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An Exponential Impact


Katelyn Neville

For Katelyn (Kate) Neville, Class of 2018, a turn in her mother’s health provided unexpected insight into the future. When her mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Kate saw the impact a nurse could have on a patient and their family, and decided to become “one of the good ones.”

“Watching my mom go through this was a huge stepping stone for me to decide on nursing,” Kate says. “Grand Valley has done an incredible job with the opportunities they give nursing students and the education is phenomenal.”

However, without the help of Robert (Bob) and Ellen Thompson, Kate wouldn’t have even started her journey.

Long-time supporters of Grand Valley, the Thompsons went from paving roads to paving the way for students when Bob sold his asphalt paving company in 1999. Since then, the two have created two scholarships at Grand Valley: the University Preparatory Academy Scholarship and the Thompson Working Family Scholarship.

For Kate, their scholarship made all the difference.

“I truly don’t think I would be here without the Thompson Working Family Scholarship,” Kate says. “The Thompsons have made a dream of mine attainable.”

Grateful for the opportunity that the Thompsons have given her, Kate knows the large-scale impact of their generosity extends far past her. 

“The Thompson's are investing in students and we’re taking that into our communities,” she says. “Their gift has an exponential impact on West Michigan and beyond.”