11 months ago

25th Anniversary Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Donor publication
  • Vai
  • Highlights of hope
  • Spring summer
  • 25th anniversary
  • Medical mile
  • Grand rapids
  • Van andel institute
  • Vaiorg
  • Epigenetics
  • Michigan
  • Scientific
  • Scientists
This is the 25th anniversary edition of Highlights of Hope, published in Fall 2021.

25 Years at Van Andel

25 Years at Van Andel Institute: A Timeline 1996 Jay and Betty Van Andel share a vision for a hub of scientific discovery VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS JAY & BETTY VAN ANDEL Van Andel Institute could have been built anywhere in the world. There were many, in fact, who pushed for it to be located closer to established biomedical research centers and universities in Michigan and elsewhere. But VAI Founder Jay Van Andel knew that the right place was Grand Rapids, Michigan — the community that gave his family a life full of hope and happiness, and the place that he called home. Jay Van Andel envisioned the creation of an independent institute that would embrace innovative approaches to biomedical research and science education. He wanted to develop a network of collaborations with organizations stretching across the world, starting right here in West Michigan. His wife and VAI Co-Founder Betty Van Andel especially believed in the importance of including education opportunities within the fledgling Institute. As a former teacher, she was integral in inspiring Van Andel Institute for Education to help provide a foundation for the children of future generations to follow and realize their dreams. Following the Van Andels’ vision, VAI was built in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, at the south end of Belknap Hill. The landmark achievement fueled the creation of a hub for scientific discovery and advancements in human health. 4 1996

1996 David Van Andel becomes chairman and CEO A burgeoning organization needs a steadfast leader, and David Van Andel fit the bill to a tee. One of four children of VAI Co-Founders Jay and Betty Van Andel, David Van Andel stepped into his role as chairman and CEO with gusto. He appointed architect James P. Gray to serve as project manager for the construction of Phase I of the Institute, and worked hand in hand with Gray to scour proposals from architectural design firms around the world. A long-time entrepreneur in the natural and life science products industry, Van Andel has a propensity for embodying the hope and innovation that drive VAI’s mission to improve lives and enhance health. He is an active presence in VAI’s philanthropic endeavors alongside his wife, Carol Van Andel, executive director of the David and Carol Van Andel Family Foundation. He can be found engaging with scientists, donors and educators at the Institute, particularly at signature events such as the Hope on the Hill Gala and Winterfest Celebration. David Van Andel was born in Grand Rapids, and he and Carol have four children. He played a prominent role in bringing professional hockey back to Grand Rapids in 1996 and is co-owner and chairman of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the city’s American Hockey League team. Even with his multitude of responsibilities at VAI, Van Andel is active in numerous business, cultural and community organizations, including The Right Place Program, the Hope College Board of Trustees and The Economic Club of Grand Rapids. He is also currently a member of Amway’s Board of Directors and serves on its Executive, Governance and Audit committees. (CLOCKWISE, STARTING AT TOP LEFT) DAVID VAN ANDEL; JAY, DAVID & CAROL VAN ANDEL; FORMER PRESIDENT GERALD R. FORD & JAY & DAVID VAN ANDEL What’s in a name? Since our founding, Van Andel Institute has used many variations of our name to describe our many evolving facets and areas of expertise. Over time, however, we realized that to make a clear, lasting impact, we needed to unify the image that we present to the world: one organization made up of many parts, all working together to improve health and enhance lives. In 2019, we adopted the practice of utilizing Van Andel Institute to encompass all components of our organization. We still designate our areas of expertise as appropriate when helpful, but our unity under a single name brings an added level of strength to our image, work and impact. Van Andel Institute comprises the following entities: • Van Andel Institute for Research (no longer Van Andel Research Institute) • Van Andel Institute for Education (no longer Van Andel Education Institute) • Van Andel Institute Graduate School Please note: For legal purposes, such as applying for grants or other funding, our organization name remains Van Andel Research Institute. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE | 25 YEARS 1996 5

Publications by Year