Grand Valley State University officials gathered with Muskegon community members and elected officials to celebrate the formal dedication of Grand Valley's new Robert B. Annis Field Station at the Annis Water Resources Institute.
Several hundred guests heard from Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas, Congressman Bill Huizenga, and AWRI Director Alan Steinman.
Haas said the generosity of the Muskegon community, including a lead gift by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, helped provide the foundation for the campaign that ended up raising more than $2.3 million dollars to help make the Robert B. Annis Field Station a reality.
"The new facility here at the Annis Water Resources Institute is a platform that our students and researchers can use to help innovate and continue to be significant contributors to the blue water economy," Haas said. "Innovation is a central part of what Grand Valley does as a university, and this new field station is a building that will help continue that trend."
Steinman said the new facility will provide increased opportunities for research, including projects that are working to help preserve the iconic lake sturgeon, provide safe drinking water for people in developing nations, and help increase the effectiveness of chemicals that control the invasive hybrid water milfoil.
"I've often said, and will say again, that the two biggest gifts Muskegon has to offer are its water and its people, and I'm blessed to be the beneficiary of both," Steinman said. "The new facility will help us conduct more research, and it's already benefiting our students. We're looking forward to helping the local economy and providing a significant return on investment to the Muskegon community."
The campaign for the facility was completed in less than a year, thanks to the generosity of more than 220 donors including alumni, community members, faculty and staff, students, foundations, and area corporations.