Across Campus

October 27, 2014


Zumberge Hall receives LEED Silver Certification

James H. Zumberge Hall has been awarded LEED Silver status by the U.S. Green Building Council, demonstrating the university’s commitment to sustainable progress through innovative design and construction. LEED certification is based on several factors, including site sustainability, water efficiency, energy use, materials and resources, environmental quality and innovation in design.

The recent completion of the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons allowed the university the opportunity to repurpose the former James H. Zumberge Library into Zumberge Hall. A complete renovation of the existing 64,000 square feet and a 26,000-square-foot addition created the space to bring together, in one building, 15 administrative departments formally dispersed throughout campus.

The facility was completed in May 2014 as an administration hub to serve faculty, staff and students in one central location on the Allendale Campus.

In addition to energy efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning systems, the building features an extensive underground storm water retention management system to slow down the release of stormwater back into the natural environment minimizing erosion.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that certifies environmentally sustainable construction projects. 

Grand Valley now owns and operates 19 LEED certified buildings and facilities with several more in progress. 


Open enrollment continues through November

The 2015 annual benefits open enrollment period runs October 21-November 5.

Faculty and staff members can review their benefits in three steps, detailed below.

Visit and click on “2015 Open Enrollement”; complete the online form during the two-week period to review and update information; review and print the detailed compensation/confirmation statement.

Computer labs will be open at designated times throughout the open enrollment period. For locations, dates and times, visit


ELS Language Center holds graduation

The ELS Language Center held a graduation ceremony October 17 in the Kirkhof Center.

It was the first graduation and awards ceremony since the center moved into AuSable Hall in August. President Thomas J. Haas addressed the audience and said the partnership between Grand Valley and ELS Language Center brings international students to campus and allows “for life’s adventures.”

“You have developed your language skills here at Grand Valley that will help you in the next steps that you are going to take,” Haas said, adding that ELS Language Center students and Grand Valley international students represent more than 80 countries on campus.

Students earned certificates for completing the course, which teaches them reading, writing and English language skills. 

President Thomas J. Haas stands with teachers from the ELS Language Center

Photo by Bri Luginbill

President Thomas J. Haas stands with teachers from the ELS Language Center during the center’s graduation ceremony October 17.


Campus works with health leaders to prepare against Ebola threat

Officials at Grand Valley are working with Ottawa and Kent county health departments and area hospitals to have a coordinated response against the threat of the Ebola virus.

Andrew Beachnau, associate vice provost for Student Affairs, said the response follows guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and includes the Campus Health Center on the Allendale Campus, which is supported by the Metro Health Hospital’s infection prevention team.

“While there are no cases of Ebola in Michigan, we are taking the necessary steps to protect patients, visitors, staff, physicians and the community from this and other infectious diseases, such as flu,” Beachnau said.

Grand Valley does not have study abroad programs to nations such as Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone that have reported Ebola outbreaks, according to Mark Schaub, chief international officer.

Schaub added that the Padnos International Center advises students, faculty and staff members traveling internationally to be familiar with CDC recommendations, which are posted online at

Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health, said her office has been in contact with Spectrum Health regarding the hospital’s preparations and any implications for Grand Valley nursing or health professions students who are there for clinical experiences.

Since 2005, Grand Valley and Spectrum Health have established an agreement that Grand Valley’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences would be used as an alternative care site for Spectrum Health overflow, in the event of a large-scale, health-related crisis.