Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is an American liberal arts university located in Allendale, Michigan. The university was established in 1960 and is situated on west of Grand Rapids. Classes are also offered at the university's growing Pew Campus in Downtown Grand Rapids, Meijer Campus in Holland, and through centers at Muskegon and Traverse City established in cooperation with local community colleges.
Currently, the university consists of eight colleges: The Seidman College of Business, College of Community and Public Services, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, College of Health Professions, Kirkhof College of Nursing, and the College of University-wide Interdisciplinary Initiatives. Grand Valley has baccalaureate program accreditation with AACSB, ABET, APTA, CSWE, NASAD, NASM, NCATE, and NLN.
During the 1970s, Grand Valley used a multiple college concept: "College of Arts and Sciences", "Thomas Jefferson College", "William James College", and "College IV". The academic programs were placed in divisions from 1982 to 2004. The modern incarnation of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences came from the merger of the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities and Science & Mathematics Divisions.
Grand Valley has four campuses; the main campus in Allendale and three satellite campuses in the surrounding area.
Interurban Transit Partnership operates several The Rapid bus routes under contract with the university. The public can ride these buses by paying the fare, but rides are free to Grand Valley students, faculty and staff on all Rapid routes while classes are in session. It has its own website on the GVSU domain.
This is the University's main campus, opened in 1960, and is the location of most of the university's programs. M-45
links the campus in rural Allendale to US 31
to the west and Grand Rapids, Michigan
to the east. The football stadium (Lubbers Stadium
) is located there as well as all other athletic facilities for the school's 19 varsity sports. The campus is dotted with many sculptures including Dale Eldred, Joseph Kinnebrew and James Clover
Pew Grand Rapids campus
The Pew Grand Rapids Campus is located in downtown Grand Rapids. It includes the Richard DeVos
Center, L.V. Eberhard Center, Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, The Depot (houses the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development headquarters), Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies
, Keller Engineering Laboratories, John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering, Peter F. Secchia
Hall (housing), Winter Hall (housing), and the Van Andel Global Trade Center
GVSU has three locations in Muskegon:
- Stevenson Center for Higher Education at Muskegon Community College, which offers several graduate and undergraduate programs.
- Lake Michigan Center, which houses the Annis Water Resources Institute.
- Michigan Alternative Renewable Energy Center.
Lake Michigan Center and Michigan Alternative Renewal Energy Center are located along Shoreline Drive in downtown Muskegon.
Grand Valley State supports 19 varsity teams in the following sports: baseball
, men's and women's basketball
, men's and women's cross country
, men's and women's golf
, women's soccer
, men's and women's swimming
, men's and women's tennis
, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track
, and women's volleyball
Since 2001, Grand Valley's athletic teams have won six national championships in three sports and have been national runners-up six times in six sports. GVSU has also won the prestigious National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup for NCAA Division II schools in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 after finishing second in 2002 and 2003. The cup is awarded to the top athletic programs based on overall team national finishes. Grand Valley is the first college east of the Mississippi River to win the Director's Cup for NCAA Division II.
Tim Selgo began serving as Grand Valley State's fifth athletic director in 1996. A promoter of a well-rounded athletic department, Selgo has been a key figure in the Lakers' rise to national prominence in NCAA Division II athletics.
The mascot is Louie the Laker. The official fight song is "GVSU Victory!"
National Championships (6)
- 2002: Football - NCAA Division II
- 2003: Football - NCAA Division II
- 2005: Football - NCAA Division II
- 2005: Women's Volleyball - NCAA Division II
- 2006: Women's Basketball - NCAA Division II
- 2006: Football - NCAA Division II
National Runners-up (8)
- 1977: Wrestling - NAIA
- 1978: Wrestling - NAIA
- 2001: Football - NCAA Division II
- 2002: Softball - NCAA Division II
- 2004: Baseball - NCAA Division II
- 2005: Women's Cross Country - NCAA Division II
- 2005: Women's Golf - NCAA Division II
- 2006: Women's Soccer - NCAA Division II
Club Sports National Championships (6)
- 2001: Wrestling - NCWA
- 2002: Wrestling - NCWA
- 2005: Men's Water Polo - CWPA-NCCC
- 2006: Wrestling - NCWA
- 2007: Wrestling - NCWA
- 2007: Dodgeball - NCDA
- 2008: Dodgeball - NCDA
Grand Valley State went to their first national title game in 2001, losing to the University of North Dakota
. They won their first Division II national championship in 2002 and their second in 2003. The team added a third national championship in 2005, finishing the season 13-0 and tying the NCAA record for most wins over a four year period with 51. They earned their fourth title in 2006, defeating Northwest Missouri State University
. In the 2007 season, GVSU broke the Division II record for most consecutive wins with 40. The previous record of 34 was set by Hillsdale College and had stood since 1957. On December 8th, 2007, the streak was broken by their post season rival Northwest Missouri State University
with a 34-16 loss. The current head football coach is Chuck Martin
The women's volleyball team won its first Division II National Championship in 2005 against host school Nebraska-Kearney in front of an NCAA D2 record crowd of 5,025 fans. The 2005 volleyball team is the first women's team to win a National Championship for the school. The Lakers ended their season with a 32-6 record. Coach Deanne Scanlon was voted the Tachikara/AVCA D2 National Coach of the Year for her efforts in guiding the Lakers. . The Lakers have a 20-6 overall record for the NCAA D2 Playoffs and are currently in a streak of 13 straight years with winning seasons.
The GVSU women's basketball team won their first NCAA Division II National Championship in the 2005-2006 season with a 58-52 win over American International College. The Lady Lakers finished with a school best 33-3 overall record, which included a win streak of 22 games, also a school record. The Lakers in the 04-05 season lost in the Elite Eight going 28-6 over-all. Coach Dawn Plitzuweit was voted the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year in 2005 and after the National Championship season was voted both the BCAM and the Molten/WDIIB National Coach of the Year. She was also honored by being selected as the USA Women's Basketball Trials Court Coach. In both the 04-05 and 05-06 campaigns the Lakers were led on the court by their two time All-American Nikki Reams.
The GVSU men's 2005-2006 basketball team had their outstanding season cut short when they were upset early in the NCAA D2 Regional Playoffs. GV men were ranked number four in the nation in the final poll heading into the playoffs. The men ended their season with a 27-4 mark and second year coach Ric Wesley was named the BCAM College Coach of the Year for his efforts. Ric has led the Lakers to a 45-14 record over his initial two years and it is the best two year total of any basketball coach in their first two years at GV.
In 1977 the men's basketball team reached the Final Four of the NAIA Division I tournament.
Men's ice hockey
GVSU has had a hockey team since the mid 70's. Since the NCAA
does not offer Division II ice hockey, GVSU participates in the American Collegiate Hockey Association and participates in the Great Midwest Hockey League
in 2006-2007, which has produced the ACHA
DII champion in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Beginning in 2006-2007, GVSU added ACHA
Division III team which competes in the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference
(MCHC). Grand Valley previously was a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Hockey Association
and was the GLIHA Tournament Champions in 2003 and placed second in 2005. The Lakers were invited to the ACHA DII National Championships in 2006/2007 for the first time in team history. They finished with a 1-1-1 record, good enough for #10 in the nation. Beginning in 2007, GVSU hosted an elite ACHA DII tournament featuring 10 of the top teams in the nation. The hockey team is not affiliated with the athletic department, but still maintains the third-highest average attendance of all GVSU sports (behind Football and Basketball).
The first Varsity sport at Grand Valley, GVSU now supports a successful coed club crew team
Each year, the team travels around the nation and world to compete against other top collegiate crew teams. In addition to facing storied crew teams such as Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, and many others. Each spring, GVSU hosts the Lubbers Cup Regatta on the Grand River in Grand Rapids. The cup is named for the former GVSU president, Arend Lubbers. The team has been successful in the past and took fifth in the Dad Vails points trophy in 2006, and second to Purdue in 2008. The top men's and women's Varsity Eight were competitors at the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta in England in June of 2008.
GVSU has a non-varsity wrestling team which has done well in National Collegiate Wrestling Association
nationals the past five years. The 2006 NCWA national championships, which were held March 3-4, 2006 at the Deltaplex, were hosted by GVSU. GVSU won the team championship with 188 points. The Lakers also won the team championship in 2001 and 2002.
The varsity women's soccer team ended the 2005 season with a GLIAC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. In 2006 the team was GLIAC co-champion and was ranked eighth in the nation at the end of the regular season. The Lakers returned to the NCAA Division II tournament and finished as national runner-up--the first women's soccer team from a four-year college in Michigan to be a national finalist.
Men's water polo
GVSU has a club water polo team which consistently competes for conference and National championships. They compete under the auspice of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. As of 2007, they have won 5 straight conference championships in the Great Lakes Division. In 2005 they won the National Championship by defeating Michigan State University at Williams College. In 2006, they were National Runner-ups, losing to Michigan State University 4-6 at Miami (OH) University.
The GVSU Men's Lacrosse team competes in Division 2 of the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA). In 2007 The Lakers finished 3rd losing to eventual conference champions Dayton University. In 2008 after a coaching change and structuring the program to run like a varsity program (although competing at a club level) the GVSU Men's Lacrosse team won the CCLA conference title and earned their first bid to play in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) national championship tournament featuring teams from throughout the US and Canada. The Lakers went into the championship tournament ranked 2nd in America and with a 18-0 record in MCLA play. After a first round bye the Lakers defeated Southwestern University, and were slotted to play a re-match against The University of St. Thomas (who the Lakers defeated earlier in the season by 1 in overtime) In Texas Stadium (Home of the Dallas Cowboys). The Lakers went on to win the game earning a spot to play in the MCLA Div. 2 National Championship game. The Lakers season ended with the first league loss of the season coming in the National Championship to Westminster University resulting in a 20-1 season. More information about the GVSU Men's Lacrosse program can be found at www.gvsulacrosse.com
The Department of Public Safety provides law enforcement services for the Allendale Campus. While the department is self-empowered to enforce its jurisdiction, officers are also deputized by the Ottawa County Sheriff
's Department. Because Allendale
doesn't have its own police department, the Grand Valley State University Police can handle cases anywhere in Ottawa County, mainly in Allendale and the area surrounding the campus. The Department of Public Safety also employs several students who assist the department by performing a variety of clerical and security based duties and services.
The department handles other security issues, such as parking and driving violations, community policing, and lost and found.
Allendale's fire department serves the campus.
Pew Campus Security handles security issues and contacts Grand Rapids police when necessary.
Special programs at Grand Valley include:
Gerald Ford Foundation
GVSU hosts the Gerald Ford
, which includes the Ford Memorial website
The university hosts several high-school level regional events throughout the year, including FIRST Robotics
and Science Olympiad
. Its Science Olympiad regional is the largest in the country.
The university owns and operates a PBS
, and AM and FM radio stations with the same call letters, which feature a mixture of jazz
, and news
, including local and NPR
The Grand Valley Lanthorn is the student-run newspaper, published on Mondays and Thursdays. Until the fall of 2006, the paper was only published once per week.
WCKS "The Whale" is the student-run radio station, broadcasting over the internet and on a soon to be announced FM channel.
GVBN is the student-run television station on channel 10 on the university cable system.
Grand Valley Comic Association is another outlet for creativity. Publishing twice a year and frequently on its website, the association produces a pulp comic of collective stories. All artwork, writing, editing, inking and lettering is collaborated by Grand Valley students.
University Libraries Mission
The Grand Valley State University Libraries serve as the information gateway for our community. Dedicated to providing quality service, fostering an informed citizenry, and supporting liberal education, the Libraries promote intellectual discovery, critical thinking, and lifelong learning.
The University Libraries offer dynamic and diverse opportunities for research, collaboration, and individual study. From three unique locations (Zumberge Library in Allendale and the Steelcase Library and Frey Foundation Learning Center in Grand Rapids), the Libraries serve the entire Grand Valley community. Each library’s collection is tailored to its location and the programs it serves,
with daily deliveries between sites.
Collectively, the libraries subscribe to over 70,000 journals and more than 250 online databases; they house 844,025 volumes, including150,000 electronic books. The GVSU Library is also a United States Government Depository.
The libraries provide a number of free services that support student research and increase student efficiency, including desktop delivery of journal articles across campuses, an interlibrary loan service that borrows materials from other institutions for our students’ use, and electronic course reserves for required class readings. Research help is available through email or chat, by phone, or in person at any of our three locations.
Grand Valley State University is depository for both United States and Michigan government documents. The library has been a selective depository in the Federal Depository Library Program since 1963 and currently receives approximately 44% of the documents distributed by the program.
Curriculum Materials Library (CML)
There are two Curriculum Materials Libraries—one in the DeVos Center downtown and another in Zumberge Library in Allendale. The two centers house current, high-quality instructional materials for preschool through grade twelve and provide spaces where education majors can preview resources, develop lesson plans, create media for the classroom, and try out teaching aides.
Seidman House on the Allendale Campus houses the University Archives, which include extensive collections of rare books and Michigan novels, the Harvey
Lemmen Collection on Lincoln and the Civil War, the Dorothy A. Johnson Philanthropy Center Special Collections, and the papers of acclaimed Michigan author Jim Harrison. Overlooking the ravine, Seidman House also offers quiet study during business hours.
Grand Valley State University Digital Collections database contains a selection of photographs, correspondence, diaries, interviews, and publications from the holdings of the Libraries’ Special Collections & University Archives, and other University entities. This resource makes unique or rare materials from GVSU collections available electronically to students, faculty, administrators, researchers, and the general public. This project is a work-in-progress. Collections are added as they become available.
In 1969, the Grand Valley Lanthorn
, the student-run newspaper on campus, printed an issue containing several vulgarities and obscenities. After complaints from some at Grand Valley State College and the surrounding communities, the Ottawa County, Michigan
, sheriff arrested the editor, and the prosecutor closed down the newspaper office. The university—then a college—sued the sheriff and prosecutor for closing the Lanthorn offices. Eventually, Michigan's Attorney General settled the case out of court, ruling in favor of Grand Valley State College.
In 1970, shortly after the shootings at Kent State University, Ohio, Vietnam War protests intensified on campus. In response, President Lubbers closed the college for three days to have discussions on what the college should do. A public forum was held in the college's fieldhouse, which was attended by a vast majority of the Grand Valley community. Everyone was granted five minutes to speak, but by the end of the day, only the most radical of students remained, who demanded that the college be shut down for the rest of the year in protest. President Lubbers refused to discuss that option, which brought chants of "Power to the People". The situation was ended by President Lubbers when he met with the leaders of the radical students, and explained to them that the power over the university does not rest with students, but with the administration and board, and both of those bodies refused to close the college for the rest of the year.
In 1994, a student organization founded early that academic year, The Harpoon, publishing the eponymous and self-described humor rag, printed an ersatz letter from GVSU President Arend Lubbers to the president of Western Michigan University declaring war on WMU. Despite being an obvious hoax, Student Senate suspended The Harpoon's funding citing unauthorized use of the university logo. The Harpoon's members spearheaded a political takeover of Student Senate that year in an effort to have their funding reinstated. After three years, the HARPOON ceased publication.
In 2001, the reversal of then-president Arend Lubbers' stated intention to offer benefits to same-sex partners of GVSU employees was met with protest from some faculty and students, and accusations of homophobia and undue influence by major donors to the college. The point was made moot shortly thereafter by a state law lobbied for by those same donors, outlawing such benefits from any governmental subsidiary or institution receiving tax dollar support.
In 2005, College Republicans group sponsored an affirmative action bake sale by charging different prices based on the person's race and gender (with lower prices for members of suspect classes). This prompted criticism and even accusations of racism from many students and faculty, and resulted in the Student Senate voting to cut off funding for the organization for the remainder of the semester, and the organization voting to remove from office their president (Kyle Rausch) and vice president, who were responsible for the activity.
In 2006, Michigan voters adopted Proposal 06-2 ("Prop 2") which adopted an amendment to the Constitution of Michigan that effectively banned race- and gender-based Affirmative Action programs with 57.96% of the vote. Even though both candidates for governor in the 2006 election opposed Proposal 2's adoption, the voters passed Prop 2 with a margin that was larger than the governor's race itself. Immediately following its passage, President Thomas J. Haas issued an e-mail letter to the Grand Valley State University community, saying that the passage of Prop 2 was a mistake, and that it should and would be challenged in court - creating a minor controversy in his first official month in office.
In popular culture