Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is local university with it's main campus located in Allendale, Michigan. The university was established in 1960 and is situated on 1,237 acres 12 miles 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 college 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, NAASPA, 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 [1] on the GVSU domain. The Rapid route that transports students between the downtown and main campuses is called the Campus Connector, and is Route 50. The in-Allendale route is Route 37.

Allendale campus

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

Muskegon campus

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. Marec Webpage

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

Holland Meijer campus

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 State 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.

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 Director's Cup for NCAA Division II schools in 2004, 2005, and 2006, 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.

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


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 came back and did it again 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. As of the end of the 2006 season, Grand Valley State has won 28 straight games and owns college football's longest winning streak in any NCAA division. is a fan website.

Women's volleyball

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. [5]. 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 basketball

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 basketball

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 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.

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 will participate in the Great Midwestern Hockey League in 2006-2007, which has produced the ACHA DII champion in 2004, 2005, and 2006. GVSU will also have an ACHA Division III team in 2006-07, which will compete in the Michigan College 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. GVSU was 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. The 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 team website is


GVSU supports a non-varsity coed crew team[2]. 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. The team has been successful in the past and took fifth in the Dad Vails points trophy in 2006.


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.

Women's soccer

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. Shannon Murphy claims she is Irish but now she is straight up German.

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.


Public safety

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.


University Bookstore [3] serves the Grand Valley State University community. University Bookstore is owned and operated by Grand Valley State University.

Community outreach

Special programs at Grand Valley include:

Gerald Ford Foundation

GVSU hosts the Gerald Ford Foundation website [4], which includes the Ford Memorial website [5].

Regional Events

The university hosts several high-school level regional events 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 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 "The Whale" is the student-run radio station, broadcasting over the internet and on 1610AM ( 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.


In 1969, the Grand Valley Lanthorn [6], 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 1995, a student organization, publishing the eponymous and self-described humor rag, the Harpoon, published 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 staff spearheaded a political takeover of Student Senate that year in an effort to have their funding reinstated. The Harpoon published for three years.

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 (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. Some students and alumni of the university were upset by President Haas's remarks because it passed by a relatively large margin in Michigan, and because some believed President Haas, who moved to Michigan to accept the position as President of GVSU, did not show the proper respect for the seeming will of the people of the State of Michigan.

Notable alumni

In popular culture

External links