Giving Back—through employee gift match

Layna, 13, & Andrew, 13, Buthker

Layna, ’13, & Andrew, ’13, Buthker always knew they wanted to stay in West Michigan and have Grand Valley State University be a huge part of their lives. They both earned master’s degrees in taxation from Grand Valley.

“Grand Valley is where we planned our wedding and got our first taste of real-life public accounting. We met amazing people and fell in love with Grand Rapids,” the couple says.

Their involvement in Grand Valley has increased since they graduated. Layna has been closely involved with the Young Alumni Council as a past chair and current member. Every year, the couple looks forward to the Enrichment Dinner, football games, and various work-related Grand Valley events.

They both work for Plante Moran, a public accounting firm that is one of many corporations that match employee gifts.

“Seeing our company support the university that means so much to us is huge. It adds value to our degree to see our company so invested in our university and helps us pour our gifts into something we love,” the couple says.

Layna and Andrew believe it’s important to give back to the university that has given them so much, and they believe it’s important to provide for current and future students.

“Grand Valley has been able to do great things with the gifts it has received. That makes it easy to give knowing it will be spent to impact future students in the ways we were impacted,” the couple says.

Grand Valley has directly influenced Layna and Andrew’s lives in so many ways.

“We can’t give someone a full ride or put our name on a building, yet. But we can give to a book fund or add to a scholarship,” the couple says. “We just want someone to make a friend and get some time to enjoy all Grand Valley and this community have to offer.”

Matching gifts through an employer can sometimes double or triple your gift; to find out if your company matches gifts, visit

Page last modified June 11, 2018