Grand Valley State University is an American university. Allendale, Michigan is home to Grand Valley's main campus, established in 1960, situated on 1,237 acres 12 miles west of Grand Rapids. Classes are also offered at the university's Pew Campus in Grand Rapids, Meijer Campus in Holland, and through centers at Muskegon and Traverse City established in cooperation with local community colleges.


As of July 2006:

  • 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
  • College of University-wide Interdisciplinary Initiatives

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.

Allendale campusEdit

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 S 31 to the west and Grand Rapids, Michigan to the east. The football stadium (Lubbers Stadium) is located here as well as all other athletic facilities for the school's 19 varsity sports.

Pew Grand Rapids campusEdit

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), Keller Engineering Laboratories, Peter F. Secchia Hall (housing), and Winter Hall (housing).

Muskegon campusEdit

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.
    • The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) is the first fully integrated demonstration facility for distributed generation of electricity using alternative and renewable energy technologies in the United States.

Lake Michigan Center and Michigan Alternative Renewal Energy Center are located along Shoreline Drive in downtown Muskegon.

Holland Meijer campusEdit

The Meijer Campus in Holland houses continuing education programs. The land was donated to the university by the Meijer family. A Meijer store is located nearby.


Grand Valley has two carillons.

  • Beckering Family Carillon (2000): Located in the Pew Campus, adjacent to the Steelcase Library.
  • Cook Carillon (1994): Located on the Main Allendale Campus, near Kirkhof Center and Cook-DeWitt Center.


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.

The Rapid bus to the downtown (Grand Rapids) campus is numbered the "50", while another bus, the "37", takes students to off-campus apartment buildings. This bus was originally numbered the "36", which has led to a petition by several Grand Valley students to get the number changed back to its original "36".


Grand Valley supports 19 Varsity teams in the following sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track, and women's volleyball. Grand Valley Athletics has recently enjoyed great success with three team (volleyball, women's basketball, and football) and several individual Division II National Championships in 2005-06. GVSU's athletic program has also won the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 after finishing second the two previous years (2002 & 2003). The Director's Cup is awarded to the top athletic program in each NCAA division based on team overall finishes. Grand Valley is the first NCAA DII school east of the Mississippi to win this prestigious award.

Tim Selgo is the Athletic Director for Grand Valley. Tim was hired on February 12, 1996 as the fifth AD and has put his own stamp of leadership on the GVSU athletic department. A promoter of a well-rounded athletic department, Selgo has been a key figure in the Lakers' rise to national prominence in Division II athletics.

National Championships (5)Edit

  • 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

National Runners-up (7)Edit

  • 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

Basketball Final Four (2)Edit

  • 1977: Men's Basketball - NAIA Division I
  • 2006: Women's Basketball - NCAA Division II (Champion)

Club Sports National Championships (2)Edit

  • 2005: Men's Water Polo - CWPA-NCCC
  • Wrestling: 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, & 2008 NCWA National Champions, and Dual National Champions: 2007, 2008, 2009, 104 All-Americans, and 20 National Champions.


The GVSU football team won its first Division II National Championship in 2002 and came back and did it again in 2003. They went to their first National Title game in 2001 losing to the University of North Dakota. The Team added a third National Championship in 2005, finishing the season 13-0 and tying the NCAA record for most wins over a 4-year period with 51.


The women's volleyball team won its first Division II National Championship in 2005 against host school Nebraska-Kearney in front of a 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.

Women's basketballEdit

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.

Men's basketballEdit

The GVSU mens' 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 NO. 4 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 lead 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.

Men's ice hockeyEdit

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 will participate in the Great Midwestern Hockey League in 2006-2007, which has produced the ACHA DII champion in 2004, 2005, and 2006. 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 team is not affiliated with the athletic department, but is run by the office of student life, but still maintains the third-highest average attendance of all GVSU sports (behind Football and Basketball).


GVSU supports a non-varsity coed 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, and many others. Each spring, GVSU hosts the Lubbers Cup Regatta on the Grand River on GVSU's Allendale campus. The cup is named for the former GVSU president, Arend Lubbers.


GVSU has a non-varsity wrestling team which has done well in National Collegiate Wrestling Association nationals the past few 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.

Women's soccerEdit

GVSU field an NCAA Division II women's soccer team. The Lakers finished the 2005 season with a GLIAC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight - the best finish in school history.

Community outreachEdit

Special programs at Grand Valley include:

  • Autism Center
  • Charter schools
  • Center for Business Ethics
  • Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership
  • Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies
  • Michigan Small business and Technology Development Center
  • Jay Van Andel Global Trade Center
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy program
  • West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative
  • WGVU TV and Radio

Homeland securityEdit

Jonathan White, professor and director of the School of Criminal Justice, works with the federal government on homeland security issues as the executive director of the Homeland Defense Initiative.


The university owns and operates a PBS station, WGVU, and AM and FM radio stations with the same call letters, which feature a mixture of jazz, blues, and news, including local and NPR programming.

The Grand Valley Lanthorn is the student newspaper, published on Mondays (as of Fall 2005) and Thursdays. WCKS-AM is the student radio station. GVBN is the student-run television station on channel 7 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.

Food serviceEdit

Aramark operates all food services in Allendale and Grand Rapids.

Public safetyEdit

The Department of Public Safety is the police department for the Allendale Campus. While the department is self-empowered to enforce its jurisdiction, many officers are deputized by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. Because Allendale doesn't have its own police department, the Grand Valley State University Police handle cases anywhere in Ottawa County, mainly in Allendale and the area surrounding the campus.

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.


University Bookstore serves the Grand Valley State University community. University Bookstore is owned and operated by Grand Valley State University.


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 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 and vice president, who were responsible for the activity.

Famous alumniEdit

  • Carl Apple, reporter for WXMI Fox-17 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Brent Ashcroft, sports anchor and multi-media journalist for WZZM 13 (ABC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan (and former long-time sports director for WXMI Fox 17 in Grand Rapids)
  • Jesse Bruce 1996-2000 - Award-winning broadcast journalist and longtime Grand Haven, Michigan Radio personality for WGHN FM 92.1 / AM 1370
  • Kevin Clemens - Arena Football League player
  • Greg Colton - Family Guy
  • Patrick Sheane Duncan - screenwriter, director (Mr. Holland's Opus, Courage Under Fire)
  • John Keating - Fox Sports Net personality who used on air name of Steve Knight while in Grand Rapids.
  • David Kircus - wide receiver for the Denver Broncos
  • Rob Rubick - Former Detroit Lions Tight End
  • Jeff Chadwick - Former Detroit Lions Wide Receiver
  • Eric Lynch - Former Detroit Lions Running Back (Backup to Barry Sanders in the mid 90s)
  • Keyonta Marshall - defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Katie Newell - West Michigan artist
  • Tommy Remengesau - President of the Republic of Palau
  • Mike Sheldon - former offensive tackle for the Chicago Bears
  • Matt Thornton - Pitcher for the Chicago White Sox
  • Rick Rossow - Director of Operations, US-India Business Council

External linksEdit

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