2016 GRCC Emeritus Award

Walter Lockwood

Professor Walter Lockwood taught writing, film and literature at Grand Rapids Community College from 1965 to 2001. During that time, he was adviser to the college's literary magazine and received two Curriculum Innovation Awards.

"Generations of students have benefited from Walt Lockwood's knowledge and passion for good writing," said President Dr. Steven C. Ender. "Grand Rapids Community College is the richer for his service."

Lockwood's teaching helped shape generations of excellent writers and analytical thinkers. His students benefited from the wide range of his writing experience. Over his career, he has written:

  • a novel, Jones Unbound.
  • an HBO feature film, "Finnegan, Begin Again."
  • a PBS documentary, "Dyslexia, the Hidden Disability."

For the 2014-15 celebration of GRCC's 100th anniversary, Lockwood wrote a history of the college: Open Door: Grand Rapids Junior/Community College 1914-2014. He spent more than 50 hours interviewing past administrators and faculty members for this work and recorded them in a video archive for the college. 

He then collaborated with Jim Schafer, GRCC's coordinator of media events and television broadcasting, on a stage version of his work. Open Door, featuring original compositions by the music department, was performed in November 2014.

"Walter's skill and generosity created a unique centerpiece for our 100-year celebration," Ender said. "He has preserved not only the history of GRCC, but the voices of our alumni, faculty and staff -- everyone who has helped us become the institution we are today."

Lockwood was honored as part of GRCC’s 2016 commencement at the Van Andel Arena.