The Aquinas College community joins West Michigan in mourning the death of philanthropist and business leader Peter Sturrus, who died on November 27, 2022. He was 89.
"Peter and his wife Carolyn played a deeply influential role in the growth of Aquinas over the years," said President Alicia Córdoba, D.M.A. "It is with deep gratitude that we celebrate his full life and devotion to God while reflecting on his truly remarkable contributions to our campus and the community."
Peter graduated from Aquinas with a degree in business in 1977 as a working adult. He sought his degree at the suggestion of his employer who saw great potential in the young employee. In the fall of 2021, Peter shared, "I started attending Aquinas because they offered the night courses that I could take to get my business degree while working 50 hours a week." Peter went on to a highly successful career as the president and chairman of Shape Corp., a tier-one automotive and industrial component supplier. Aquinas College presented Peter with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2011.
The Sturruses gave generously for over 40 years to a number of areas at the College. Peter and Carolyn were recognized for their transformational gifts to the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center in 2010, and more recently, the Peter and Carolyn Sturrus Atrium in the newly renovated Albertus Magnus Hall of Science. Speaking at the dedication ceremony for Albertus Hall, Peter said, "The good Lord has blessed us and we want to bring honor to Him which is why we give. We are thankful we can do this."
Peter, alongside Carolyn, was passionate about supporting faith-based education. He has said,"We want to see more students interested in a good faith-based education. I would like to see generation after generation having this advantage."
Close friend and Aquinas College Chancellor Emerita Sr. Mary Aquinas Weber, O.P. remembered Peter, "Aquinas is a better place because of Peter Sturrus. His legacy will forever be a part of our community."