Skip to main content


We aspire to expand our support, retention, and engagement services to assure success for every student because their success powers ours. 

Starting college is a good beginning. Graduating, however, takes drive, perseverance, and a culture of support. To increase the number of students who complete their degree, we must increase the resources and programs aimed at student success.


Achievement Goal


We help thousands of students succeed, but far more of them need our help. Every student benefits from these programs, and they are vital for first generation and at-risk undergraduate students. Donor funding affects the quality of our programs and how many students we can reach.

These services include our peer mentoring programs, academic advising, enrollment development, and counseling services. We also offer classroom opportunities specifically designed to help students develop the study habits that will aid their transition to, and achievement in, college.

Engaged students are more likely to stay in school and succeed. Grand Valley provides leadership opportunities for thousands of students through more than 450 student organizations, and more are developed each year. Our hallmark leadership programs, the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy and the Frederik Meijer Honors College, continue to expand and foster leadership excellence through programming and mentorship that would not exist without donor support.

High impact learning opportunities are among the most powerful ways to prepare students for the future and ensure their success through — and after — graduation. At Grand Valley, these programs include internships, co-ops, service learning, professional competitions, conferences, and research opportunities. Many of these opportunities are unpaid and students may be forced to ‘opt out’ of them if the university can’t assist them with related expenses. Today, 58% of undergraduate students have at least one experiential learning opportunity. With your support, we intend to increase that rate to 90%.


Jennifer Wardrop
Assistant Vice President for University Development
(616) 331-6644