Office of Alumni Engagement

Mark Lavengood

My hometown when I was a student was:

Comstock Park, MI

I graduated from Alma in:


I studied:

Spanish and International Business Administration

I currently live in:

Grand Rapids, MI

I am now:

Entrepreneur and career musician.

Since graduating from Alma:

I have worked a number of different jobs until I became a full-time, performing musician. I now tour regionally throughout Michigan with the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! and throughout the country and as of late, internationally, with Nashville-based, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys.

My Alma education:

connected me with some of my closest friends to this day. The campus life in conjunction with the opportunities to study abroad really prepared me for living a life of discovery while traveling on the road.

My favorite place(s) on campus included:

The Heritage Center and the Rec Center. I spent most of my days in those buildings playing sports, working out, and playing music with my Alma College friends.

My favorite professor(s) included:

Robert Cunningham (even though Economics was NOT one of my favorite topics!), Brit Cartrite (what a dude! I’m now recalling lessons on fatherhood I gleaned while we travelled through Scotland back in ’07)! Ron Lemmon was pretty great at business as well! However, one of my absolute favorites would have to be Dave Zerbe. If it weren’t for the friendships I made through the many performing ensembles he directs, I might not be on my path as a career musician. It’s great too, because we still keep in touch on the Michigan music circuit! That being said, it really is a hard thing to do, picking your favorite Alma teacher. I never had any issues with any of my professors while in college!

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is:

Playing live with the Alma College Percussion Ensemble.

How Alma has helped with my current plan/job/graduate school/etc.:

At Alma, I studied Spanish and Business and played music for fun. Now I’m a professional musician and I am utilizing the knowledge I acquired at Alma toward my music career! Furthermore, so much of my work is networking (what isn’t, right?)! The social skill sets I honed at Alma set me on course to seize all opportunities that would come later down the line.

Advice I would give a new graduate:

Take advantage of the performing arts while you’re at Alma - they’re all FANTASTIC! Also - study abroad, it’s such an incredible opportunity for self-discovery.