David Provost, a 1976 graduate of Alma College and a leader in the Michigan banking industry for more than 30 years, will return to his alma mater to deliver the 2016 commencement address.
Commencement for approximately 340 graduation candidates takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23 in the Hogan Center, Art Smith Arena. A baccalaureate service precedes graduation at 10:30 a.m. in Dunning Memorial Chapel.
Provost has filled executive roles for several Michigan-based banks, including Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit (now known as Comerica Bank), The Bank of Bloomfield Hills and The Private Bank of Michigan. He currently is chairman and chief executive officer of Talmer Bank and Trust, located in Troy, Mich.
“Throughout his career, Dave Provost has demonstrated a genuine commitment to community-focused service, such as enabling someone to buy a first home or expand a business,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “In his various leadership roles, he has implemented strategies that have saved hundreds of jobs and rejuvenated local economies across the Midwest.
“In addition, Dave is a valued friend of the college who has provided wise counsel as a past member and chair of our Board of Trustees,” says Abernathy. “We are proud of Dave’s accomplishments, and I’m delighted that he will speak to our graduating seniors.”
Banking has been in Provost’s blood since graduating from Alma. The son of missionaries, Provost was born in South Korea and grew up in his father’s church in Mackinaw City.
“Alma gave me the liberal arts base that you need to be able to go in 10 different directions,” he said in a story that appeared in the Alma Accents magazine. “I had no idea I would go into banking when I graduated but took my first job with Manufacturers National Bank of Detroit. After three years with Manufacturers, I told my mentor that I wanted to be a bank president. I was provided the skills and opportunities at Alma to pursue that goal.”
He has received numerous honors and recognitions through the years. He was named a Newsmaker of the Year in 2010 by Crain’s Detroit Business magazine and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 by Ernst and Young. He also received the 2007 Yeshiva Beth Yehudah Outstanding Leadership Award.
As an active member of the community, he serves on the Board of Directors for The RESTORE Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Economic Club, and the Eastern Michigan University College of Business, as well as on the advisory boards for Partners in Torah and Presbyterian Village.
Throughout the years, he also has maintained his ties to his alma mater. He served on the Alma College Board of Trustees from 1994 through 2013 and filled a three-year term as Board chair. To honor the memory of his father, he established the Raymond Provost Endowed Scholarship at Alma College to assist the children of Presbyterian and Methodist pastors as well as students active in their church youth groups.
Provost was awarded on Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Alma College in 2012 and is a past recipient of the college’s Outstanding Alumnus award. He earned his MBA from Eastern Michigan University and graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Banking.