Miles Postema, Ferris State University’s vice president and general counsel, believes higher education can transform lives.
He’s seen it firsthand. He attended what was then Grand Rapids Junior College as a first-generation college student because it was affordable and allowed him to live at home and continue working.
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“All of my credit hours transferred seamlessly to Western Michigan University, and I was able to complete my degree in four years, which was important to me,” Postema said. “I was able to obtain my degree with little or no debt due to the reasonable cost of the coursework at GRCC and the financial support of my parents.
“While I was confident that I would succeed in college, starting at GRCC lessened the risk and cost of failing had it not worked out the way I planned.”
Postema went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in finance from WMU, a law degree from Wayne State University and a Master of Science in Taxation from Grand Valley State University.
His legal career began in 1987 at Warner Norcross & Judd, where he specialized in employment law. He later was a partner at Tolley VandenBosch Walton Korolewicz & Brengle before joining FSU in 2000 as deputy general counsel.
He also served on the Rockford Public Schools Board of Education for 17 years.
“It turned out that the combination of public higher education and law was a very good fit for me, and then even more so when I was appointed to the Rockford Public Schools Board of Education,” Postema said. “I have always believed in the transformative power of public higher education, particularly for first-generation college students, and working in a legal role at Ferris seems to be the best of both worlds for me.”
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