GRCC honors Dirk Hoffius with Distinguished Alumnus Award



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 18, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A lawyer with an impressive commitment to serving others is Grand Rapids Community College's 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.

Dirk Hoffius, an attorney with Varnum LLP, attended what was then Grand Rapids Junior College from 1962-63. He received a bachelor's degree from Colgate University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He served as a trustee for the Grand Rapids Bar Association and on the State Bar of Michigan's Crossroads Task Force on Judicial Reform. He is also a past chairman of the State Bar's Probate and Estate Planning Council. 

His devotion to his profession is evident in the honors he's received from the legal community, which include a listing among The Best Lawyers in America® for trusts and estates since 1989 and serving as a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1988. 

His passion for improving Grand Rapids and serving the people who call it home can be seen in the Downtown Market, the Salvation Army Kroc Center, the UICA and many other much-loved institutions. 

His community service includes memberships on the boards for the Downtown Market, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens, the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. He worked on the capital campaign committees for the UICA and the Kroc Center, and was a member of Kendall College of Art and Design's board of trustees from 1982 to 1991, serving as chairman from 1987 to 1989.

The Council of Michigan Foundations recognized his commitment to service with the 2013 Community Foundation Philanthropy Award.

"Dirk Hoffius has made his mark in his profession and throughout the Grand Rapids area through his public service," said GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. "We are proud to honor him as a Distinguished Alumnus!"

Hoffius' community involvement began shortly after he started with Varnum in 1969 -- and it hasn't stopped since. He shared his reasons in a Varnum publication:

"You have three choices in life: You can make things happen; you can watch things happen; or you can wonder, 'Hey, what in the world happened?' Do it. Get it done. Turn your energy into plans, actions, and deeds."

Hoffius will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award as part of GRCC’s commencement, which will take place at 7 p.m. April 29 in the Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton St. W. The award honors those who have earned at least 30 credit hours at the college, have made substantial contributions to the good of their fellow beings, and have served as a positive motivational force for others.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.