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Grand Valley State University has a strong commitment to community engagement. Throughout its history, GVSU has dedicated time, energy and support for service programs and other ways for students to be engaged in their communities. Official engagement efforts at GVSU date back to the early 1990's with the work of Leadership & Volunteer Center & Volunteer GVSU.

Volunteer GVSU functioned as a programming board for students interested in community service and advocacy. The group planned major events and was the primary student entity that organized community service projects. During this time, volunteer requests went through the volunteer center.

In January 2002, Volunteer GVSU received its own space in the Student Organization Center (SOC) and the Volunteer Center became an office within the Office of Student Life (much like Event Services).

In January 2006, the Volunteer Center was restructured and became the Community Service Learning Center with actual space adjacent to the Office of Student Life. The Community Service Learning Center was created to provide a central operation for students that were interested in service to come.

Under the leadership of director of Student Life Bob Stoll (1984 - present) and associate director Michelle Burke (February 2003 - present) service programs at GVSU have had four assistant directors: Jay Cooper (1988 - 2002), Chad Garland (2002 - 2004), Valerie Holmes (2004 - 2008) & Valerie Jones (2008 - present).

Jodi Griffin was the Academic Service Learning Coordinator from 2006 - 2008, Bunmi Fadase became the Coordinator for the Community Service Learning Center from 2008 - 2011 and Jeff Mutch served in the role of Coordinator of the Community Service Learning Center from 2011 - 2014. Currently, Melissa Baker-Boosamra is the Community Service Learning Center Coordinator.