This scholarship is named in honor of Jean Enright for her seventeen years of service to Grand Valley State University as Executive Assistant to both presidents Lubbers and Murray. In this role and in others, Jean Enright exemplified how an intelligent and gifted woman can make significant change happen. She has been devoted to education and service her whole life. She personifies what a mentor is – a wise counselor and teacher. Providing this scholarship in her name secures her legacy for generations at Grand Valley State University.
Long before she came to GVSU, she was a widely respected educator and member of the Grand Rapids community. Like so many women, Jean understood that education could change people’s lives. From her time as a classroom teacher, through her rise in administration, and finally to the University, she has never lost sign of the principle that education is the key to personal growth and societal change.
Jean’s constant generosity of her time and talents is remarkable. She guides others to envision their dreams and then mentors them to success, offering advice and championing causes. She readily gives credit to others yet eschews it for herself. Her unassuming spirit in all these activities provides an important model for anyone who works with her.
Jean has made significant community contributions through her service and board membership. Among the organizations that have benefited are the Michigan Women’s Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the West Michigan Academy of Music for Girls, the YWCA, and the American Red Cross. In addition, Jean served the community widely as chair and co-chair of the GVSU United Way Campaign for seventeen years. During that time, she helped raise almost 2 million dollars for a variety of local non-profit agencies.
In many circles Jean has been recognized – both formally and informally – as a woman who has made a difference by modeling leadership success. For these contributions, she was the recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute Award (2000) and the keynote speaker for the Women’s Resource Center Women of E-Quality Award Ceremony (2004).
All recipients of the Jean Enright Scholarship will reflect her commitment to education and her spirit of community service – a fitting tribute for a woman who has blended both with passion and grace.