chapel services, followed by a short renaming ceremony in the Weber Center lobby. Rewerts will speak at the ceremony, as will a few students from the school of business. An invitation to attend is extended to all students and faculty, even those outside of the business department.