Representatives from Grand Valley attended the grand opening ceremony of the Mary Walker Army Strong Community Center in Walker, Mich. on March 3. The community center is one of five centers of its kind in the U.S. and the first in the Midwest, and provides resources to service members and veterans and their family members.
Grand Valley was the only university from West Michigan to sign an agreement to participate in the Community Covenant program, which is designed to foster state and community partnerships with the Army to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families. The covenant was signed by Grand Valley Assistant Dean of Students Steven Lipnicki, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Jack Stultz and community and government members.
Lipnicki said Grand Valley and WGVU Engage were important partners in helping the center establish itself in West Michigan. “We were originally contacted this past fall about the benefits the center would have for the community,” he said. “Grand Valley and WGVU Engage are gaining recognition and receiving requests to help address veterans concerns in the community, as well as regional and statewide initiatives.”
Lipnicki anticipates that active service members and veterans who attend Grand Valley will take advantage of and benefit from the center. “By signing the covenant, the university is demonstrating a broader and deeper commitment to the veteran population in West Michigan,” he said.
Grand Valley continues to provide support for service members and veterans through on-campus Veterans Network services and the university’s involvement with the Wounded Warriors Traumatic Brain Injury Project. This year, Grand Valley was named “A Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs magazine for the third consecutive year.