Congratulations Class of 2020!
“Congratulations to graduates are always in order, but Class of 2020, you deserve deep respect for persevering during a pandemic! You have my admiration for how you stayed true to your goals and your values. Earning a degree in this time shows your tenacious character. You know my mantra because you've lived it: Be bold. Be driven. This degree is but one step on your lifelong journey. Thanks for showing the world what it means to be a Laker.”President Philomena V. Mantella
Congratulations on achieving what you set out to do! Your hard work and determination to get your degree has paid off and now you are ready to take that next step. We are proud of your accomplishments and welcome you as a lifetime member of the Laker Alumni Family. Take the time to celebrate this special moment with your family and friends and then go out and share your Laker Effect with the world!
Chris Barbee '88, Director of Alumni Relations
Congratulations graduates, on your accomplishments! May you have a bright future using the knowledge and skills you have acquired during your time at GVSU.
Ruth Oldenburg '92
Best of luck in all you do, Class of 2020! Keep your chins up and know that you'll find your place regardless of how long it may take. Lakers look out for one another!
Lindsay '09 and Justin '07 Clark
Trust yourself to make the right choices. You are well equipped for any situation. Your education will serve you no matter what you do.
Melissa Prusinski '15
Congratulations on your significant achievement. Although personal and professional situations are challenging right now, you will learn from this. Grow and prosper in the future as part of our Laker family.
Chad Ghastin '98
Please know that in these strange times, your accomplishments and contributions are valued and appreciated! Your relationship with GVSU is just beginning and we are excited for all that you will achieve! You are the Laker Effect!
Rich Houtteman '98 & '04
Congratulations on this achievement. While we are not celebrating in the traditional way, we applaud your achievements. Entering into your profession during this time will give you the additional skills to be successful in your career. Enjoy this moment and take it one day at a time.
Milinda Ysasi '03
Congratulations Class of 2020! We are so proud of you, your hard work, your accomplishments, and your fortitude during this difficult time. Please know that the GVSU faculty are always here for you. Keep in touch and let us know how we can help as you move forward.
Congrats Class of 2020! Not having your last semester finish out the way you thought it would, doesn't mean you can't enjoy your successes over the last four years (five in my case!). You worked hard to get here. You have memories that will last you a lifetime and you are getting started on your next chapter in life. Best of luck and make the most of every day! Laker for a Lifetime!
Heather Dixon '05
“T. Haas here to share how proud I am of each one of you. Thank you for choosing to be a Laker. Our faculty and staff, as well as your family and many others from our alumni and members of our greater GV family have supported your journey to achieve success. Challenges big and small will be part of our lives. I am absolutely certain that you have developed the skills and character to serve and lead. Whether you are health care providers, artists, engineers, social workers, teachers, in business, or any other chosen professions, make our communities, state, nation and world better for future generations. Another way to say it from my Coast Guard days...make it better than you found it. All my love and prayers sent your way. Go Lakers!”President Emeritus Thomas J. Haas
“Lakers: you are Grand Valley! Your character, knowledge and leadership has been tested and you prove to be strong, compassionate, loving and understanding. As you make your way into this world, I know you will do all that you can to make it better. I pray that each and every one of you hold onto your faith, your family, and your friends with an abundance of energy. Live your lives with purpose. Be a beacon of hope and in all things show love. Congratulations on so many levels of achievement. You make us all very proud.”Marcia Haas
You made it, Laker! Congratulations! It may not have been the ending you had hoped for or dreamed of, but it is now your story to tell. Ride the wave where it takes you and enjoy each stop along the way!
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020! While it's scary times, you should be proud of your accomplishments. Go out and spread the Laker Effect!
Jeffrey Daniels '97
Current events do not take away what you have accomplished. Find a way to celebrate your excellent work and know that we are all saddened we won't be able to celebrate with you right now. Stay proud of yourselves and stay healthy!
Congratulations Bria on your graduation from GVSU! Ebony and I are so proud of you. Continue to trust Jesus and He will make all your dreams come true.
Chase Phillips '10
Congratulations to the class of 2020! Build relationships that make you a better person so you can, in turn, be a better person for others. Anchor up!
Jason Schrotenboer '02
Every decision you make may have consequences in the future. Choose wisely.
Brian '83 and Kay '85 Miller
Congratulations Class of 2020!! How awesome for you to have accomplished such a prestigious task. You walked in a new Laker, and you're leaving a Laker-- something that many have not yet achieved. You are a Laker for a Lifetime. Wear that accomplishment with pride and respect. We are so happy to have you join us in the Alumni Association, and with any new challenges you face, know that we'll have your back. You are the bright minds and positive thinking that this world needs. Be proud to call yourself a Laker. As we are. As many wish they could. Congratulations to you all, and as always, Anchor Up!
Ben Krieger '19
Wishing you the life you are hoping to live as you begin your new adventures. May the experiences we are all going through right now strengthen and help you persevere through life every day! Wishing you all the best!
Linda Yuhas '93
Congratulations, GVSU 2020 graduates! Don't let your education stop here-- commit yourself to being a lifelong learner. Wishing you the very best as you start this new and exciting chapter!
Lindsay Young '10
Shawn, we are so very proud of you! You have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a very special person. You are a person of grit and integrity. Congratulations, and God Bless You! We love you!
Congrats on your graduation! Today you see that we can't control everything, but with your degree in hand, start out positive to obtain your goals! You are entering a great time to be employed and make a mark for yourself in our marketplace! Go Laker grads!
William Roersma '78
What you have accomplished is worthy of celebration! Take time to celebrate all you have accomplished, even if it isn't in the conventional way. Your Laker family is celebrating each and every one of you! We are proud to have you representing us in the community, nation, and around the globe! Don't let this instant in time prevent you from spreading your Laker Effect. Let it shine brighter than ever in a time when it's needed more than ever!
“We congratulate you on your graduation this spring. We are proud of your accomplishments and achievements at GVSU. You are part of a very special group. You have joined the ranks of alumni of the best educational institution there is. Celebrate! You've earned it!”Peter '68 and Galene '67 DeWitt
Congratulations on your accomplishment! Although graduation ceremonies are postponed, please don't let this take away from your moment, your accomplishments, and all of your hard work! Wishing you much success and many blessings as you enter this new phase of life!
Denise Russo-Starback '93 & 96
My experience at GVSU was great, as I hope your experience has been too. I went to GVSU when it was still called Colleges and had the time of my life at William James College. I was able to take classes at Thomas Jefferson College too. I still have friends from that era and we have had contact during this very challenging times. I hope you can have contact with friends you made in college some 40 years later too. Congratulation on your graduation in 2020!
Diane Bodell '79
CONGRATULATIONS on your achievements over the last years to complete your degree. This wasn't easy, as it wasn't without late nights, lots of caffeine, sacrifice, endurance, connections, self explorations, and so much more. I hope your time with GVSU is one you cherish and carry with you as you go into your next journey. Best wishes for you all as you have a whole community alongside you. Laker for a Lifetime!
Amber Ravikumar '14 & '16
Congratulations! No matter where you go or what you do, you will always remember the times here at GVSU.
Rick Heath '75
Congratulations to you and your accomplishments! Wishing you a great future in your majors and beyond.
Congratulations to the GVSU Class of 2020! Remember to stay in touch with your fellow Lakers!
Julie Finn '88
Congratulations Class of 2020! Your graduation is a great milestone. Go forward with courage and strength. Be a Laker for a Lifetime! We stand with you!
Theresa McKee '79
Laker Class of 2020 - Congratulations on your hard-earned achievement! May the adversity you face now prepare you for any challenge in your future career! Anchor up!
Stephanie Olson '97 & '01
Dear Graduates, as you close this chapter of your life-book and begin a new one, know that there are many Lakers who are praying for you! May you be blessed with a long, healthy, loving life! You will always be a part of a large caring family! Wishing you many blessings! Go Lakers!
Class of 1967. The first Graduation ceremony was held in a "tent" outside Lake Michigan Hall. My wife got to participate and I did not as I was already enrolled at Western Michigan working on my Masters. It's not the ceremony that counts so much as what you have accomplished and the friends you have made. Good Luck!
Don '67 and Diane '67 Paton
Congratulations to every Laker in the Class of 2020. While your life and worldview has undoubtedly changed throughout the past 4+ years, as well as the people you've met and the accomplishments and expectations of yourself and others, never forget that graduating from college is a truly remarkable achievement. If I could share any advice with you all, it would be this: never let anyone influence your beliefs on what is possible.
Dan Cairns '12
Congratulations on your graduation, seniors! This is an incredible accomplishment and one that will springboard you into the next chapter of your life. You will soon discover that an education from GVSU has successfully prepared you for the career of your desire. Don't settle. Reflect on your passion and how you want to make this world a better place and investigate those career options. Attack this career path with a growth-mindset and incredible enthusiasm! We are so proud of you and cannot wait to hear about all the great things you are going to do. Don't forget to reach out to GVSU Alumni for guidance. We will always be here for you!
Tom Hosford '03 & '06
To my Senior AST Sisters, we did it!! I am so proud of you all for the all the hard work you've put in at Grand Valley. I will forever be grateful for the past four years with all of you, you make me so proud!! Love always,
Gabrielle Schlagel '19
Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2020. You enter a world of uncertainty but are prepared with the skills to help the world become more certain. Your impact will likely be immediate as you enter the workforce. Help it last into the next generation.
Jeff Stoll '06 & '10
I am so proud of the graduating Class of 2020. You have faced unprecedented challenges during one of the most exciting accomplishments of your lifetime. I know you will continue to shine with your Laker Effect in the future!
Stacey Lefevre '90 & '00
“Congratulations, GV Graduates of 2020! Although the final year of your journey has not ended as you expected, know that what you have attained will be with you forever and you will always be a Laker for a Lifetime! We're so proud of you and wish you well.”Jim and Donna Brooks
Congratulations on graduation! This is not the ending of the semester or of your time as a student that any of us had expected or hoped for. However, we will get through this together. That's the beautiful thing about being a Laker -- we support each other and can persevere through anything. As you finish your final semester remotely, remember that you are joining the ranks of more than 123,000 alumni who are always here to support and guide you on your journey through life. You've felt the Laker Effect as a student, now you are about to experience how strong that effect lasts for a lifetime. Congratulations!
Ricardo Benavidez '14 & '19
Congrats Class of 2020 on the milestone event in your life!
Michael Lamfers '88
Nothing can diminish your accomplishments! Congratulations, Grand Valley State Class of 2020!
Kelsey Endres '16
Congrats Class of 2020! Know that we are all with you during this time and can't wait to see what you all do next! Go Lakers!
Andrea Johnson '18
Congratulations on a job well done! More than ever, we need your talent, your problem-solving skills, and your good hearts. You are our treasures.
Congrats to all the Laker Alumni! With confusing and trying times, lead with confidence that you have been prepared to conquer your next step with all you have learned and experienced in your time at Grand Valley. Here's to what's next!
Tess Swastek '16 & '18
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! You'll never forget your final semester of college. Good luck to you as you "make waves" throughout the next chapter of your life!
Mike Eichberger '02 & '07
Congratulations to all the students graduating in 2020. You've worked hard on your degree, so be proud to be part of Laker Nation. My GVSU years were some of the happiest of my life. Back in the '80s it was a college & very friendly. I hope you'll have fond memories of your GVSU experience. May all of you have wonderful careers. Be the change you want to have happen.
Kathy Kwiatkowski '83
You have joined a select group of proud Laker Alumni in the most unimaginable way, and it's a testament to your future that you persevered through these challenges as you have. Continue to navigate future opportunities with your head held high and confident that your fellow Lakers will continue to be walking this walk beside you! Well done, and congratulations!
Matthew Dhaseleer '01
What is going on around you does not downplay or make your accomplishments any less valued. You have made it to your goal and with great success. Some may even say one day down the road that you overcame a greater obstacle than most. Keep working Lakers and know that your accomplishment of graduating is not forgotten!
Megan Philipp '14
Congrats Class of 2020! I know that the situation isn't exactly ideal, however I know that you all have worked incredibly hard to get where you are! I have some amazing friends graduating who I got to go to Tanzania with and have the time of my life! I sincerely wish you all the best. Continue being Lakers for a Lifetime!
Alexi Wolf '19
Whatever is next is part of your life's path. You can make it harder or easier, faster or slower, but you can't mess it up. It's yours. Take a breath and take that next step. Congratulations!
Nancy French '92
Congratulations Graduates! What you have accomplished can never be taken away or undone! You have persevered. Never forget that it is the journey of learning!
Nick Ceglarek '96 & '99
Congratulations, Class of 2020! Remember that even without knowing how things will fall into place, you can still celebrate this moment with enthusiasm and joy.
Megan Malone '12
Your graduating class shares an unprecedented bond. I challenge you to rise above the momentary challenges and create a new space in this world for others to learn from and follow.
Vonnie Herrera '97
Awesome job! Keep reading & learning to stay ahead of the crowd.
Philip Janowski '17
Congratulations Class of 2020! Wishing you much success!
Kerri Popowich '84
Congratulations Class of 2020! Hang in there and be Laker Strong!
Christine Pompa '06
“Your education at GVSU will be a great source of pride in your future. It will serve you well when making future decisions both professionally and personally. Call on that at various times. Always proud to be a Laker! Oh the places you will go! Grab onto opportunities and trust your preparation. Here's to your bright future as a new GVSU graduate!”Margo Jonker '76
"My belief is in the chaos of the world and that you have to find your peace within the chaos and that you still have to find some sort of mission." - Ta-Nehisi Coates
Continue to choose growth, pursue truth, and find your purpose in a world that is competing for your attention. Lead with empathy and authenticity. Together, we can re-imagine a world that provides equitable access to all.
Jamon Alexander '05
Congratulations CLAS graduates of 2020! The whole Repair Clinic team thanks you for being the best 'clients' we could have hoped for. We know you'll go out and make this a better world.
YOU DID IT! All those countless hours at the library, trips between campus on the 50, and the dreaded 8:00 a.m. classes were worth it. Congratulations on graduating! You'll find the alumni network is so welcoming and an excellent support for whatever you do or wherever life takes you.
Gayle Ebben '15
Congratulations! You are awesome! Your hard work, dedication and persistence matters! You are equipped, ready and empowered to make a difference in this world as you fulfill your purpose! Now go be contributions of love. The world needs you and is waiting!
Michelle Loving McKay
I'm so proud of you! Congrats for making a difference already. It's such a crazy time to be a graduating Laker, but always know that there's a huge network out there rooting for you and waiting to see the greatness you will bring! To all of the HTM majors, be strong and know that our industry definitely has a place for you. Always.
Micah Brown '15
So very proud of you, fellow Laker! Do what you love and love what you do.
Cathy Winick '12
Great job Class of 2020! I loved our commencement ceremony. You will too, eventually!
Laurel Jackson '08 & '08
You did it!! Congratulations to all of you! Here's to a bright future in the hospitality industry. The best is yet to come!
Anna Tonnarini '18
Whether you did it in 4, 5, or 6+ years, you did it! I hope every time you step back on campus you feel Laker pride! Congrats Class of 2020!
Kaylee Gray '04
Congratulations graduates, you did it! Savor this moment and the achievement. You have persevered through new and challenging times. You are joining a long legacy of proud alumni. All the best!
Mary Tosch '97
The future is yours for the taking!!! You've been educated by a leading institution and have rubbed elbows with very knowledgeable faculty, staff, and peers. Take pride in the foundation you now have and be a better you for YOU and your family and community.
Shannell Langston '99
Congratulations to all of you. My memories as an undergraduate and now an active alum will stay will me for the rest of my life, as I am sure yours will with you. May you find your way while staying connected to the place that served as your launching pad, Grand Valley State University. You have held many titles in your life already and will hold many more. One that you hold now is that you are now a Laker for a Lifetime. Congratulations!
Jonathan Heyboer '95
“Congratulations on an incredible achievement and keeping your head held high through this tumultuous time! You are now joining an incredible family of alumni and we are here to support you and help you keep growing as you navigate the workforce and start to shape your career. Be proud, stay strong and go Lakers!”Val Pannell '12
Dear graduates, you might not be able to take memorable photos across campus just yet, but you are Lakers for Life. Stay involved, give back, come back. Congratulations on your milestone. You did it!
Stephanie Brown '06
What a memorable year to graduate! Wow! The good news is, you're now ready to get out there and help make our world a better place. Congratulations! You got this!
Alison Randall '99
Congratulations on your graduation from Grand Valley State University. In all you do, make God proud of you. (Or whatever Higher Power you acknowledge.)
Congratulations GVSU Class of 2020! Welcome to the best alumni group out there! I know graduating right now is not an ideal time and that many of you did not get to have a proper goodbye to campus, your faculty, your fellow classmates and the plethora of people who have shaped your GVSU chapter. We alumni grieve for you too as we know how magical GVSU is. My advice is to remember this feeling you have right now because when you enter the workforce soon you will need to use this feeling to empathize with your new coworkers as they all come from different and diverse backgrounds. Also, remember you are social networking every day and representing GVSU. Go Lakers and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall for the alumni tailgate!
Shelby Harrison '18
Congrats Class of 2020! I know you're coming out of school at a difficult time, but don't give up hope! Your education has prepared you for the workforce, but just because you have an education doesn't automatically grant you a career. It is important to always be eager to learn new skills and meet new people, because in many cases, your experience and connections matter more in getting a job. Stay ambitious and stay positive! I was a public relations major and international relations minor. I currently live in DC and work for the State Department. If any alums end up in the DC area or are looking at getting into the department, I am always willing to meet up for coffee and help where I can!
Claire Farrell '19
Graduates, it is unfortunate that you will not have our traditional graduation ceremony right away. Nonetheless, the meaning of your degree is not determined by pomp and circumstance, but by the hard and smart work you put into achieving your degree and what choices you make in the future. You have my congratulations and respect.
Be natural and courageous.
Margarita Hernandez '86 & '92
Congratulations to one step closer to a bright future. Keep going!
Lien Nguyen-Barker '14
Congrats....Great day to be a LAKER!!!
Andrew Pauly '97
Although this might not be the way you wanted this time in your life to go, do NOT let it take away from all your hard work and everything that you have accomplished! Congratulations and good luck Class of 2020!
Liz Henk '00
Grand Valley Synchronized Skating team graduates: Chloe Church Erin Colling Nicole Grover Alycia Horny Valerie Johnston Kailee Siemans
If this season proves anything, it's that you know how to face adversity and roll with the punches. As a representative of the university, I'm proud of you as student-athletes, but, closer to my heart, I'm glad to say all of you are my girls. I hope our paths on the ice cross again one day.
Congratulations! You now have an excellent foundation you will now build on every day going forward. Always balance long term outcomes with short term actions. Learn from every short term up and down to build your wisdom and experience to achieve bigger and better things for you and everyone else.
John Dean '73
Congratulations, Class of 2020! This will be a year to remember, but hopefully you will also remember your strength, flexibility, resilience, and determination. Welcome to the Laker Alumni Association - get involved, stay connected, continue on your journey to be a #lakerforalifetime. We're happy you're here!
Jennifer Ohman '02 & '16
Congrats to YOU! While this last semester may have been the hardest one yet, take a moment to reflect on the amazing memories, friendships, and laughs that were shared through your journey at Grand Valley. The world is ready for strong leaders!
Lindsey VanDenBoom '15
Congratulations to Addy Van Zalen, Class of 2020! As your Mom and Dad, we are so proud of you and all of your hard work!! We are thrilled that you will now be a Laker Alumni, just like us!
Jody Van Zalen '93
Congratulations on a major accomplishment! While things seem difficult now, your hard work in earning a degree will pay off over your lifetime. You have much to look forward to and your Laker family will always be there to guide you!
Kathleen Vogelsang '95 & '99
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Thoreau
Go, Recreational Therapy majors, and change the world!
Dan DeVries '00
Congratulations Class of 2020! You have worked so hard to get to this point and you should be proud of all that you have accomplished. Don't let these uncertain times take away your joy! You are awesome!
Kira Rosol '18
Lakers, you have come so far and will continue to do great things. Although I do not get to celebrate with you this year, know that you will continue to take the Laker legacy with you wherever you go!
Emily Miller '14
Congratulations, you badass graduates! You did this. You EARNED this. And nothing can take this great accomplishment away from you. You are a college graduate!
Katherine Gould '96
Happy Graduation! GVSU gave you the tools, now use those tools to ignite your passion. You CAN even if other say you can't!! Go Lakers!
Kim McCool '96
Congratulations Class of 2020! Hoping that the next chapter in your lives is filled with happiness and success! CHEERS TO YOU! Anchor Up! Go Lakers!
Kim Schmidt '88 & '00
I graduated from the HTM program ten years ago (wow!) and can't imagine being unable to walk across the stage and celebrate my achievements. But remember that the stage does not define the hard work and dedication you've put into obtaining your degree(s) and that you still have so much to celebrate!
Reflecting on the past ten years, my journey after college was not black and white or by the book. But it led me to a career that I love and never would have thought of as an option when I was in college or completed my program. There are no rules for how to use your degree - make it your own, take risks. Use every experience in life and apply it towards building a career (and life) that makes sense for you. If ten years ago you told me I would be where I am now, I wouldn't have believed you. It wasn't always easy and it's not meant to be, but I promise it will be worth it.
Brianna Rodriguez '10
Congrats Grads!!!!! I graduated from Grand Valley 16 years ago determined to head out into the teaching world. I am no longer teaching but the endless opportunities I have because I went to Grand Valley are amazing. My advice to you, as my life has also had many changes, is to not get stuck, you have endless possibilities!
Wendy Heath '04
Welcome to this amazing community of Lakers for a Lifetime! We're so proud of your accomplishments and we're excited to have you join us as we create the Laker Effect. I know this time has been challenging while you complete your studies, face uncertainty about what the world will look like for you as you enter careers, and miss out on some of the meaningful milestones that college graduation brings. Know that the skills you have learned and practiced during your years at GVSU will make you successful in your future no matter what the coming months and years bring. We believe in you.
Katelyn Hanley Semelbauer MPA '14
Congrats Lakers of 2020! Though this probably isn't the way you wished you'd be finishing your degree, your time at GVSU will still be just as sweet and memorable. So many alumni are rooting for you! You've all come so far in your lives and this degree is a testament to your further determination and resilience in the future! Congrats again fellow Lakers! L-A-K-E Are You a Laker?!
Kelly Meszaros '12
Very sorry for all the inconveniences this pandemic has done to your lives, to your classes, and especially to the celebration of your commencement. Graduating from college is a huge achievement - take time to reflect on your successful journey with tremendous pride. Know that you are and will always be an important member of the GVSU community. Lean on the Laker community for networking, mentorship, jobs, and encouragement. Lakers for a Lifetime!
Congratulations on this milestone Lakers!
I am sure many of you feel some level of anxiety about entering the working world at this uncertain time. I am familiar with that feeling, I graduated during the heights of the late 2000s economic recession. So know this, trust in yourselves, be confident in who you are and what you can contribute, be relentless in your professional pursuits, and the rest will take care of itself.
Now go get 'em!
Ryan Davies '09 & '11
To the Grand Valley State University Class of 2020. Congratulations on reaching this incredible milestone in your lives. You have earned your rightful place in the GVSU history books! This ending to your studies may not look like what you had imagined. I've watched and felt all the feelings as you saw your year come to an abrupt end. It may even feel incomplete. But as you prepare to leap into your next phase of life,"whatever that might be," I encourage you take a moment to appreciate all that you have accomplished. You have studied hard, completed internships, given many presentations, taken dozens of final exams, and maybe even traveled abroad. You are strong, you are kind, you are resilient, and you are leaders. You are Lakers for a Lifetime! This would not be a commencement message without a few pieces of advice, so here goes:
- Stay connected to your Laker community! There are so many ways to support this place that has supported you over the years.
- Keep working hard. Don't give up. -Find the best in every single person you meet.
- Don't forget to laugh. At life. At yourself. Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
- No matter where you go in the world, find ways to give back to your community.
- Begin and end each day with a few minutes of gratitude. It will help you start and end your day with a smile.
- And, lastly, in the words of Philly, always remember to #ReachHigherTogether.
Danielle DeWitt '05 & 09
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 from one of the very first grads in the Class of 1967. My advice: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Patricia Dys '67
Graduation, a conclusion of one chapter and a beginning of another. Graduation is a time of completion, of finishing, of an ending, however, it is also a time of celebration of achievement and a beginning for you. Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss...you'll land among the stars. Never doubt you were born to do great things!
Congratulations Class of 2020! I know this is not what you had envisioned for your graduation, but know that the alumni who have come before you are so proud of you. You are resilient and adaptable and will take on challenges life throws at you with poise and confidence having been through all of this. We alumni are cheering for you!
Moriah Forster '15
Congratulations Class of 2020! Each of you has met every challenge (even overcoming a pandemic) to become a Laker for a Lifetime!
Bonni Kinne '94
Congratulations to you all. May you realize your life's ambitions.
Anne Carey '69
Congratulations Lakers! Best wishes on your next adventure!
Taylor Welton '18
Graduating during these times is surreal. The memories of walking across the stage are few compared to all the memories I've made since graduation with all of my friends from GVSU. You aren't a Laker for that moment while receiving your diploma...you are a Laker for a Lifetime! Congratulations!
Molly Burns '96
Congratulations 2020 Graduates! Nothing about your last semester went as planned, but you still made it across the finish line. You are Laker strong, now and for a lifetime. Your fellow alumni are proud of all your hard work. Don't forget to stay connected with your alma mater - community is more important than ever!
Susan Howard '10 & '15
To the Class of 2020 and fellow Lakers for A Lifetime! Congratulations on graduation!
"Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise." Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
Tremendous opportunities lie ahead; be prepared to share your gifts with the world and best of luck!
Brian Merry '05
You're in a great place to launch your dreams! You can do it all!
Paul Nebenzahl '79
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 with a special shout-out to my cousin, Cody Dobransky!
Christina Hinds '10
Congratulations! To the next step! Cheers.
While this isn't the way anyone envisioned college graduation happening, don't let it diminish this important milestone in your lives. You've set yourselves apart with a GVSU degree and that's worth celebrating. Great job Class of 2020!
William Pirkola '13
This is a time like we have never experienced before, but when you continue to grow and build on the foundation that stemmed from GVSU, please remember no one will have a senior year like you have had, but moreover, this is a time to set yourself apart from the rest and shine as a Laker for a lifetime. Congratulations and remember that although our journeys are all different, we are all Lakers and we are the change we want to see in the world.
Brooke Byrne '03
I can't imagine this has been easy for you all... please know our alumni hearts break for you and celebrate your accomplishment with you. You deserve to celebrate, even if it isn't together right now. Cheers to the Class of 2020!
Samantha Hardenburgh '03 & '05
Congratulations Class of 2020! I know the circumstances of your graduation are probably nothing like you envisioned, but this is still an important milestone. Celebrate it! And don't forget to stay involved with your alma mater as a true Laker for a Lifetime!
Melody Sheridan '18
Congratulations to all of you! I'm sorry you aren't able to celebrate your accomplishments in person at graduation, but I wish you so much success and happiness as your start the rest of your lives.
Angela Mayo '93
Congratulations Class of 2020! You have accomplished so much and your future is bright! Best wishes on your future endeavors!
Rebecca Emiah '12
Congratulations! Celebrate all of your accomplishments and be proud of everything you have achieved. As this chapter comes to a close, the next one is waiting to be written; it is yours to write.
Jessica Homrich '13
Dear GVSU Graduate, my sincere congratulations to you upon your achievement. May the formal education and life skills you have acquired serve you well into the future. Welcome to the Laker Alumni community!
Kelly Israels '89
Congratulations to the Grand Valley Class of 2020! The strength of your relationships with other students and staff are something that will stay with you as you navigate your family and work lives. Although these are hard times, we know you are strong and CAN DO THIS! You are a GVSU GRAD! Stay safe, work hard, think of others, and DO GOOD!
Lillian Elsinga '68
Congratulations on your graduation. When I graduated it was right after 9/11 and mad cow was spreading around the US and Europe. I'm sure you have no idea what mad cow is. Anyway I say all that to say that there is hope. Don't be afraid of hard work and building relationships with everyone! Those relationships are vital in your early career. Leverage LinkedIn and stay connected to the GV Alum. We are movers and shakers. You are great and unmatched! Anchor Up!
Kumari Williams '02
CONGRATULATIONS!! You have been given tools at GVSU that will serve you well. Use them to serve your communities, your country and your world! We have great confidence in you to design and do things better than EVER BEFORE! We will need every one of you!! Good luck and enjoy the challenges and opportunities of every day!
Gretchen Kohl '75
Congratulations, Class of 2020! Please defend our values and our democracy always, and may all your dreams come true!
GK Noyer '84
Congratulations on achieving your degree from GVSU! Stay strong. Stay connected. Be committed.
Vester Davis '09 & '13
You might not get to "walk" but you still get to graduate!! Be strong and carry that diploma proudly!
Jackie DeGroot '02
“While we face challenges in life, no bond is stronger than our bond we share united as LAKERS for Life- congratulations Class of 2020! Now go conquer the world!”David D. Harris Sr. '83 & '85
Congratulations lass of 2020! I am so thankful for my degree in special education and elementary education that I got from GVSU. I felt prepared as I started a brand new special education program at a Christian school in Northern Michigan where I still work today. I hope you will feel just as blessed as I did for the education and preparation that you received. Schools are in desperate need of good quality teachers. I am always excited to hear that a fellow Laker Alumni is coming to teach with me.
Pam Smallegan '92
My senior year started in 2001 with predictions of a great economy and jobs, and then we had September 11th. Your senior year started the same. So I say be open to your plans adjusting, letting your dreams change, and trying something completely different until the world is back on track. You might find that your new dream is better than you expected. Finally, seek out the help you need and stay connected to get that first role. You'll be amazing. Congratulations Lakers.
MacKenzie Harper '02
Congrats on graduating fellow Lakers! I know we're currently living in tough times, but never give up hope. My journey as a Laker was rough - poverty, financial instability, one hour commute, 12 hrs of studying, etc. However, I chose to endure all of it. I pushed forward knowing that graduating and being the first in my family with a college degree would all be worth it! So, never give up hope, push forward, and continue to follow your dreams!
Hoang Phan '18
Congratulations on your graduation from GVSU! I wish you the very best for your future! As a member of the first class who started at GV, when there was one building and an unpaved parking lot, I welcome you as one of the newest alumni!
Mary Ohm '67 & '88
Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment! You've shown dedication and perseverance as a student and now we can't wait to see how you'll use those skills to make the world a better place as part of the Laker for a Lifetime family! Enjoy every moment and be so proud of yourself!
Courtney Geurink '09
Congratulations, Class of 2020. GVSU continues to provide life-giving support and awesome connections long after you leave Allendale and Grand Rapids. I'm proud to be a Laker for Life and to welcome you to the alumni family.
Vicka Bell-Robinson '02
Best wishes for happiness and success! Now it's your turn to venture forth and help create a more just and compassionate world. Your GVSU education should serve you well on your journey ... go get 'em!
Robert Woerner '69
Congratulations Graduate! "You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!" -Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Congratulations on your graduation! Find your true path by taking thoughtful risks, learning from your failures, and celebrating your successes. Anchor up and best wishes for a bright future ahead!
Sarah Ochsner '95
Congratulations Class of 2020! Missing your commencement ceremony right now is sad, but just know that the memories of the relationships you made during school last much longer than the memories of commencement day. I remember these three things: 1. Betty Ford received a doctorate of letters and papers - I did not remember that being an option for a major because I am very good at letters and papers. 2. David McCullough was the keynote speaker. 3. The only thing I remember David saying was to "always tip the hotel maid". That's it! I do remember Martha who made sure I passed my computer programming class, Professor Dinesh who I enjoyed very much, and being the last class to shake Dr. Lubbers' hand on the stage. Cherish the people. Cherish the memories. Cherish the completion of your hard work.
Darla Carrier '01
My advice to the graduating class is this: always wash the pizza cutter right after use. Now this has two meanings. 1) Seriously, wash that pizza cutter, the cheese will dry and make it hard to wash if you wait. If you wash right after use, it's so much easier to clean. 2) Quite often, taking care of something right away will take less time and cause less stress in the future.
Jeffrey Daniels '97
2020 Grads! Congrats on your accomplishment--what an exciting time! Do not let the current state diminish your drive to go out and do good in this world. You've made it this far, you can continue to grow and shine throughout the cloudy days! Best of luck in this next chapter of your life.
Susan Pete '17
Dear Graduates: Congratulations on your momentous accomplishment! As a proud alumna of the Class of 2008, I wish the Class of 2020 much success. We are all very proud of your achievements. Remember you will always be Lakers for a Lifetime!
Mary McConner '08
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 from a Pioneer Class of 1967 graduate and a Laker for a Lifetime ever since. My only regret for you is that you not be able to experience the exhilaration of the formal commencement ceremony right now. Best of luck to all of you, and congratulations!
Bob Monaghan '67
Congratulations Class of 2020 and a special shout out to my niece-Julia Slattery. You're starting off this next chapter of your lives with great challenges already. Be the change you want to see in the world. Know your GVSU alumni are there for you!
Kate Slattery-Geer '91
Congratulations, don't sweat missing your graduation. I never walked, and never looked back. A sheepskin is the same whether received in the mail or handed to you. Go out and get your life started, don't wait!
Thomas Herington '75
Congratulations on your achievement and welcome to the Alumni Association. We can't wait to see all you can achieve. Anchor Up!
Steve Carlson '78
Lakers! You will never forget your graduation year because of these incredible times in which we live. I'm so sorry your celebrations will be muted by the circumstance of these days but take great pride in what you've accomplished. You have all of the Laker alumnis' heartiest congrats! Now, go make a difference! Cheers!
John Keating '79
Hey all I am SO sorry that graduation looks a little different for the Class of 2020, however I want to congratulate you on an accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated, regardless of what the world has to offer. I hope GVSU brought you an opportunity to learn about your major and even more about yourself. May the future be bright. You now have a degree and with a lot of hard work, maybe, just maybe, great things will have the chance to happen if you continue to keep your eye on your goals. So whether it's Friday night lights, a show at the Intersection or one of those 3 AM standing-in-your-kitchen talks with your roommate, I hope you leave with great memories and the biggest feeling of pride and accomplishment as a Laker Alumni. Congratulations Class of 2020.
Jessica Pennington '19
It's okay to feel upset, or angry, or frustrated with what's going on, because it sucks - I really get it. But you're a Laker, you're strong and you know how to hustle. You'll get through this with the entire GV community by your side. Don't be afraid to reach out to your network and ask for help! We're here for you - Lakers for a Lifetime. Congrats!
Heather Rowan '18
Congratulations Laker Class of 2020. Visit Allendale often, consider giving to a future GVSU student in need when the time is right for you in your new career, and always remember you are a Laker for a Lifetime!
Cathy Fitzpatrick '92
In unprecedented times, you can do unprecedented things. You now have the opportunity to use what you've learned to create, innovate, and shape your world into a better place. I look forward to seeing what you'll accomplish. Congratulations on your graduation!
Amanda Sinning '07 & '14
Go change the world! Remember, if you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done!
Jeff Miller '77
Congratulations, Laker! You're going to do amazing things. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!
Emily Sharick '14
Congratulations GVSU Class of 2020. We are so proud of you and wish you the best. Go Lakers!
Sue Willemsen Douma
Congratulations, Class of 2020! You are extra special for having survived this! Stay safe and change the world!
Allison Swets '14
Your Grand Valley education has prepared you incredibly well to adapt to the challenges before you. You are #LakerStrong
Kristen Evans '11
Thank goodness YOU are here to help heal our world. Together, we can do this.
Mary Ann Yaeger '76
Congratulations! You did it! All of your hard work, sacrifices, and determination paid off. Best wishes in using your knowledge and skills as you move forward. You are a Laker for a Lifetime, so stay involved through the Alumni Association.
Jennifer Dochod '02 & '08
Hello graduating Class of 2020! I know how this year turned out is not ideal, but it does not minimize the accomplishments and strides you have made at Grand Valley! Lakers are a family, we see you and we support you! Continue to do amazing things, and welcome to the alumni family!
Taylor Ross '17
Being a graduate of 2020 will allow you to have a clear vision of the life going on around you. Keep your vision clear and focused to have a successful life as those who preceded you.
David Knox '77
Dear GVSU Grad, I hope you've enjoyed your time at Grand Valley as much as I did and have also made lifelong friends! Good luck in your future. Do and be your best. Always love your country and stay true to its founding ideas and visions.
Jeannie Kramer Dehring '70
Congratulations, Class of 2020! Forty years ago, the Class of 1980 was headed to the football stadium for our ceremony. A severe thunderstorm arose at the last minute and we were rushed to the auditorium instead. Friends and family watched via very small, closed-circuit video monitors from various locations on campus. While our ceremony was nowhere near your current situation, we took it in stride because we were Laker-strong and had received an education that had prepared us for whatever the world would offer. Be proud of your accomplishments and know that with your background, knowledge, and skill set, you will be successful in this ever-changing world. Once again, my congratulations!
Jeff Melvin '80
You completed your undergraduate work amidst some pretty incredible chaos. Great job! Celebrate your success! Then, put your brilliant minds and newly minted degree or degrees to work on real solutions for your family, friends and neighbors. When you get ideas, develop them. Don't worry if they don't all work out--they're not supposed to, and you're not getting a grade. If even one of your ideas is developed and helps another person, you have succeeded wildly. *Big hugs*
Charlan Rieve '07
Congratulations on your graduation! What a great accomplishment. And you will no doubt be part of a graduating class that will never be forgotten -- Class of 2020! While graduation itself may not be experienced in the way you planned, please know that many, many Lakers are sending you lots of love! This is just the beginning of new adventures for you. Take it all in!
Gretchen DeVault '97
Congratulations on your graduation! I can only imagine your disappointment not only in your rapid departure from campus, but also the postponement of commencement ceremonies. Yet, this does not diminish the many accomplishments, memories, and relationships you have built during your time at Grand Valley. Those will remain with you for a lifetime and I can affirm as an alumna that Grand Valley will always welcome you home. Welcome to the Alumni Association!
Katie Hayes '05 & '08
You're going out into a world that's very different from the world you probably expected to join. But take comfort that you have already, in some manner, passed the trial of fire and that you're prepared to take this on. You've got this Laker!
Sheila Garcia '14
Congratulations on your recent graduation! Be proud of your accomplishments as you move on to the next chapter of your life. I hope you have fond memories of your time at GVSU. Go Lakers!
Stephanie Surine '96
Congratulations! I know that these are not ideal circumstances, but you will always remember your senior year. Some of my very best friends are from GVSU. You have experienced so much together and will have stories to share for the rest of your lives. Best wishes to each of you!
Michele Clemen '02
I graduated from undergrad during the Great Recession. No one was hiring. I couldn't find a job in what I really wanted to do. I felt a bit hopeless. I took a job that would pay just to get started. I worked hard, kept networking, eventually went back to GVSU for my MBA. Now, I'm in a career I absolutely love. I'm an expert in my field. I'm passionate about the topic. That's all to say, yes, this is an uncertain time and maybe your expectations for the perfect career-start don't happen. That doesn't set the tone for your whole career. Things will change, and you will be better prepared because you started in uncertainty. You are literally gaining a skill right now - dealing with ambiguity. Take advantage, take heart, and stay steadfast. This is just chapter one. There are so many other chapters you'll get to write. You can do this!
Elizabeth Blair '09 & '12
While the times may currently be different, one thing remains the same: you have accomplished a great task! Congratulations on completing your program. As you prepare to jump into this next phase of your life with new employment, goals, and dreams, remember to take time to enjoy the little things. My closest friends continue to be my friends from my years at Grand Valley State College (yep - I'm that old). As you move on, enjoy the new while continuing to cherish the existing. Congrats and welcome to the Laker for a Lifetime family!
Amy Upham '89 & '95
"If we didn't have any stress, we'd never grow and you'd probably wouldn't test your mettle and you'd probably wouldn't come up with a lot of creative stuff that people come up with by being somewhat on the edge."- David Allen
Well done for graduating during these times of stress.
Beth Clawson '99
Congratulations!!!! This is a huge day for you. I love GVSU. I rep it every day in my classroom! Just remember, time goes fast. You don't need to figure everything out at once; take one step at a time. You are the only you there will ever be. God made you for a purpose! Go out there and let your light shine! Congratulations again!
Emily Chapman '05
GVSU provides an outstanding education as you will soon learn as you head to your new adventures post graduation! Congratulations! And to those KCON students I've had the pleasure to teach at GVSU - BEST of LUCK! You will be outstanding RNs!
Lori Houghton-Rahrig '81 & 01
Congratulations on completing your degree and graduating. Although you won't be able to have a formal commencement ceremony this April, nobody can ever take away your hard work, the friends and connections that you made, and the memories that you will always have. Cheers!
Bryan Placinski '03
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Some advice: remember those professors who made things better for you, who enriched your learning, who made class enjoyable, and who made a difference in your life. Thank them and carry them with you.
Jordan Sickrey '18
Congratulations to the Class of 2020!! Your perseverance and dedication are amazing, particularly in these days of uncertainty. We are all applauding you, despite our inability to celebrate in person.
Michele Schallip '08
GVSU Class of 2020! Congratulations to all of you for your perseverance and determination to cross the finish line! Graduation is such an important milestone - and you should be very proud of all of the work that it's taken you to get this far! Our Laker community is proud of you! Always keep your head up, look for the good, use your time and talent in service of others, be bold and visionary, persevere through difficulty, and be confident that you CAN meet all of the challenges and opportunities that will inevitably come your way! Congratulations, Class of 2020! We are so very proud of you!
Melissa Baker-Boosamra '01
Your senior year may have ended in a way that no one ever expected but what GVSU means to you will never fade; cherish the memories, reflect on the life lessons and enjoy the journey ahead. Congratulations Lakers!
Rachel Wesley '11 & '13
Class of 2020, congratulations on your achievements during your tenure at GVSU. While times are currently challenging, your hard work and accomplishments should not go unnoticed. Good luck in all that you do and aspire to do!
Simonne Yet Kwong Horman '11
Congrats to the Class of 2020! You guys will be a memorable year and although it didn't end like expected, you put in the work and deserve to celebrate! Best of luck in your future careers and make this world a happy place!!
Deborah Reath '93
As a Pioneer at GV in Sept. of 1963, I had no idea where this new college was headed. GVSU of today would have been a wild dream. And YOU are the dream we imagined. Congratulations and all the best. Remain LAKER PROUD!
William Kaluske '78
Congratulations!!! Your hard work will pay off greatly. Keep a positive mindset and always work to improve yourself. The journey has just begun!
Dylan Marsh '16
You will achieve great things and have a wonderful foundation to support you! Congrats on your graduation. Go Lakers!
Sarah Bigorowski '07
We are so proud of you!! You pushed through a lot to make it to this year! There's always been a rainbow hanging over your head. It'll all be alright.
Congratulations to Matthew Gitlin on graduating this April! I'm so proud of you & how far you've come on your journey and I'm so lucky to have been part of it. You were the first person I met here at GV and made me love it here so much that I transferred here last fall. You're such a determined hard worker and I'm so excited to see you be more successful. You are so amazing, congrats Matt!
We are all so proud of what you have been able to navigate. While we know your last semester was unlike what anything any other senior class has managed, you will carry the experience with you and do great things in the world! Congratulations!
These are challenging times for everyone. Please know that you are supported by GVSU alumni, staff, friends and family. Everything will come together for you and you'll move forward to challenging and rewarding careers. Grad school and/or professional licensing may be in the future for some of you and I know that it will go well. Take heart, the economy will rebound and bright futures are ahead!
D. Roger Douston '68
Congrats grads! Hope you enjoyed your time at GVSU. As you look back, you will think the time flew by! Now it's time for your next flight. I wish you strength, health, happiness and peace!
Chris Dougherty Williams '84
Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment! You did it! Regardless of what is going on in the world, you will always be a LAKER FOR LIFE! Bask in your moment and cherish the wonderful memories as you plan to conquer the world!
Jennifer Connors MA '08
Congrats! You're finally here. Look back on all your accomplishments and see how proud of yourself you should be. I promise, it only gets better from here.
Samantha Hayden '16
Look to the future, as yours is bright. There's always a better day ahead of you.
Brad Carlson '95
CONGRATS Class of 2020. You are now a part of a long line of proud Laker alumni. Job well done #Anchorup
Michael Davis '88
Best wishes for the future! May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
Melissa Choi '12
You should all be proud of yourselves for powering through this strange time in all of our lives. I wake up every day and ask myself how I would have been able to handle this if I were in the Class of 2020. The answer to that question is that it would have been difficult, but I would have persevered just like all of you are. Getting an education is valuable and it is going to help the Lakers of 2020 make the world a better place. You inspire me, graduating Class of 2020.
Marissa LaPorte '18
What a crazy time our world is in right now! Our hearts go out to you as such an important event in your life has been changed so drastically. It doesn't take away any of your hard work or the fact that you have completed your degree. You are on to bigger things and I hope this crazy world opens their arms to all of you new graduates and welcomes you the way you deserve. All the best to the Class of 2020!
Amy Filchak '90
Although this isn't the world that you expected as you graduate, you are ready to face it. The things you have learned from Grand Valley, in and out of the classroom, will allow you to take the world today and make it better for each tomorrow in every way. Lakers are strong, resilient, and leaders. Those that came before you believe in you and all that you will do in this next chapter.
Stephanie Jobin '11 & '16
Congratulations to everyone in the Class of 2020. Go out and change the world. Make it a brighter place for all of us and remember, you are the future!
Kathleen Sidlouskas '73
Congratulations to you all! The only pertinent advice I can give is: no matter your career path, take time every day to be grateful, and to tell those people you love that you love them. Out loud, every day.
Douglas Kenrick '87
My years at GVSU were a great time of learning and relationships. Those skills, academic and interpersonal, will serve you well as you take your next step into the world. Congratulations!
Hayley Vitarelli '99
Congratulations on reaching the end of an incredibly exciting, validating, learning, and exhausting period known as college! The graduation ceremony itself is an important part of this rite of passage. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has seemingly pushed your achievement aside as it relentlessly alters the way we do business and go about our daily lives. Rest assured that your accomplishments and sense of completion are not felt by you alone. You will be one of the special ones...the crew who graduated in the midst of a worldwide crisis. Thank you for being one of the bright lights in the distance that give us all reassurance that the world keeps turning and our kids keep learning. Well done!
Barb Hunter '83
Congratulations Graduate - What a major accomplishment! A few wishes for you. May you:
- Be brave enough to be bad at something new.
- Live with gratitude and kindness in your heart.
- Remember, especially during a challenging time, it's just a page or chapter, not your whole story.
- Know your worth, trust your gut and use your beautiful mind.
- Never grow weary of trying to do the right thing.
- Be well.
I graduated from GVSU in December 2001. Like you, it was during a difficult time in history. It was just a few months past 9/11 and it felt weird to be celebrating when our country was still very much in mourning. What I realized from that experience was that commencement is kind of like a wedding: yes, you want the big celebration, but it is just one day. The real work comes after. The postponement of that celebration cannot take away your years of knowledge, hard work or your degree. You have already earned it, it is already yours. One day you will get that big celebration and it will be all the sweeter. Congrats and best of luck in your future endeavors.
Nicole Infante '01
Congratulations on graduation! I know it must be difficult due to this time but you will get through it! Keep your head up and shine because you are a Laker!
Megan Davis '07
Grads, keep your heads up! Know you have earned your degree and be extra proud of your accomplishments during these trying times!
Brenda Stephenson '95 & '98
KUDOS to the Class of 2020! Hold tight to the friendships you have made during your time at Grand Valley. You have accomplished a great thing at a great place!
Jean Bement '94
As we celebrate your achievements, we also celebrate you! You have worked hard to receive your degree from Grand Valley, and you have done good work on our campus and in our community. We are Laker strong, and you always have a place to call home here at GV. Keep excelling, keep overcoming adversity, keep reaching for your dreams, and never forget who you are and what makes you so special. Congratulations to you, Class of 2020 and welcome to the Laker alumni club!
Danielle Ott '16
Congratulations 2020 Graduate! Your commitment and dedication has finally paid off and you are being recognized now for your accomplishments. As I recall my time at Grand Valley, I recognize it was the absolute BEST time of my life. At graduation I was proud of my accomplishments, yet, I did not realize how much MORE I had in store. Your journey is just beginning and I am certain that GVSU has prepared you for this exceptional journey. Continue to believe in yourself, your future and your school as you know you are a Laker for Life! Congratulations!
Alena Zachery-Ross '95
Congratulations on your accomplishment and welcome to the growing number of Grand Valley State University alumni! As a fellow Laker, I know and expect your class to continue the tradition of making the 100,000+ alums who came before you proud. Whatever's next for you, know that you can count on us all to support and encourage you on your journey as a Laker for a Lifetime. I can't wait to see the impact this class will make in a time when the world needs your knowledge, spirit, and enthusiasm more than ever.
Bryan Bickford '83
Congratulations Class of 2020! Go out there and find a career that is interesting to you! Learn from others, find a mentor, enjoy your journey, and have fun along the way. Never lose hope!
Ellyanne Rosenthal '11
Congratulations, Lakers! Your years of hard work have prepared you to step out into a world that is filled with uncertainty. But what is certain is that you are stronger than any challenge you may face.
Danielle Harris '11
Congratulations and best wishes to the 2020 graduating class at GVSU! Be proud to be a Laker. Go and make a positive difference in this world, and be proud, caring, and confident in your journeys.
Larry '77 and Lori Dykhouse
Congratulations Lakers to the Class of 2020 from a fellow 1994 graduate. I am especially proud of my daughter, Taylor Troost, GVSU graduate Class of 2020. Couldn't be more proud of her. Best of luck to the Class of 2020 and bless you all and your futures.
Kim Troost '94
Congrats Class of 2020! You should feel very proud of what you've accomplished. Know that the challenges we're facing together now will only serve to make you stronger and more resilient. Best of luck in whatever your next endeavors may be!
Stan Osdras '07
Congrats Class of 2020! This may be a difficult time for us all, but that doesn't change the fact that YOU DID IT! The rest of the world can't wait to see what you'll go on to accomplish. You should be proud of yourself. Congratulations!
Kelly Arrand '15
Hey there Graduating Class of 2020! I know this time of celebration for you all is not going as planned, but I just wanted to share that as a recent grad, I know how much work and effort you've put into your education! You are all so deserving of so many praises and congratulations! It is not easy trying to balance life, school, internships, working, relationships, and families for some of you. I want you all to know that I am proud of each and every one of you. You've done it! It's time to start your careers for most, continue education for some, or even take a well deserved hiatus for some. Whatever you decide is right for you, I'm cheering you on in those personal decisions!
Although the circumstances aren't ideal, make sure to celebrate your accomplishments! Whether it has to be with your immediate family, closest friends, classmates, through video chat, or even by yourself... CELEBRATE! I'm hoping for you all, that soon you'll be able to hug, high-five, shake hands, and have some sort of graduation ceremony in some way when it is safe to do so. I know how important this ceremony is for some and I am so sorry that some of you may not get to experience it! But in any case, you've all just made huge strides in your lives and I am rooting for you, always! Congratulations!
Christine Dolislager '19
Congratulations to the GVSU graduates in the Class of 2020! Some of you may be disappointed about the postponement of your commencement ceremonies. Remember that while such ceremonies honor your hard work, their absence can never take away what you have accomplished. Go out and show the world the true meaning of a college education. Use your creativity to invent new ways to make this world a better place. Use your knowledge to find cures for disease and vaccines for viruses. Use your compassion to care for those around you and this amazing planet. It will be that work, and not a simple graduation ceremony, that will make the most profound difference in your life.
Debra Kingsbury '74
Welcome to your new alumni community and congratulations on all of your accomplishments. You join a diverse community of professional connections and friends who are here for you, and each other, every step of the way.
Jamie Munson '13
Congrats Lakers! While your final year certainly didn't end the way you, or anyone, had hoped- it does not diminish the outcome. You earned this degree and that can't be taken away. Best wishes for a happy and successful future!
Samantha Prater '05
Congratulations on your graduation!! You have persevered well through studies, relationships, and plain Laker fun. Now is the time to enjoy life and dream of what comes next. May it be filled with hope, love, and peace.
Sr. Traci Stutz '91
Congratulations to you and welcome to the alumni club! Here's a quote that I've come to appreciate: "Don't be afraid of fear. Because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger, and when you run away from fear, you also run away from the opportunity to be your best possible self." - Ed Helms
With that being said ... don't fear the future, be open to it!
Lisa Zavesky '08 & '19
Congratulations!! You did it!! You accomplished something absolutely amazing!! Although the graduation ceremony is being postponed, try not to let that take away from your feelings of accomplishment!! You put in a lot of class time, study hours, and group project time. You should feel so excited to say you succeeded! Be proud! Congrats and good luck to you as you move on to the next chapter of your life!
Briana Hoffhines '14
Congratulations!!! Sorry that the end of graduating year did not go the way you expected it to go. We're Lakers, the water doesn't always rock the way we want it to rock. Stay strong and positive. Job opportunities do the same, chase after them, but be patient and persistent. Congratulations and welcome, my new fellow alumni. You did it!
Scott Prater '07
Congratulations on your graduation. I am so sorry you aren't able to properly recognize your achievement right now. Know that getting a degree from Grand Valley is something that will be treasured for a lifetime. While these last couple months may be difficult, think about your wonderful experience you've had as a Laker. I know my memories are ones I have cherished forever.
Kristy Bayer '01 & '03
Congrats Class of 2020!! I remember my graduation just two years ago & I know how memorable that moment was for me, and although times are different now, know that this moment is still yours and we're so proud of you! So, hold your head high, pat yourself on the back, and know that the journey ahead is waiting for you. You did it! Cheers to becoming alumni!
Ashley Coleman '18
All best wishes to the KCON DNP cohort of 2020! I miss so much being able to see you hooded, as you were my last group of NUR 690 students. Having been in the first class of KCON graduate students, I can tell you that you will all go far! Thank you for the sacrifices you are making for all of us during this pandemic.
Cynthia Coviak MSN '85
L'Tanya Word '03
Your hard work has paid off! Congratulations!
Carol Reiss '91 & '17
Congratulations on your graduation from GVSU.
Charles Keating '76
Congratulations! It is an accomplishment to be proud of. I remember so well my own graduation; as we were walking in, there was a mix up with the seating and Dr. Tevebaugh, who was leading us, said, "Don't worry, we'll find a seat for you!" And they did. Always remember you are a Laker and part of the Laker community. Whatever field your endeavors take you to, I'm sure you will make us all proud.
Kacjie Creager '75
Yay! You made it despite the adverse conditions the world is now facing. So proud of each and every one of you! I am sorry that your last semester and graduation year has been so chaotic; I can't imagine. Wanted you to know you remain in our thoughts and on our minds. You are our future, and I have no doubt that you're all assets in many arenas. Poe says, "Never to suffer would never to have been blessed." Hope you agree!
Mary Kay Blaauw '04
Class of 2020, you are in my thoughts & prayers as you finish a great milestone of accomplishment in your lives. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed, and you will come out of this difficult time with new skills and abilities that you can then bring with you into your new careers. I wish you all the best of luck and congratulations! Celebrate your achievements! You've earned them!
Elizabeth Gaunt '19
Congratulations! Sorry you don't get a dream graduation ceremony as you deserve to have. Now, go out there and make a difference!
Amy Ames '07
The world is still your oyster. There will always be ups and downs, so go ride them and keep reaching for the stars.
Jeff Bailey '89
Congratulations! Good luck to your future endeavors and never give up!
Jordan Koehn '19
Hi GVSU graduates! Yes these are very trying times indeed. We all will get over this better than ever. I wish all of you a very successful career! As for myself, I got a Business Administration and Economics degree way back then. A degree from GVSU was very good for me and will be for you too! Good luck!
Bruce Spaanstra '74
Hello fellow alumni! I just wanted to take a moment and say "Congratulations" and "Welcome" to the Laker alumni family! Given this crazy time, I know it is a frustrating way to end your senior year, but please know we are ALL very proud of your accomplishments and look forward to seeing the positive mark you make in our world. Anchor UP!
Jeff Grossenbacher '89
Congratulations Lakers! The world needs you now more than ever, take what you have learned at GVSU and go out there and spread your #LakerEffect. We are so very proud of you and can't wait to see what you accomplish.
Jacquelyn Abeyta '09 & '14
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Even though you didn't get the pride of walking across the stage this year, you will always remember the year 2020 and COVID-19 and how it made you all, the newly minted scientists, medical professionals, diplomats, future lawyers, future teachers, and future world citizens, realize your roles in our global society and how important and valuable your Grand Valley education will be! Best of luck to you all!
Ed Schneider '07 & '15
Congratulations, Lakers! You have worked so hard over the years and persevered through these tough times. This next chapter in your life will also come with challenges and uncertainty, but do not give up! Your happiness is extremely important and your success can only be determined by you. Do what you love, don't settle, and it's okay if post grad life is rough for a while. Your first, second, or even third job post grad might not be "the one," and that's okay! Stay strong, stay connected!
Camille Curtis '17
Congratulations GVSU Class of 2020!! You did it, you made it. This is not the end of a journey, but the beginning of something great. You've worked your entire life for this moment, had sleepless nights studying for midterms and writing papers. It wasn't easy, especially with our recent endeavors, but know that you are stronger for it. So take a deep breath and be proud of who you are. Appreciate every step you took to get here and enjoy it because you deserve it!
Amber Worden '11
Shout out to my sister Rielly for graduating!! Congrats Class of 2020! We are all so proud of you!
Kate Smith '19
Congratulations on your new life after school. Stay focus and move forward. Above all, don't forget you. Many blessings.
Mary Jones '85
From my favorite musician, Jay-Z: "The genius thing that we did was, we didn't give up."
Mario Pritchard '06
Congratulations Class of 2020!! What a year! I hope that the good memories that you had as a student here will sustain you for the many years to come. Change is inevitable.
"The measure of intelligence is the ability to change." -Albert Einstein
Takeelia Garrett '96 & '00
Dear grads! Your commencement ceremony may be postponed but your graduation into adult life starts right now more than ever. Be strong, be wise, and stay home. Don't be a vector. Be a victor.
Zuzanna Zapiórkowska '16
Congratulations Class of 2020! Sending you celebratory vibes for persisting and achieving so much during this unpredictable time! Congrats!
Kate Smith '19
Congratulations! You are truly a Laker for a Lifetime! It is time to celebrate you and your accomplishments, even if it means not crossing a stage, you still did it! You went through orientation, excelled in your classes and overcame many obstacles. You got this! Congrats again and best wishes for whatever fun, kindness, obstacle, surprise, positivity or even love is ahead! Go Lakers!
Matthew D'Oyly '06
Congratulations. You're on your way! When it's time to come back out into public spaces, make sure you treat yourself to a fabulous dinner and drinks at one of the nice places in downtown Grand Rapids! I was a December Graduate and my family came into town for my commencement. They stayed at the Amway and I remember both spending time there with them and hosting them in my Secchia apartment where I had lived for the past 2 1/2 years and loved dearly. We had dinner at Judson's in the BOB and after my family retired for the evening, my friends and I stayed at the BOB, hitting up many of their bars for one last visit while we all still lived 'in town,' all staying at my place afterward. I miss walking along the river to classes, ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle, listening to the Carillon, and so much more. Make sure to come back often. It's amazing how many things change!! Best wishes and congrats!
Shannon Hall '03
As a GVSU professor who is also a double-degree alumna and a parent of a GVSU senior, congratulations on your graduation and accomplishments! Stay strong and stay connected. GVSU will still be here to support you as you move forward with your career and lives, and all the alumni who remain will be here to welcome you back in the near and far future! Laker for a Lifetime is real!
Ellen Schiller '88 & '91
Congratulations! CLASS OF 2020!!! You have worked so hard and now the next chapter is about to begin. Don't lose your momentum, carry it on to your next adventure! Shoot for the stars and never give up! ANCHOR UP!! Welcome to the alumni fam!
Allison Shoemaker '16
Class of 2020 - congratulations! Your time at GVSU will give you memories for today, tomorrow, and always.
Karen Kreitner-Davis '92
Congrats to the Class of 2020! You will prevail through this trying time. Remember that you earned your accomplishments and your time for celebration will come. Best of luck on your endeavors!
Marie Griffith '16
Class of 2020, congratulations. Your achievement was not easy, nor frivolous, and the rewards of being a Laker for a Lifetime will indeed be with you forever. You may be part of the most unusual graduation in the history of GVSU, or possibly even the history of the US, but that doesn't diminish or tarnish your commencement. If anything, it's a testament to your resilience and dedication. I welcome you to the proud ranks of GVSU alumni, and wish you nothing but success moving forward; you are now and forever Lakers, so achieving that success is solely in your hands. Great work!
David Luther '06
Congrats Grads, keep your heads up and always, always strive for the best in everything you do. Cheers!
Brian Dutkiewicz '02
Max Carson '19
Never miss an opportunity to give back! #Lakerforalifetime
Ken James '06
Congratulations to our beautiful, talented, hardworking, compassionate, independent daughter, Hailey Hoover, as she is a proud member of this Graduating Class of 2020 from GVSU. She has successfully earned a double Major, one in Bio-Medical Science and the other in Criminal Justice, and has always achieved and maintained high academic excellence. Swimming for Grand Valley's club swim team has been a passion of our daughter's during her time at GVSU. This year she once again qualified for Nationals and was working so hard to place in the top 20 once again. Then this virus put a stop to everything. No more swimming, no more meets, no Nationals, just an abrupt ending to it all. We know that if given the chance to compete in Nationals she would have once again kicked butt! It has always been so thrilling and exciting to watch her compete!
This Class of 2020 has been faced with so many challenges at the very tail end of this academic chapter of their lives. With all outside academic activities cancelled and classes turned over to online learning, a whole new world of obstacles opened up for professors and students alike. These students have had to push themselves to new heights with self discipline to learn everything online. There is no doubt that although the whole Class of 2020 won't be able to celebrate with the usual commencements and parties like previous classes have, your class is going to go down in history! Your class will be remembered always as the Class who survived and excelled in spite of the many obstacles that had to be overcome as part of this terrible pandemic. You are part of a class who will be celebrated and admired for years to come. I hope that despite the fact that so many people have suffered so much loss associated with the many effects this virus has had on our world, communities, families that we all can still say we have many things to be thankful for. For instance, our kids have graduated from this fine institution to make a brighter future for themselves and make this world a better safer place for all.
We are so proud of you Hailey! We can't wait to see where the next chapter of your life leads you. You CAN and WILL achieve anything you set your mind to. No matter what you choose to do we know you will make it a success! We love you to the moon and back! Go Hailey!
Dear GVSU Class of 2020, Congratulations on your graduation! I still remember my commencement day at Van Andel Arena vividly, and it's a very happy memory. While I'm sorry that you won't have the opportunity to celebrate in person with classmates, friends, and family, I hope you are still able to find other ways to commemorate this major achievement. You definitely deserve it!
To me, GVSU is a truly special place. It's a state school, which is still grounded in high academic standards, a strong value system, and a deep sense of civic responsibility. Since leaving Allendale, I've been fortunate enough to travel to many places around the world, and it's actually made me realize how unique our school is even more. Some of my favorite people still to this day are the ones who I met at GVSU. In fact, my best friends and I made a pact after graduation to take a vacation together at least once a year just the three of us, and I highly recommend starting this tradition.
Additionally, I suggest continuing to ask for advice and to stay in touch with the network you established at GVSU. For example, one conversation in my final weeks on campus with my professor, Fred Chapman, profoundly changed my life. He guided me to take one job offer over another, and I still couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities that came as a result. I'm also very appreciative of other mentors from GVSU, including Vice President of University Relations, Matt McLogan. In many ways, I learned to learn at GVSU, and I've tried to continue to learn, and to experience new things, and to open my mind as much as possible in the years afterward. I hope the same for you. Life is so much more interesting and rewarding when you do.
Aaron Radelet '98