Great Things Newsletter

The Impact of One ...

Brian Cloyd and Agnes Kempker-Cloyd
Brian Cloyd '73, '76 and
Agnes Kempker-Cloyd '73, '77

Cloyds met at U of D, now are boosters for UDM

It has been 40 years since Brian Cloyd and Agnes (Aggie) Kempker-Cloyd graduated from U of D with history degrees, but they recently renewed ties to the University guided by a desire to “pay it forward” for others to earn a college degree that blends ethics with education.

By committing financial resources to UDM along with Brian’s involvement as an advisor to the College of Liberal Arts & Education, the Cloyds are opening the doors for others to succeed. They especially value their learned ability to solve issues though thoughtful listening and deliberation, and civil communication – a tenant of the Jesuit-Mercy education.

Brian, who earned degrees from U of D in 1973 and 1976, is vice president for Global Community Relations for Steelcase, Inc. Aggie, who is also a double degree  graduate from U of D in 1973 and 1977, is now an attorney for the Justice Department in the Western District of Michigan. She previously was a district attorney. Both are active in giving back to the Grand Rapids community.

The Cloyds’ career success is balanced by an equally rewarding family life. They met at U of D orientation, married after earning their history degrees and now have two grown sons, Barrett and Brandon.

The Cloyds believe in lifelong learning. “The world is changing so quickly, if you don’t upgrade your hard skills, you will be left behind,” Brian says. “Soft skills are equally as important – collaboration, team-building, organizing, planning and leadership.”

Aggie notes that her college education helped her develop critical thinking skills. “All the professors encouraged students to question things and not just accept what we’ve learned, read or heard."

“The world is changing so quickly, if you don't upgrade your hard skills, you will be left behind. Soft skills are equally as important—collaboration, team-building, organizing, planning and leadership.”

—Brian Cloyd '73, '76

In this time of heightened tension in politics, Aggie is impressed by those who can “respectfully listen to different opinions” – a trait embedded in a UDM education.

Brian notes that he uses principles taught in college everyday – to analyze, think and question. He adds, “We should all be students of history. All of today’s issues have roots in history; the solutions are there.“

Aggie received an Insignus Scholarship, which provided full tuition. She credits that opportunity as a building block to her success in college and as a lawyer.

“There is still a critical need for scholarship,” Aggie says. “Even more so today because of the economy. There’s a sense of hopelessness. Students need to be inspired and learn good thinking skills. Contributing to the University helps achieve this.”