Harris Family Athletic Complex

Thank you to the donors who brought Wrestling back to Grand Valley

It’s a simple fact. Grand Valley would not be at the top of NCAA Division II Athletics without the help of donors like you. Thanks to your support, wrestling now joins the Laker legacy of excellence in athletics. The 22,280 square-foot addition to the Fieldhouse, and renovation of a section of the existing Fieldhouse, supports multiple activities for various student groups, clubs and varsity athletics teams including wrestling, dance, cheerleading, STUNT, martial arts, and the police academy for daily practice and competition.

Our thanks to chair, John Harris, the members of the wrestling honorary and campaign committees, and all of our donors. Your experience, advocacy, and support made this dream a reality. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Thank you to the Harris Family

Project Highlights

Harris Family Athletic Complex
  • 22,000 square-foot addition to Grand Valley’s fieldhouse
  • Allowed renovation of an existing section of the fieldhouse to support student-athletes more efficiently
  • 3 mat gym
  • Weight room
  • Expansive athletic training room for all varsity athletic teams
  • Locker rooms
  • Coaches and staff office space
  • Student-Athlete academic advising
  • Student-Athlete welfare and development office
  • Student-Athlete refueling station
  • Student-Athlete lounge, meeting and study space.

GVSU Wrestling Impact

Why it Matters

A tradition of excellence provides a foundation for success

  • Many of our alumni remember the early days of Grand Valley’s wrestling program when Lakers achieved national recognition, first in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and later at the NCAA Division II level
  • Laker Wrestling produced more than 50 All-American wrestlers
  • In more recent years, wrestling has become a successful club sport, winning five National Collegiate Wrestling Association championships since 2001

Growing popularity makes this the perfect time to restore the men’s program and add a women’s team

  • Wrestling is now the seventh most popular sport for men and one of the fastest-growing sports for women
  • Women’s wrestling was recently granted NCAA emerging sports status at all three levels
  • With the surge in popularity at the high school level for both men and women, the timing is perfect to restore Grand Valley’s program

Student-athletes interested in wrestling deserve to compete as Lakers

  • Grand Valley, now celebrating 18 years at the top of Division II athletics, offers a nationally recognized academic, athletic, and social experience that should be offered to men and women wrestlers along with all our other varsity athletes
One of the fastest growing sports for women
7th most popular sport for men

Honoring Jack and Dorcas Harris

The Harris Family

The Harris Family

Jack and Dorcas Harris became big fans of Laker wrestling when their son John joined the Grand Valley wrestling team in 1972. From that time forward, they attended almost every competition, both home and away. They also helped form a committed group of wrestling parents who supported every Laker wrestler, and each other, through wins and losses. Jack and Dorcas developed a special bond with each wrestler and were there as Grand Valley wrestling grew to be a national contender in both the NAIA and NCAA Division II.

Jack and Dorcas continued to be committed fans, often traveling to watch Grand Valley wrestling competitions even after John’s graduation in 1977, until Jack’s health began to fail in the early 1980s. The Harris Family Athletic Complex is named in their honor as a remembrance of their undying support, competitive spirit, and love for all things wrestling.

The gift to honor Jack and Dorcas was given by their son John H. Harris III ’77, his wife Diane Harris ’76, and their adult children, John H. Harris IV, and Meredith Harris, along with Jack and Dorcas’ son Thomas L. Harris, ’80, and his wife Tammi Harris. May the legacy of Jack and Dorcas fill the halls of the Harris Family Athletic Complex, bringing athletic excellence to Grand Valley wrestlers and all Laker student-athletes who train here.

Page last modified September 19, 2023