FORD, MILTON E., 72, professor of liberal studies at Grand Valley and founding director of the university's LGBT Resource Center, died March 19, 2014 after a long battle with cancer.
Ford joined Grand Valley's faculty in 1973 and celebrated receiving his 40-year service award in December. A compassionate teacher and lifelong researcher, Ford will best be remembered for leading efforts to integrate the LGBT community with university academics and its student life.
Ford served as faculty advisor to Out N About, Grand Valley's gay/straight student alliance, and as a trainer for Allies and Advocates. He earned a doctoral degree in English from Oklahoma State University, and a master's of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ford, author of three books, recently helped write a chapter for a book, "Expanding the Circle: Creating an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education for LGBTQ Students and Studies," which will be published this fall by SUNY Press.
Ford is survived by his partner, Gary Van Harn; a son, David Ford; daughter-in-law, Lisa; grandsons, Miles and Louis; sister, Ruth Bowman; and brother, Bob Ford.
Published by Courier-Journal on Mar. 23, 2014.