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GVSU Sustainability Week: A Grand Tradition

Posted on October 14, 2010

Celebrating sustainability has become a grand tradition at Grand Valley State University. Going on its sixth year, Grand Valley's annual Campus Sustainability Week runs October 23-30.

Every year Grand Valley's Sustainable Community Development Initiative partners with campus-wide departments to host events filled with speakers, panel discussions, concerts and other activities.

Included in the week's festivities is the Sustainability Champions Awards Breakfast, when Mayor George Heartwell and President Thomas J. Haas will recognize and celebrate campus sustainability champions at Grand Valley on Friday, October 29, 7:30-8:45 a.m. in the Pere Marquette Room in the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus; media coverage is encouraged.

This year's theme, “A Grand Tradition,” ties in with Grand Valley's 50th Anniversary Celebration and honors the campus tradition of practicing sustainability. A full schedule of the week is available at

Grand Valley is recognized nationally for its sustainability efforts. The university received the highest green rating in Michigan in an annual report by the Princeton Review. It received national merit recognition in the Sustainable Endowment Institute's 2010 Campus Sustainability Report Card.

Select Campus Sustainability Week events include:

Make a Difference Day
Saturday, October 23, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale
Each year students, faculty, and staff volunteer their time by performing a variety of projects for local Grand Rapids agencies.

Ending Modern Day Slavery in Ghana: Presentation by James Kofi Annan
Monday, October 25, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center, Pew Campus
Former child slave and internationally recognized leader against slavery, James Kofi Annan, will share a talk about his work to end slavery.


Tuesday, October 26, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center, Allendale
Grand Valley's first independently organized TED event will bring together students, faculty, staff, and community members, to share ideas across disciplines. Using TED's unique format, a series of speakers will share short talks, followed by periodic breaks to facilitate conversation. Visit for more information.

Farmer's Market
Wednesday, October 27, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Kirkhof Center, Allendale
Fresh produce will be sold at Grand Valley's fourth Annual Farmer's Market.

Green Vendor Trade Fair
Wednesday, October 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale
Thursday, October 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Hager-Lubbers Exhibitional Hall, DeVos Center, Pew Campus

Hosted by Procurement Services, the fair is will showcase sustainable products and services vendors, and will provide resources for consortium and local buying preferences.

Women, Environment, and Local Politics

Wednesday, October 27, 3 p.m.-4:15 p.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale
Hosted by the Women's Center, community leaders will participate in a panel discussion on the role women are playing to create sustainable communities and how they are influencing local policies and politics.

Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.; Crafts and snacks start at 6:30 p.m., Meijer Campus, Holland
Kids of all ages are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Educational opportunities, crafts, and snacks will be provided.

Sustainability Champions Awards Breakfast
Friday, October 29, 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale
Mayor George Heartwell and President Thomas J. Haas will recognize and celebrate the sustainability champions on campus. 

Local Food Cook-off
Friday, October 29, 8 p.m.-9p.m.,The Connection, Allendale
Hosted by Campus Dining, four teams will compete to prepare a sustainable dish using local ingredients.  A panel of judges will taste the results and determine the winner.

Friday, October 29, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale
Several student organizations will host a concert to kick back, relax, and celebrate sustainability.


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