GVSU to hold memorial service for professor emeritus

By Tasman Mattox | 1/10/18 9:27pm

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GVL / Courtesy - gvsu.edu Robert Mayberry

Later this week, Grand Valley State University will honor a former faculty member who passed away Dec. 8, 2017. Robert Mayberry was a philosophy and communications professor who started at GVSU in 1971. The memorial service is set to take place Friday, Jan. 12, at 3:30 p.m. in the Cook-DeWitt Center on the Allendale Campus.

“I think it’s accurate to say he was the philosophical center of the School of Communications,” said Alex Nesterenko, a GVSU communications professor. He worked closely with Mayberry throughout their shared time at GVSU. Mayberry was one of the leaders behind the process of building the School of Communications in the 1980s. 

“It was through his insights we created a School of Communications,” Nesterenko said. “For me, he was that kind of a leader.” 

Nesterenko spoke fondly of Mayberry and his legacy at the university, and said Mayberry was very involved with the faculty senate. 

“He was identified by President Lubbers as the conscience of Grand Valley,” Nesterenko said. “He was essentially very (involved) in faculty governance, and he had a major impact on what was going on from when he came to the very end.” 

Beyond simply having an effect on the campus, Mayberry made an impact on his students. In fact, Nesterenko said Mayberry's influence on the students he taught was profound.

“The big achievement he had with students was to get them to be as self-reflective as possible and consider what they’re doing,” Nesterenko said. “He didn’t just pontificate: He actually got students to self-examine. That’s unusual even now.”

The memorial service will consist of a short service followed by time to speak with Mayberry's family.

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