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25th Anniversary Highlights of Hope

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  • Donor publication
  • Vai
  • Highlights of hope
  • Spring summer
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  • Epigenetics
  • Michigan
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This is the 25th anniversary edition of Highlights of Hope, published in Fall 2021.

Van Andel Institute

Van Andel Institute Board Members Van Andel Institute Board of Trustees Van Andel Research Institute Board of Trustees Van Andel Education Institute Board of Trustees David Van Andel Chairman & CEO, Van Andel Institute David Van Andel Chairman & CEO, Van Andel Institute David Van Andel Chairman & CEO, Van Andel Institute VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS Joan Budden Former President & CEO, Priority Health John Kennedy President & CEO, Autocam Medical Mark Meijer Founder & President, Life EMS Ambulance Tom R. DeMeester, M.D. Professor & Chairman Emeritus, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California James B. Fahner, M.D. Chief of Hematology & Oncology, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Michelle Le Beau, Ph.D. Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology; Director, University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center; Director, Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory, University of Chicago Max Wicha, M.D. Distinguished Professor of Oncology; Professor, Department of Internal Medicine; Founding Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center James E. Bultman, Ed.D. President Emeritus, Hope College Susan Keipper Meell CEO, MMS Education Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D. Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University; President Emeritus, Aquinas College Teresa Weatherall Neal, Ed.D. (hon) Former Superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools 2

A letter from David Van Andel Dear friends, As we celebrate Van Andel Institute’s 25th anniversary this year, we look back on a world that was a much different place in 1996 than it is today. Moviegoers were flocking to “Fargo.” A sheep named Dolly was the first mammal to be successfully cloned. A gallon of gas went for a buck and a quarter. Interest rates hovered around 8%. During that same timespan, we’ve grown by amazing leaps and bounds here at VAI. And you, as our faithful and dedicated supporters, have been integral to all our accomplishments leading up to our Silver Anniversary. Looking back, it’s clear that this Institute is a product of the passion and perseverance of its founders, my parents Jay and Betty Van Andel, and the countless others who have stood with us over the last quarter-century. VAI has been nurtured by the work ethic that defines West Michigan and sustained by the generous hearts in this community and beyond. Our Institute, though relatively young compared to others like it, has made such exceptional advances in a comparably short amount of time, and I am excited to see the advances that will be made in the next 25 years. From the outset, we insisted on excellence at every juncture, starting with the hire of our founding research director, the late Dr. George Vande Woude. From humble beginnings, we’ve grown our research programs to cancer epigenetics, neurodegenerative science, cell biology, structural biology, and metabolism and nutritional programming. We’re also both humbled and proud to celebrate our esteemed educational programs, which survived and thrived even amid challenging circumstances. In serving everyone from kindergarteners to graduate students seeking advanced degrees, we have widened and strengthened our reach and impact on a world in need of science more than ever. I can’t help but smile as I wonder how my parents would react if they could see what their vision has sparked. In a way, I don’t think they’d be too surprised, because they had such stalwart faith in the people of Grand Rapids and West Michigan to support endeavors like ours — ones that reach out to benefit others, today and for generations to come. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS My hope is that over our next 25 years, we will progress ever closer to understanding and overcoming cancer, Parkinson’s and other illnesses that affect too many. With your continued support, I’m confident we will reach our goal. Gratefully, David Van Andel Van Andel Institute Chairman & CEO 3

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