Horizons Fall 2019


Click photos for full stories and galleries.

Bold. Driven.

Grand Valley State University’s fifth president, Philomena V. Mantella, took over leadership of the university on July 1, 2019.

Read more about President Philomena V. Mantella.

Helping Students Achieve Excellence

During their time at Grand Valley, the Couches believe they were held to a high standard of excellence in order to succeed. As a way to support students who are in a similar position, the couple established the Michael ’06 and Janean ’05, 08 Couch Black Excellence Scholarship.

Read more about Dr. Michael and Janean Couch.

Thinking Bigger

Thanks to gifts from donors like Magna Mirrors, a manufacturer of automotive mirrors and lighting, Laker engineers are now able to utilize the Innovation Design Center for Engineering for extra space to work on projects while construction and fundraising are being completed. Nicklas Koeller, Class of 2020, is an electrical engineering student who has benefited from the new building.

Read more about Nicklas Koeller.

Overcoming Barriers

Before a friend from Laker Familia told her about an experience studying in Ghana, Alejandra hadn’t even heard of studying abroad. Coming from a low-income background, it wasn’t something she thought she would ever be able to do, so receiving a full scholarship to study abroad during the summer of 2019 completely changed her life.

Read more about Alejandra Salinas story.


Three engineering students working on a project.

Innovation Design Center for Engineering

You're just in time!

Great news! You can still be recognized on the donor wall in the Innovation Design Center for Engineering (IDC). Your gift of any size creates the opportunity for you to show your support very visibly in this exciting new space. You can also give a gift in honor or memory of someone you love, to have them recognized for generations to come. Grand Valley is the primary talent pipeline for engineers in West Michigan. Community demand has led to a 40% growth rate in Grand Valley’s engineering program over the past few years, creating the need for more space for projects, industry partnerships, and K-12 outreach. Construction is underway while we continue to raise support from donors like you. You are just in time to be recognized, and inspire others through the evidence of your support for Laker engineers. Give today!

Please help us keep growing our community. Learn more about the Innovation Design Center for Engineering.

Cans of food on a shelf.

Replenish Food Pantry

Tuition or dinner?

An estimated one-in-five students experience food insecurity, the state of having limited or uncertain access to food. Hunger can force students to work more and spend less time on their studies, and can cause an increase in student loans to cover living expenses. Replenish works to solve this by providing food and personal care items for students who face financial struggles that compromise their ability to purchase such items, because students shouldn’t have to choose between eating and paying for things like tuition. Help students with a gift to the Replenish Food Pantry.


Click the photo for each event's full gallery. 

Engineering Design Project Preview 2019

President Philomena V. Mantella riding on a segway.

Alumni Leadership Celebration 2019

People sitting outside at the Alumni Leadership Celebration

Foundation Annual Meeting 2019

Three men at the event.


Laker Legacy.

Gillett Society Donors, Gary and Vicki Verplank.

Learn more about their story.